Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Cunningham Hopes To Cap Fresh Start With Adamek

By Jake Donovan
 
Steve Cunningham’s boxing career has always been that of a man without a country, ironic considering the four years he proudly served in the United States Navy. Through 12 years as a pro, Cunningham has fought beyond the U.S. borders on eight separate occasions, including five trips to Germany, while fighting just once in his hometown of Philadelphia – an undercard bout in March ’03.

Yet the former cruiserweight never felt farther away from home than in his first fight with Tomasz Adamek. Not only did the event take place a mere 90 minutes away in Newark, New Jersey, but also served as Cunningham’s first fight in the U.S. after nearly two years spent on the road in Europe.

“I fought him in Newark and thought it was close to home. It was worse than if we fought in Poland,” insisted Cunningham (25-4,12KO), an authority on the subject considering he actually fought twice in Adamek’s home country. It was the site of his first loss and also his first title win, both of which came in the span of six months against Krzystzof Wlodarczyk.

Cunningham gets his long awaited rematch with Adamek. The sequel takes place one division north at heavyweight, headlining a Saturday afternoon telecast on NBC live from the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA. 

Their reunion comes four years after the American fell short in their Dec. ’08 World cruiserweight championship. The clash was universally regarded as high among the year’s best fights, one in which Cunningham was dropped three times in losing a split decision. ‘

One win and 18 months later, Cunningham found himself once again fighting abroad, signing with Sauerland Event and fighting in Germany in four consecutive contests. His journey ended in back-to-back losses to Yoan Pablo Hernandez, the second of which came in lopsided fashion earlier this year.

The rematch with Hernandez was his last ever at cruiserweight, abandoning boxing’s bastard division for its once most identifiable. Cunningham’s heavyweight debut came in September, pitching a shutout against Jason Gavern in their 10-round supporting bout below Adamek’s stoppage win over Travis Walker.

Adamek was already being steered towards this weekend’s NBC date, though originally scheduled to face Odlanier Solis. When the Cuban heavyweight bailed on the opportunity, Cunningham willingly jumped in, thus saving the date for Main Events.

“When you’re dealing with live television in this context, you don’t have the luxury of just pushing it off to another date,” said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, who worked feverishly to secure a deal with NBC Sports earlier this year, thus leading to boxing’s return to NBC in nearly a decade. “There is always a Plan B and Plan C in the works.

“Steve was Plan B from Day One. It came down to Solis was rated higher and we were interested in doing an eliminator. When Solis couldn’t do it, Jolene (Mizzone, Main Events VP of Operations) called Livvy, Steve’s wife and manager. She called Steve, who called us back within a couple of hours to accept the fight.”

Where the fight took place was far less important to Cunningham than the fact that it takes place at all. The 36-year old has enjoyed two reigns as a cruiserweight titlist, but still envisions a run at a heavyweight crown before calling it a career.

The depths of that journey depend largely on the outcome of this weekend’s affair – one where he believes to have stronger support than was the case four years ago.

“He may win the fan base contest,” Cunningham says of Adamek’s bi-continental popularity. “But I’ll have more fans in the house than I did the last time.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ddangerous on 12-21-2012

[QUOTE=VatoMulatto;12839336]I like Cunningham. He's a very good boxer with lots of heart and seems like a good person. Unfortunately his chin isn't good enough. Had it not been for his weak chin I'd pick him to beat Adamek. Adamek is…

Comment by VatoMulatto on 12-20-2012

I like Cunningham. He's a very good boxer with lots of heart and seems like a good person. Unfortunately his chin isn't good enough. Had it not been for his weak chin I'd pick him to beat Adamek. Adamek is…

Comment by WESS on 12-20-2012

Looking forward to this fight!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Fenech Backs Horn To Shock Pacquiao in History Making Fight Skoglund, Nielsen Brothers Could Be in Line For WBSS Tourney Wilder's Manager: We Want To Have All The Titles in 12 Months Gomera, Lee Make Weight For WBA Asia Title Bout in South Korea Video: Bernard Hopkins Talks Ward-Kovalev, Canelo-GGG Tony Weeks Owes Apologies to Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward Photos: Canelo, Golovkin - Go Face To Face in Los Angeles! Davis vs. Salido Being Eyed For Mayweather-McGregor PPV? Canelo: The Mayweather-McGregor Fight Will Hurt Boxing A lot Alimento Makes 30-day Mandatory Weight for WBC Regional Mayweather-McGregor: A Look Back at The Verbal Sparring Jennings: Joshua Should Jump Right on Klitschko in Rematch Canelo Admits He is "Obsessed" With Giving GGG His First Loss Oscar Valdez: I'm Not Afraid To Risk Record, I Want Gary Russell Jr. DiBella on Mayweather-McGregor: De La Hoya - Shut The F*** Up! Wilder's Manager Likes Idea of Return on Mayweather-McGregor Roach: Pacquiao Lost A lot of His Crowd Due To Lack of Knockouts Dmitry Bivol To Take Some Time Off, Return Planned For The Fall Canelo Paying No Mind to Being Underdog Against Golovkin Photos: Sammy Valentin Putting in Work For Giovani Santillan Boxer Killed By Masked Gunmen After Leaving Gym in Mexico City Ellerbe: Fight is 50-50, But Broner Needs A-Game To Beat Garcia Deontay Wilder Erupts, Tears Apart Hearn and Whyte Over Offer Hughie Fury To Stay Busy With July 8 Return at Copper Box Abel Sanchez Says Kovalev is Stubborn, Was Difficult To Train Golovkin: If I Finished Jacobs, Probably Don't Have Canelo Fight Now That Mayweather is Active Again, Canelo Wants a Rematch Flanagan vs. Verdejo With Tentative Date of September 16 Kautondokwa Is Eager to Face Billy Joe Saunders in September Inquest Finds That Davey Browne's Death Was Preventable Eubank Sr: I Know How To Beat Mayweather, I May Tell McGregor! Canelo Aims To Do a Real Number on GGG: No Rematch Needed Boxing: Not Dying. Again. Mikkel Kessler To Pass on WBSS Wild Card, Eyes Fall Ring Return De La Hoya Not Happy With "Disrespectful" Dana White Over Date Taking a Look at Some of Boxing's Greatest Upsets Milan Melindo To Make First Defense of IBF Belt on September 16 De La Hoya Promises Earlier Start Time for Canelo-Golovkin Abel Sanchez Not on Press Tour, Awaits Golovkin vs. Canelo GGG Not Worried About Mexicans Turning on Him in Canelo Bout
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement