By Bill Emes
Former champion Steve Cunningham (25-4, 12KOs) is focused on getting revenge on December 22nd when he faces Tomasz Adamek (47-2, 29KOs) in a rematch at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. NBC will televise the IBF heavyweight eliminator, with the winner getting the #2 ranking in the top ten.
Back in 2008, at cruiserweight, Adamek won a twelve round split decision to win the IBF cruiserweight title from Cunningham. Adamek has been at heavyweight for a few years, but Cunningham made his heavyweight debut in September with a ten round decision over Jason Gavern.
Cunningham says he had the wrong state of mind in 2008, with his strategy focused on knocking Adamek out. Now with trainer Naazim Richardson by his side, Cunningham vows to be "a different fighter" in December.
"When this fight opened I said 'why not" - how can I turn this down? I would be kicking myself in the back if I turned this down, because then it would have been 'would of, could of, should of.' This my chance to fight him again and beat him, and take his spot once we beat him. He's a top four heavyweight, so who wouldn't jump at that chance," Cunningham told BoxingScene.com.
"One of the main things [that went wrong in the first fight] is that we had knockout on our minds. And what helped that, in the fight, is when I hit him he would buckle here and there. And what fueled [the focus for a knockout] was fighting at home, becoming a star on American television. People already knew me in other parts of the world but I wanted to become a star here. I was coming off the Marco Huck stoppage and I felt that electricity. I wanted that again. Those three knockdowns did it for [Adamek to clinch the decision]."