Looks like we just couldn’t end the 2012 year of boxing on a high note. Yesterday afternoon, Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham met in a rematch four years in the making. The bout had everything you’d want in a network TV bout to attract more fans — a contrast in styles, some late round drama and two highly skilled fighters. All of that was unfortunately mired by a decision that managed to slap Cunningham in the face twice.
AFTERNOON ROBBERIES SUCK JUST AS MUCH AS LATE NIGHT ROBBERIES: Let me clear from the jump — this fight was not close. Some people have tried to say this fight “could’ve gone either way” and that even the draw was acceptable. NO. Unless your definition of “effective aggression” is coming forward, eating jabs and missing or having the majority of your power punches blocked when trying to steal rounds in the last 10 seconds, then Adamek was not winning that many rounds. Sure, there wasn’t a lot in the way of clean punching or exchanges early on, but that’s when a trained judge is supposed to look at other things like ring generalship and defense, two criteria Cunningham far and away exceeded at. My final scorecard had Cunningham winning by a score of 116-112. The official judge scores were 115-113, 116-112 and 113-115 for Adamek. To make matters worse, one card was initially announced as 115-115 for a draw, leaving Cunningham visibly shocked. Then the real hammer came down about a minute later with the “correction” giving Cunningham a majority decision loss. Completely absurd.
Tor Hamer’s First and Final Chance: I wasn’t too familiar with heavyweight Tor Hamer, who got a chance to showcase himself in the opener. Funny thing is when he was trying to stare down his opponent Vyascheslav Glozkov, I put a comment on Twitter that he needed to work on it as I was not scared. Well, neither was Glazkov, who after feeling out Hamer’s power in the first completely humiliated Hamer and made him fold. Glazkov is a former Olympic bronze medalist and had a clear advantage in skill over Hamer, who repeatedly ran into left hook potshots and short right crosses. Glazkov dominated Hamer in the fourth, but was still outboxing Hamer over really putting a beating on him. However, the mental aspect of getting hit and knowing what was coming was too much for Hamer, who promptly quit on his stool. On the replay, you could hear him saying “I can’t do it anymore.”
It was mentioned on the broadcast that Hamer holds a degree in Urban Planning. Now would be the time for the 29 year old to put that degree to good use and find a new line of work. If he couldn’t handle the difficulties that Glazkov was starting to put on him, there’s no feasible way he can have a successful career as a boxer. The ring is the ultimate cold truth, and Hamer found out the Sweet Science is definitely not his calling.
There Was Some Good: The main event robbery was a bitter end, but overall NBC Sports did a good job with the show. The production wasn’t HBO or Showtime slick, but the presentation was very clear and the storylines cogently established for anyone who just happened to flip there. In addition, I liked how they put the fighter themselves in the ring to review their fight strategies Teddy Atlas style. There were complaints about there being no post-fight interviews and commentary, but the early evening news will always take precedent much like it does with other sports (ie. football) end.
What are your thoughts? Am I going overboard with the robbery claims against Steve Cunningham?