By Marc Livitz: Krzysztof Glowacki and Steve "U.S.S." Cunningham provided attendees at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn event with a rough, four knockdown contest for Glowacki’s WBO Cruiserweight title. After twelve hotly contested rounds, Glowacki was awarded the unanimous decision win, much due to the four knockdowns he put on the former Cruiserweight title holder.
Throughout much of the first round, the two giants followed a customary script, in as much as simply getting a feel for the other’s tendencies and movements. Undefeated southpaw Glowacki (26-0, 16 KO’s) looked at times to counter while Cunningham (28-8, 13 KO’s) looked for openings. Matters changed about half a minute into round two, when a well timed one-two preceded by a left hook to the chin sent Steve to the canvas. The American quickly rose to his feet and beat referee Mercante Jr.’s count, however he shown the mat just seconds later with another quick left. As before, he took the eight count to get back into the action.
A tangling of feet and limbs resulted in the Polish champion seemingly throwing Cunningham to the floor, a tactic for which he was cautioned by Mercante. Steve made it through the round and showed better poise in the remaining moments of it. He would need to keep his distance and use his jab to keep Krzysztof thinking outside of his plan and he did so in the next few rounds. Glowacki found varied success with a few body shots. Steve began to box much more effectively and used his jab well into the sixth while his Eastern European foe was looking to time his approach.
The landscape of the bout afterwards saw Krzysztof landing the more effective punches with Cunningham’s jab finding less success. He kept tagging the 39 year old Philadelphia fighter by way of his left hand with clean head shots, all while negating the three inch height disadvantage he held. The first defense of the title he won last August with a marvelous late knockout of longtime champion, Marco Huck was beginning to look good for him.
Aggression levels hit a high mark in the opening moments of the ninth. Cunningham came out firing and as Glowacki looked to counter as before. He received his last warning from referee Mercante about hitting behind the head. Steve used his jab again and tried his best to keep his left foot from dragging him into Glowacki’s power zone. The third knockdown of Cunningham arrived a minute into round ten. A well timed right hook drove him to the mat. He beat the count and appeared in good sorts. A hard, solid right popped Glowacki directly on the chin, a shot which noticeably wobbled him. He used his legs to dance away when he needed and his wits to fight when he needed.
Round eleven arrived and as was expected, Cunningham looked to rally. He flurried with a fine array of body shots which sent Krzysztof to the ropes, yet he was unable to follow with his right. The Polish titleholder was clearly beginning to show signs of tiring out, much to the delight of his opponent who was ten years his senior.
Throughout the twelfth and final period, Steve knew full well that he’d need either a clear knockout or a fantastic finish to hope for a win. He’d been knocked down three times and was not the clear cut winner in the previous eleven rounds. He was loading up with his right, but may have been giving up too much. As a result, he walked right into a right hook which dropped him for the fourth time. He arose and went straight back at Glowacki in the remaining twenty seconds. All signs appeared to show that Krzysztof had done enough to hold onto his WBO crown. Ultimately, the judges would decide.
Tom Schreck scored the contest 116-108, Guido Cavalleri and Eric Marlinski each turned in scores of 115-109. Glowacki wins tonight by unanimous decision in an entertaining
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April 16, 2016