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Cunningham Adamek IBF Eliminator Fight Preview

By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Correspondent

*All Photos Copyright Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media, All Rights Reserved

 Newark, NJ (December 17, 2012) — In a rematch of their December 2008 cruiserweight title bout in which Tomasz Adamek put Steve Cunningham on the canvas three times, and emerged as the split decision winner of the International Boxing Federation and Ring Magazine Cruiserweight titles at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham will meet again on December 22, 2012, at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for the International Boxing Federation North American Heavyweight title in an eliminator for the IBF number two worldwide ratings position. This will be Adamek’s second defense of the belt, which he won by decisioning Eddie Chambers this past June 2012 at Prudential Center. The bout will broadcast live on NBC television-the first such public bout in 20 years.

Steve Cunningham versus Tomasz Adamek I on YouTube, December 11, 2008


Polish fighter Adamek, 47-2, 29 knockouts, Jersey City, New Jersey, and fighting Philadelphian Cunningham, now 25-4, 12 knockouts, will be fighting each other in their second encounter in the higher weight heavyweight division. For his first heavyweight bout with Jason Gavern three months ago, Cunningham weighed 207 pounds. Adamek has fought 10 bouts at heavyweight since October 2009, when he stopped faded fellow Polish compatriot Andrew Golota in the fifth round in Poland. Adamek’s weight at heavyweight has fluctuated between 214 and 225 pounds.

Adamek has fought between 222 and 225 pounds in his three heavyweight bouts this year, and any weight disparity should not bother Cunningham, who went ten rounds to decision Jason Gavern several months ago despite being outweighed by 32 pounds. Gavern was neither able to use his size to overpower Cunningham nor win a single round despite having 32 heavyweight bouts and nine years of experience in the heavyweight division to Cunningham’s none. In Adamek versus Cunningham, the size of the boxers is not a factor in the bout.

Prefight Analysis

Steve Cunningham always moves when he punches. If you do not sit on your punches, you are not going to put your legs or hips into the punch, where your power comes from the bottom of the body. I don’t know if anybody has pointed out the style flaw to Steve, who keeps making the same mistake. This style flaw hurt Cunningham in his two recent IBF Cruiserweight title losses to Yoan Pablo Hernandez in Germany. Steve Cunningham is always moving. he doesn’t get set when he throws his punches.

Tomasz Adamek is stationery when he throws punches, always coming forward with force, putting his body behind his punches. That is the key difference between the fighting styles of Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham.

In theory, in the higher heavyweight weight class, Cunningham is not going to move as much as he did before. If his old habits continue, Steve will be standing in front of Adamek during the second bout more often, appear even more stationery, and make himself a too reachable target who can be eventually knocked out. Adamek is not going to chase Cunningham. He won’t have to if Steve makes this critical mistake.

The only game plan which is going to help Steve Cunningham is one of ‘cunning’. If Steve works from angles, throwing punches from the side catching Adamek coming in, and not being there when Adamek throws punches, he can make a fight of it and maybe even win. That’s the whole key of boxing, to hit and not get hit. Steve can surprise Adamek by throwing punches in punches. Steve’s going to have to outwork Adamek, throw three and four punch combinations, and win the technical war.

For Tomasz Adamek, to do things differently and better than his first encounter with Cunningham, Adamek needs to pick his game up a notch and apply relentless pressure while cutting off the ring, which will get Steve out of his game plan.

Regarding the cut factor, Steve Cunningham rarely gets cut. Adamek is more used to bloody wars and fighting with cuts. Bloody battles don’t bother Adamek, they are second nature to him. Of course it all depends what type of cut you are dealing with.

Adamek versus Cunningham II Main Events Press Conference Excerpt on Youtube

Watch Courtesy Main Events


If the 12 round bout goes the distance, and Steve Cunningham follows his game plan of throwing punches from different angles, and three and four punch combinations, Cunningham can outwork Adamek and win the decision.

Steve cannot stand in front of Adamek to do it, like he did in his first fight with Adamek, when he got dropped three times, and in his first fight with Hernandez, when Steve got dropped in the first round. One and two punch combinations while standing in front on Adamek will not do it. It will not get the job done for Steve. If Steve fights Adamek the second time the very same way he fought Adamek the first time, he will get knocked out. Since Adamek’s power punches dropped Cunningham three times in their first encounter, it won’t get better for Steve if he stands in front.

Tomasz Adamek will win if he applies relentless pressure, punching the body and then the head, and break Cunningham down.

If both Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham follow their game plans, what results could be a close, competitive entertaining fight and it should go the 12 round distance. However, if one fighter imposes his will on the other, that’s going to be the man who will win the fight.

Jab effectiveness and overall accuracy of punches will also figure into the outcome. Steve threw twice as many jabs (307 to 152) and landed twice as many jabs (61 to 30) in the first fight. Steve needs to land more, and land more effective jabs, in three our four punch combinations. They have to score. In total punches thrown, Cunningham was 205 of 690 (30%), while Adamek was 186 of 480 (39%), a higher level of accuracy by Adamek in the first fight with less effort, a significant statistic.

 Previous Scorecard Results of Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham

 Tomasz Adamek Win Split 12 Steve Cunningham 116-110, 115-112, 112-114

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 12 Chris Arreola 117-111, 115-113, 114-114

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 12 Paul Briggs, 115-111, 114-112, 113-113

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 12 Eddie Chambers 116-112, 116-112, 119-109

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 12 Kevin McBride 120-107, 119-108, 119-108

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 10 Nagy Aguilera, 100-90, 100-90, 99-91

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 10 Siarhei Karenevich, 100-90, 100-90, 99-91

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 10 Zdravko Kostic, 100-91, 98-93, 98-93

Tomasz Adamek WIn Decision 10 Rudi Lupo, 100-87, 100-87, 100-86

Tomasz Adamek Win Decision 12 Jason Estrada, 118-110, 116-112, 115-113

Chad Dawson Win Decision 12 Tomasz Adamek, 118-108, 117-109, 116-110

Steve Cunningham Win 12 Enad Licina, 118-110, 117-111, 115-113

Steve Cunningham Win 12 Wayne Braithwaite, 119-109, 118-110, 117-111

Steve Cunningham Win 12 Kelvin Davis, 118-110, 117-111, 117-111

Steve Cunningham Win 8 Joseph Awinonya (a top trainer), 78-73, 78-73, 78-72

Steve Cunningham Win Split Decision 10 Guillermo Jones, 97-93, 96-94, 93-97

Steve Cunningham Win Decision 10 Jason Gavern, 100-90, 100-90, 99-90

Steve Cunningham Win Decision 10 Sebastiaan Rothman, 96-94, 96-95, 95-95

Steve Cunningham Win Decision 12 Wlodarczyk 116-112, 115-112, 114-114

Wlodarczyk Win Split Decision 12 Steve Cunningham 116-112, 115-113, 109-119

Yoan Hernandez Win Decision 12 Steve Cunningham, 116-110, 116-110, 115-111

Tomasz Adamek versus Chad Dawson on YouTube, February 3, 2007





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