Naazim: Cunningham Needs Discipline to Disarm Adamek

by David P. Greisman

Noted trained Naazim Richardson, who will be in Steve Cunningham’s corner for the rematch between Cunningham and Tomasz Adamek, broke down the fight for shortly after both fighters weighed in. What do you need to see differently from Steve in this second fight than in the first fight?

Richardson: “I wasn’t involved in the process four years ago. There’s actually a few things I need to see the same in his mentality. Our thing is discipline, and Steve understands it. If he can stay disciplined, I think we’re in good shape. We have a good team. Everybody’s on board. He’s well-prepared for this. He has to be.” How much of Steve being 20 pounds lighter than Adamek is an advantage, and how much of that is a disadvantage? And the same thing for Adamek: How much of him being 20 pounds heavier is an advantage, and how much of it is a disadvantage?

Richardson: “You know and I know, from the time we was 12 years old in school, that the bigger kid has some advantages. We also know that we’ve seen the smaller kid beat the bigger kid. We’ve seen that, too. But if you and me could make a choice on which you would be, the smaller kid or the bigger kid, 90 percent of the people would say they’d rather be the bigger kid. The other people would go against the grain because they like to see that upset, but you’d rather be the bigger kid. That’s an advantage. That’s an advantage.

“Now we have to take the advantages away from Adamek. We have to make them a disadvantage for him. But it is an advantage. Him being comfortable in the heavyweight division, fighting some of the best heavyweights of our era, gives him an advantage. We have to find a way to exploit his mistakes and take away his advantages. Like I said, you can pull a gun, but this is why some people practice certain moves to take the gun from you. We got to find a way to take that gun away from him immediately.” You weren’t involved four years ago, but I know you watched the tape. The punches that led to the knockdowns, what kind of adjustments will you make, or have you made in camp, to keep that from happening again?

Richardson: “We made small adjustments for that even leading up to this fight. But Adamek is a special kid. I think he’s underrated. And I prepared for that, as if he’s underrated. I think he’s a better heavyweight than people give him credit for, and I think Adamek has something to prove in this particular fight.

“The first Cunningham fight was a knockdown drag-out, and Adamek feels like he can be more dominant in this fight. So I’m sure he’s bringing his best. I want people to know they’re not going to see an Adamek who underestimated Steve Cunningham [in the second fight]. They’re going to see an Adamek who brought his best to the table, and Steve was just a better man that night.”

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]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by alembic on 12-22-2012

I think Cunningham's biggest problem will be that Adamek is an opponent with a great chin who's willing to take one to dish out one. The first fight was a war of attrition and Steve can't be doing that this…

Comment by toshmurph on 12-22-2012

I can't see Richardson making much of a difference for this fight. I don't think he is the great trainer people make him out to be!

Comment by Concussive on 12-22-2012

Solid analysis as always from Brother Naazim. Hoping for a Cunningham victory.

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