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Azad Championship Report: Adamek judged the winner by split decision


By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing

Boxing returned to NBC as top-ranked heavyweight Tomasz Adamek (49-2, 31 KOs) won a controversial 12-round split decision over snakebite Steve Cunningham (25-5, 12 KOs) at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA. The result was the same as their first encounter four years ago.

Adamek claimed the IBF North American heavyweight title with the victory.

In round one, Cunningham used his jab to keep Adamek off balance. Adamek stalked and tried to counter the jab. The round was more feeling out than fighting. Cunningham continued to stab the jab in round two. Adamek landed a body shot and right hand.

Cunningham stuck to his game plan in round three. He met Adamek in the center of the ring and shot out a double jab. A few seconds later a strong right caught Adamek. A combination near the end of the round worried Cunningham.

Azad Championship Report
Azad Championship Report

In round four, Cunningham mixed up his attack. Adamek worked behind his own jab. His power was obvious. Cunningham connected with another sharp right hand at the bell that knocked Adamek back. Cunningham kept working in round five. Adamek was looking to land his right over Cunningham’s left. The intensity was picking up.

Cunningham landed a strong right on Adamek in the middle of round six. Adamek landed his own right along the ropes. His punches were heavier. Cunningham used the ring and kept boxing. Adamek seemed to be getting stronger. Cunningham landed a good one two in round seven. Adamek went to the body of Cunningham. The fighters exchanged right hands.

Cunningham tried to backup Adamek in round eight. A double jab found the face of Adamek. Cunningham was ahead by a point on this writers scorecard through eight rounds.

Round nine saw more of the same. Cunningham worked his jab and right. Adamek stalked and connected with his own right. Cunningham went to the body and head. Adamek tried to steal the round in the last few seconds.

Cunningham, from Philadelphia, came out firing in round 10. He landed a hard right on the chin of Adamek. He followed up the right with an inside combination. Adamek countered with a left hook that slowed down Cunningham.

In round 11, Adamek, sensing he could be behind, went looking for a game changing punch. He did well, landing some heavy shots. His activity seemed to surprise Cunningham. He backed his opponent up and landed some thudding punches.

The 12th and final round brought more drama. The fight was up for grabs. Adamek came out strong, but Cunningham countered back. Both fighters were landing. Adamek chugged forward and ate a right hand. The fighters traded at the bell as the crowd roared its approval.

Two of the ringside judges scored the fight for Adamek by scores of 115-112 and 116-112. The third judge tabbed Cunningham the winner 115-113.

This writer had Cunningham the winner 115-114.

The NBC broadcast opened with Vyacheslav Glazkov (14-0, 10 KOs) of Ukraine using his considerable amateur experience to stop Tor Hunter (19-2, 12 KOs) of New York City, New York after four pretty competitive rounds. In round one, both fighters started slowly. Hamer landed some good shots to the body while Glazkov boxed. Glazkov picked up the pace in round two. Hamer kept concentrating his attack to the body. Glazkov was the busier fighter.

Glazkov connected with a short jarring right in round three. A combination snapped Hamer’s head back. Hamer did a little better in the first half of round four. Glazkov stung him with a counter left hook and dominated the last two minutes. Hamer shook his head as he made his way back to the corner. The fight was soon waved off by Hamer’s corner.

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