On April 16, 2016 I set off for a weekend trip to Brooklyn, New York City – the place where the hip-hop crowd paint murals of Biggie and the hipsters live in beautiful brown stones on extended tree-lined streets.
While a good portion of my time would be spent enjoying 5th Ave in the Park Slope section of the borough followed by a long Sunday morning run through Prospect Park which was hosting a Bernie Sanders rally that same day, the primary purpose of this trip was to cover boxing from the Barclays Center.
It was Saturday night, PBC on NBC, arguably the best TV series in boxing. A paid attendance of 7,628 turned out to the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. I had one of the best seats in the house as a credentialed member of the boxing media.
The majority of fan support was split between local contender Chris Algeri who was in against rising star Errol Spence Jr. in the main event while another heavy batch came to shout “Polska” in favor of IBF Cruiserweight champion Krzysztof “Head” Glowacki who was taking on longtime veteran Steve “USS” Cunningham in the co-feature.
Glowacki was making his first title defense while Cunningham chased a chance to become a three-time champion in the division. Click the link to read the full recap of the trip brought to you in part by AirBnB.
On April 6, 2016 – Cruiserweight contender Steve “USS” Cunningham held a media day at Rock Ministries in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. PK Sports was on hand to document the Q&A, workout session and general boxing discussion in regards to Cunningham’s April 16 date to challenge Poland based champion Krzysztof Glowacki for the IBF Cruiserweight title at the Barclay Center. The video includes spots with Naazim Richardson, Shar’ron Baker, Manny Foley and “Bad” Buddy Osborn
Press play – turn up the volume – blow it up full screen
As always – we take a different approach than what you typically see produced by the boxing media. This one has more of a documentary feel as opposed to the usual home video you will find posted on social media.
This was cut and produced by staff videographer Mateusz Krzesiczan. You can see more of his work at www.matphoto.com
If victorious, “USS” will become a three-time world champion and likely garner some Hall of Fame votes in the process. The contest will be broadcast live by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC.
Thanks to everyone who invited us and assisted in the creation of this video. A road trip to Brooklyn is on deck. My press pass awaits!
It is official – Philadelphia native Steve “USS” Cunningham (28-7-1, 13 ko’s) will return to prime-time TV for another crack at championship gold when he faces Krzysztof “Head” Glowacki (25-0, 16 ko’s) of Poland for the WBO Cruiserweight title. The bout will happen at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City on April 16, 2016. NBC will broadcast as part of the Premier Boxing Champions series.
It is a very interesting match-up that has fans on both sides fired up. Glowacki is a crude 29-year-old southpaw brawler who will be making the first defense of the title he won last summer. Cunningham, the versatile 39-year-old veteran, has a chance to become a three-time division champion.
Both have one significant common opponent in Marco Huck. Both fighters knocked Huck out late in fights that had a world title on the line. Cunningham did it overseas way back in 2007, Glowacki pulled it off in a 2015 Fight of the Year candidate.
This past weekend I was invited to watch a private viewing of “Creed” at the Riverview Plaza on Delaware Avenue courtesy during a cast and international media only event hosted by our friends at Warner Brothers.
As most know, Creed is the latest in the Rocky series – this time featuring Michael B. Jordan (aka Wallace from The Wire) who plays the son of Apollo Creed.
In the movie – the young Creed, who goes by the name of Adonis Johnson, leaves a well-to-do life in Los Angeles in hopes of following the footsteps of a father he never had a chance to meet.
Last night, Spike TV and Premier Boxing Champions came through with an evening of boxing that produced a Fight of the Year candidate in the opening bout and a touch of controversy in the main event held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
To start the show, Polish new comer Krzysztof Głowacki pulled off an epic come-from-behind win to take the belt from longtime Cruiserweight champ Marco Huck of Germany.
The only thing that this bomb fest lacked was grace and technique. What they lost in the style point department was more than made up for with display of intestinal fortitude, in particular when in the 6th round, Glowacki dipped into his inner Matthew Saad Muhammad by barely beating a 10 count, to regroup, revive and score a miraculous 11th round knockout victory.
The main event was in stark contrast of the opening bout. It was more of a chess match than riot, where two seasoned veterans positioned near the top of the Heavyweight ladder applied their craft in hopes of climbing that final rung to enter the division sweepstakes.
We saw Philadelphia’s Steve Cunningham apply quickness and athleticism to counter balance Antonio Tarver‘s strategy of patience and power over the course of a 12 round bout that was inevitably scored a draw. Cunningham was by far the more active fighter though Tarver flashed good defense and a sharp straight left that found home on many occasions when he used it.
There seems to be mixed feelings on the end result of a bout that was a close one. It seems like everyone is in agreement that this one was a snoozer.
What were your thoughts on this show and where do they all go from here?
Who said that boxing was a young man’s game? On August 14, 2015, longtime contenders Steve “USS” Cunningham (28-7, 13 KOs) and Antonio Tarver (31-6, 22 KOs) of Orlando will face off in a 12-round Heavyweight contest that could launch the winner in to the title conversation. Yes, both fighters have been around for a long time, but like the saying goes “age ain’t nothin’ but a number”. This is especially true in the Heavyweight division where eight of BoxRec’s top 20 Heavyweights are 35 or older and fourteen of the top 20 are at minimum 30 years old.
