by David P. Greisman
Former cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham spoke with BoxingScene.com shortly after weighing in for his rematch against Tomasz Adamek.
Four years ago, their first fight took place in the cruiserweight division, with Adamek knocking Cunningham down three times and winning via split decision. Now both boxers are heavyweights — Cunningham checked in at 203.5 pounds, Adamek at 223.
BoxingScene.com: You were at 207 pounds for your first heavyweight fight. Now you’re at 203. Were you aiming to be lighter?
Cunningham: “No. I was actually trying to hit the same weight that I did for the first fight, for the [Jason] Gavern fight. But that just goes in part with how serious I’m taking it, just the extra work and seriousness, the nerves. I’m still in great shape.”
BoxingScene.com: Why were you aiming to be at 207? What’s the difference between that and, say, 203?
Cunningham: “I guess it looks better for you guys, for the fans, I guess. I don’t know. I just wanted to be that. Our whole plan throughout the camp was whatever we come in at, that’s what we’re at. And this is what I’ve been working out at, coming into the gym at 206 or 207, leaving at like 203. So I feel good.”
BoxingScene.com: Are there advantages to not having the extra weight, to being lighter at heavyweight?
Cunningham: “Yeah, there are. Movement, agility. But you do give up possibly — possibly — extra pop. You’re a little more solid. He’s a lot more solid than I am, but we’re going to try to use that to our advantage, the extra weight that he has.”
BoxingScene.com: Physically, what are you expecting different from him in his second fight than he was in the first fight, given that he is heavier?
Cunningham: “I probably figure he’ll try to knock me out because of the weight. But after a while, he’ll see that’s not going to happen. And then we’ll get back to what I want to do, which is control the ring, control the fight and box.”
BoxingScene.com: Any lessons you learned from the first fight that you’re going to bring to this second fight?
Cunningham: “Yeah, a lot. A few: My defense was a little lackadaisical in the first fight. I underestimated him a bit. There’s no underestimation at all right now. And I’m just anxious to get the knockout on American television. I’m anxious to get this win overall, beat him and beat him in a certain way.”
BoxingScene.com: Are you going to try to avoid a war?
Cunningham (cuts in): “No. This is Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham. The war is going to happen. But it’s going to be a smart war. Instead of sending in troops, we’re going to do some air raids first, you know what I’m saying, and then send in troops later.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]