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 Last update:  6/3/2014       Read more by Ben Jacobs         
   
Mansour: Smoger Bailed Cunningham Out From KO Loss
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By Ben Jacobs

Fans who witnessed the Amir Mansour - Steve Cunningham battle in April will likely agree that it was one of the more entertaining heavyweight match-ups of recent times. After the bout, Mansour conceded in an interview with NBC that he thought he may have lost the fight. However, upon review in the weeks after, the Delaware man has changed his opinion. Not only that, Mansour was not happy with the officiating from experienced New Jersey man, Steve Smoger, particularly with regards to the two knock downs suffered by Cunningham in the fifth round. Amir told BoxingScene he was not shocked to see his Philadelphia rival bounce back when it appeared he was on the verge of being stopped.

I wasnt surprised, anyone with his experience who gets knocked down in the way that he did and the referee gives you so much time to recuperate, a two time world champion is going to take advantage of that, he said.

We timed it several times, he was out more than 10 seconds for both knock downs. Im exerting a lot of energy going after my guy the way that I was and Im taking risks and chances, then when Im successful the referee gives him that kind of time to recuperate. Ive already been daring and took the chances, it took a lot out of me to get him out of there by five rounds because my plan was to push him fast until I took him out.

I dont think any fighter can plan for when a referee allows a guy to recuperate more than 10 seconds. I found out these guys are in the army reserves together, you know? I know Steve Smoger, I thought he was a fan of mine but obviously he was a bigger fan of Steves. At the end of the fight he didnt come and shake my hand or anything, he went and hugged Steves wife and Steve, so he made it obvious where his heart was at.

I can take a loss gracefully, and I did that after feeling maybe I lost. My interview speaks volumes as to the type of athlete I am whereby I can accept a loss. But I had so many people calling me saying I was robbed, so I watched it again and I was blown away by the scoring, it was obvious what the referee was doing throughout the fight.

At the beginning of the tenth round, I went out once again with the idea to exert my energy and try to knock this guy out. By this point I knew the referee was working his favour. I caught him with a straight left, he went flat on his back and the referee called it a slip. When you look at my knock down, he caught me with a decent shot, I was off balance and my glove touched the ground and he called it a knock down. It hurt me as I thought Steve Smoger was a very professional referee and I didnt think hed wear his emotions on his sleeve.

Mansour is planning to be back in the ring this summer, as such, he has already taken steps to prepare for his next encounter in the ring.

Its hard, there are a lot of guys ducking, man, he insisted.

Were looking into a few opportunities, I cant say much about them, but Im hoping to fight in July, but I dont know who it will be against. I told my team I dont want to fight anyone less than in the top 15, so hopefully well get someone in that calibre.

Ill be training with John David Jackson for a while in Florida. Im not firing my trainer, we didnt lose the fight. I just feel as though John David Jackson can give me more knowledge about championship fights because hes been in them himself. Sometimes its good to get a different outlook and have a different teacher.

After such an enthralling fight first time against Cunningham, surely a rematch is inevitable. Amir isnt convinced it will happen, however.

He doesnt want the rematch, we were going to try and sell it to HBO but he doesnt want it. From a business stand point, you got away with the win, you dont wanna see the guy that you know in your heart beat you. Maybe he feels theres a bigger fight out there. But I think people want to see us fight again. He did put a good fight up after the referee bailed him out from getting stopped.

Tags: Steve Cunningham , Amir Mansour , Mansour-Cunningham , Mansour vs. Cunningham



 User Comments and Feedback (must register to comment)

comment by GhostBlade, on 06-04-2014
I think most people simply have no idea how long a second really is. Most people count a second faster than it really is. Some people complained that it was more than 10 seconds and I also watched the knockdowns and Cunningham got up with more than enough time. The counts by Smoger were perfect t...

comment by F!x, on 06-04-2014
Even though he narrowly lost that fight Mansour put on a great performance, it's just a shame he got power-happy and didn't try to set up his shots better because he might have won if he boxed more instead of going all out. Then again, Cunningham is a very good boxer himself so maybe he would h...

comment by Foreign Soil, on 06-04-2014
[QUOTE=peplz]I don't know what you were watching but anybody with a pair of working eyes and ears can see that it was just a normal count. He got up before the count of eight.[/QUOTE] The count was slow. Buy a cheap watch and learn how to grasp the concept of time. 10 seconds already passed be...

comment by Tobi.G, on 06-03-2014
I think they should fight again to clear things up. The first fight was verry entertaining and good, why not do it again? But Cunningham dont want that it seems.

comment by peplz, on 06-03-2014
[QUOTE=Foreign Soil]It was an extremely slow count by Smoger, which aided Cunningham a bit, but it happened at the end of the round, plus Steve has rebounded from knock downs the majority of his career. So, poor count but ultimately probably didn't matter much.[/QUOTE] I don't know what you we...

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