The resumes of the two fighters have been well documented over the years. Both have won World titles in smaller weight classes, both are signed to contracts with Al Haymon, both yearn for a shot at the divisions big daddy Wladimir Klitschko. Both had careers full of ups-and-downs, yet refuse to go out on someone elses terms.
Tonight on HBO, West Philly’s Steve Cunningham (28-6, 13 ko’s) takes on the Ring Magazines #7 rated heavyweight Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov (19-0-1, 12 ko’s) of Lugansk, Ukraine in a fight with IBF title implications. It’s a true pick ’em bout where you have two skilled fighters who are considered small for the division, relying more on smarts and activity rather than pure power. The winner is in line for a World title shot against the winner of the upcoming Wladimir Klitschko vs. Bryant Jennings fight in April.
Cunningham is a 2x Cruiserweight champion who has traveled the globe and fought on the cusp of the spotlight in the past. He took the road less traveled to earn this fight which represents his first shot on the “big” stage of HBO. USS has given plenty of game efforts fighting the industry big boys but he yet to record a signature win against a top 10 opponent. His best heavyweight effort to date is a decision win over Amir Mansour in the 2014 Philly Fight-of-the-Year.
Glaskov, a 2008 Bronze medal winner in the Beijing Olympic games, has been groomed for this moment since his early days. He has fought a list of steady opposition as he rose through the ranks which include three of Cunningham’s Philadelphia stablemates Mark “Oaktree” Brown, Garrett Wilson in a fight Wilson took on three days notice, and Malik Scott in a controversial draw. Glaskov’s best work came against Cunningham’s arch nemesis Tomas Adamek, winning a convincing decision over the pride of Poland in early 2014. Cunningham suffered two close, disputed losses at the hands of a younger Adamek. Czar started his career hot but many have been unpleased with recent performances. He will have to impress to stay on a national stage. Glaskov is promoted by Main Events and managed by Egis Klimas, the man ESPN’s Dan Rafael called 2014 Manager of the Year. His trainer Victor Petrochenko is one of the best in Russian history.
Training camp for Cunningham is said to have gone well despite out of the ring concerns surrounding his young daughter Kennedy’s recent heart transplant. If this brings any message – it is never underestimate the heart of a Cunningham. If push comes to shove, I’m certain father will respond just like his daughter did during her series of major surgeries. Check out this video produced by 6ABC detailing Kennedy’s progress. Cunningham is trained by recent PA Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Naazim Richardson and managed by his wife Livvy Cunningham.
Glaskov has faced turmoil of his own in recent years. He has admitted that the civil unrest in his native Ukraine has been a distraction during preparation in recent fights. His grandmother was killed in during a bombing in the streets. He went weeks without hearing from his parents. While he said all of the right things in the press conferences leading up to this bout, you have to wonder if this still affects his mentality as the situation in Eastern Europe has not improved.
This contest will take place live from Montreal, Quebec Canada – serving as the co-feature for Sergei Kovalev vs Jean Pascal’s Light Heavyweight title bout. Kathy Duva’s Main Events will serve was chief promoter.
Philly Cruiserweight Steve “USS” Cunningham (23-2, 11ko’s) is now a 2x IBF champion courtesy of a 5th round TKO victory over top challenger Troy “The Boss” Ross in Neubrandenburg, Germany. The contest was stopped just before the start of the 5th rounds on doctors orders after examining a cut over Ross’ left eye.
In a good action fight, Cunningham and Ross were waging a very closely contested battle. The momentum was beginning to shift to Ross as he scored a clean knockdown on USS with a straight left near the end of round 4. In true champion form, Cunningham rose to his feet and returned fire.
One of the first landed punches after beating the 10 count opened the laceration over Ross eye. This eventually became the punch to put a halt to the fight.
Team Ross is said to be protesting the loss, claiming a thumb to the eye, not a punch caused the cut which sent the native of Canada to the hospital after the contest.
Congrats to Team USS – who once again puts the W in world champion by travelling to a foreign land and coming with the gold. Their next goal will likely to be unification in the division.
Philly Cruiserweight Steve “USS” Cunningham (22-2, 11ko’s) finally gets his chance to reclaim what his rightfully his – the divisions IBF title. On June 5th Team Cunningham makes the trek overseas to compete in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany to make this all become a reality. Standing in his way is Canadian Troy Ross (23-1, 16ko’s) – winner of season 4 of the contender series. The two men are the highest rated fighters in the IBF rankings which allows them to compete for this vacant title.
Cunningham, who has been on mission to reclaim this belt since 2009, recently signed with Sauerland Events – a big time German promoter with deep ties in the Cruiserweight division. Significant fights will be easy to make and as the only American on the roster, he presents a unique marketing opportunity to help promote the division.
Ross has won 11 straight, though none of the fighters in his win column come close to the credentials of a USS Cunningham. With that said he is considered a strong fighter who will not back down from this challenge.
Good match up as the styles promise to make a competitive fight. Check in next Saturday to see if an online stream is available….