It was a historic afternoon of fights at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlem, PA. Steve Cunningham (25-4, 12 KO’s 203.5lbs) and Tomasz Adamek (47-2, 29 KO’s, 223lbs) fought in a hotly anticipated rematch of their 2008 fight of the year candidate. This event was televised by NBC and the entire card was put together by Main Events and Ziggy Promotions in association with Peltz Boxing, DiBella Entertainment and Pushka.
Both fighters began the bout tentatively; trying to establish range with their jabs. Cunningham utilized the entire ring with his movement and fought behind his jab to keep the distance between the two of them even further. Adamak, a notorious slow starter, stalked Cunningham and poked away with his jab. Hoping to force his opponent into the ropes or a corner. By the third, Cunningham felt the desire to engage, and landed a big right hand that sent sweat flying off of his opponent’s head. Adamek responded with a flurry while pinning Cunningham against the ropes, but it was Cunningham that seemed in control early on by a slight margin. The third saw more back and forth action. Cunningham was again able to land some flush blows with his rangy punches, and Adamak continued to press Cunningham into the ropes.
The fifth round saw a bit more action, as Adamek turned up his punch volume, and Cunningham seemed happy to oblige. In the few exchanges they encountered in that round, Adamek had the the cleaner punches landed. However, in the sixth, it was Cunningham who got the better of Adamek in exchanges. He was able to land a massive right hand flush on Adamek’s chin with an overhand right as Adamek worked his way in. The iron chinned Adamek took the punch well, but Cunningham seemed to find his groove. That groove continued into the seventh, with Cunningham continuing to land his right. Adamek Resorted to rushing in on Cunningham in order to pin him against the ropes and immobilize him for a short while. When Adamek was successful in doing this, Cunningham snuck in a check right hook that knocked Adamek off balance. Entering the tenth round of what appeared to be a close fight by our scorecards, Cunningham opened up with two big right hands that drew wows from the crowd. Adamek continued to work forward, always knowing that his will and power will carry him late in fights. He was able to land a blow of his own, keeping Cunningham in check. Cunningham followed with a left hook that stopped Adamek in his tracks.
As they entered the championship rounds, Adamek became much more aggressive, but that left him open to counter right hands from Cunningham. About halfway through the round, Adamek finally landed clean with a right hand that shook Cunningham up. The end of the tenth round saw both fighters land clean, reminiscent of their first encounter which featured non-stop action. The final round saw both fighters give it their all. Adamek was poised, with his right hand cocked, hoping to land a big one, while Cunningham continued pumping out his longer punches. Both fighters landed huge right hands, and Adamek’s blows seemed to slightly shake Cunningham’s knees. Adamek wanted a brawl, and he was finally getting it. The final bell rang with both exhausted fighters throwing punches.
At first, Michael Buffer read the scores wrong; declaring it 115-115 even, 115-113 for Cunningham, and 116-112 for Adamak, making the fight a split draw. But after being informed of his error, Buffer announced 115-112 for Adamek, 115-113 for Cunningham, and 116-112 for Adamek, giving Adamek a split decision victory. Later, it was announced that there was another error and the one scorecard read 115-113 for Adamek.
15rounds scored the fight 117-111 for Cunningham.
Vyacheslav Glazkov (13-0, 9 KO’s, 2215) and Tor Hamer (19-1, 12 KO’s 221lbs) opened up the televised portion of the night. After a tentative start, Hamer was the first to get off after landing some straight rights to Glazkov’s mid section. Those punches seemed to allow Hamer an opportunity to land a solid left hook to end the round. Glazkov opened up the second working in some left hands of his own, alternating between his jab and hook. By the fourth round, Glazkov took command behind his left hook from the outside. After his second helping of Glazkov’s right hand, Hamer walked away shaking his head as if he knew he was in over his head. Glazkov landed the blow repeatedly throughout the round and often followed up with a straight right. Hamer provided absolutely nothing in response. As the round ended, Hamer sulked back towards his corner. In between rounds, Hamer and his corner were forced to retire from the match. In other words, Hamer quit. Glazkov, who was on his way to a breakout performance, was credited with a technical knockout at 3:00 of the fourth round. In what was supposed to be an exciting first fight on a historic night on NBC, Hamer instantly left a stain on the event.
In a swing bout that took place after the Adamek-Cunningham main event, Julio Angel De jesus (6-3-2, 3 KO’s, 144lbs) took on Korey Sloane (2-5-1, 0 KO’s, 141.5lbs) in a bout scheduled for four rounds. De Jesus opened up strong, landing an overhand right against his much taller opponent. Sloane eventually settled into the fight and began throwing his jab at an effective rate. The bout continued in that fashion for the entirety of the four rounds. The final scores read 39-37, 38-38, 38-38 with the fight being a majority draw. The one other scorecard was in De Jesus’favor.
Jerome Rodriguez (1-0, 1 KO, 139lbs) took to the ring against Edwardo Stith (Debut, 139lbs) in a bout scheduled for four rounds. Both fighters came out in southpaw stances, and Stith moved more and shot out occasional punches from a distance, while Rodriguez stalked behind his high guard and fast counter punching. Midway through the first round, a straight left staggered Stith into the ropes, and Rodriguez unloaded dozens of unanswered punches that left Stith reeling all across the ropes. To his credit, Stith stayed on his feet, and was able to bring the fight back into the center of the ring and eventually out of the round.
Stith was more hesitant to exchange from that point on, which left Rodriguez to opening his opponent up with hard body punching and stiff jabs. That worked to perfection later in the round when two body blows, followed by an uppercut, and then a hard straight staggered Stith into the corner. Stith barely remained on his feet, and Rodriguez came in with more viscous blows. The referee was forced to stop the match at the 2:56 point in the second round, giving Rodriguez a TKO victory.
Naim Nelson (8-0, 1 KO, 132.5lbs) squared off against Osnel Charles (9-4-1, 1 KO, 134.5lbs) in a bout scheduled for eight rounds. Nelson was the more well polished of the two, working behind a stiff jab and straight right. Charles used the ring well, and often barged his way inside with hard hooks. Charles’ workrate gave him a lead in the early goings of the match, but Nelson did not seem phased by Charles’ aggression, and would often unleash hard combinations of his own. Nelson’s punches were much more accurate and was able to stagger Charles twice in the middle rounds. In the seventh round, with Nelson in command, Charles crumpled onto the canvas after a body blow that landed on Charles’ belt line. Referee, Steve Smoger addressed it as a low blow. The eighth round saw Nelson sit back on his big lead, but still maintain control of the round behind his jab and solid defense. The scorecards were announced as 78-74, 78-74, and 77-75 in favor of Nelson, giving him a unanimous decision victory.
David Williams (6-6-1, 2 KO’s, 212.5lbs) and William Miranda (6-5-1, 242lbs) fought to a draw to open the night. Both fighters exchanged hard blows throughout, but neither maintained a significan edge in the fight.