Close Heavyweight Fight Between Tarver and Cunningham Ends a Draw
Steve Cunningham and Antonio Tarver fought to see which of the two of them would have some sort of future in the heavyweight division. One guy looked better than the other, but neither came out the winner as Cunningham and Tarver fought to a draw.
Each is an aging former titleholder from a lighter division. Cunningham was at cruiserweight before joining the heavyweight ranks, and the 39-year-old still appears to be a physical specimen, toned at just a handful of pounds heavier than when he was competing in the 200-pound division. He hasn’t had great success since moving up. He’s lost three times, though twice he’s felt as if he were robbed on the cards. He’s also been prone to getting knocked down.
Tarver is 46, nearly 47, and a decade removed from when he had knocked out Roy Jones Jr. and established himself as the best at light heavyweight. He hadn’t fought often over the years, and with close to 40 additional pounds on his once-175-pound frame he more closely resembled a “dadbod” than a bodybuilder.
Despite that appearance, Tarver still had the ability to block and slip shots and to land hard, well-timed counters. That combination of defense and offense kept the younger, fitter Cunningham from trying to steamroll over him. Cunningham was more active, and his volume of punches helped win enough rounds to keep the fight close. One judge had Tarver winning 115-113, or seven rounds to five. Another judge had Cunningham ahead 115-113. The third judge had it 114-114, rendering the verdict without a victor.
Tarver did surprisingly well for someone his age. It still wasn’t enough to earn him the fight he wants with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko or even against titleholder Deontay Wilder. Less deserving fighters have received shots, however. Cunningham has even less of a case. He didn’t lose, but he couldn’t beat an out-of-shape 46-year-old man either.
Glowacki Comes From Behind to Shock Huck With Knockout
Marco Huck was minutes away from beating Krzysztof Glowacki, a victory that would’ve given him the record as the cruiserweight with the most successful world title defenses. But a reign that began back in August 2009 ended six years later with Glowacki scoring a surprising knockout in the 11th round.
Glowacki started off the fight well, dodging Huck’s right hand and establishing that he would not be intimidated despite the fact that he had never before been in against someone with Huck’s level of accomplishment. Huck kept coming, hoping his pressure and subtle adjustments would get Glowacki to crack.
That’s what happened in the sixth, when Huck sent out two jabs and then followed with a left hook that hit Glowacki in the side of the head and put him on the canvas. Glowacki got up, held his ground and traded away. He survived the round but was less elusive. Huck was hitting him more often. And even though that was the first time Glowacki had ever been knocked down, it meant that Glowacki could be hurt.
Fighters and their teams can only hazard a guess as to how the ringside judges are seeing the action. So Glowacki didn’t know Huck who ahead on the scorecards with two rounds to go and that he needed to take both of those rounds and score at least two knockdowns in order to win. Glowacki got both of those knockdowns within a single round. And the result of the second knockdown meant there was no need to go to the 12th.
The end began when Huck made a silly mistake, throwing two punches and then pulling straight back with his chin in the air and his hands at his chest. Glowacki retaliated with a left hook on that exposed chin and followed with a right hand right on the nose. Huck went down, also his first time ever on the mat. Huck got up at the count of eight but was unsteady. Glowacki closed the show with a barrage of punches, the last shots leaving Huck falling back into the ropes. The referee had seen enough and waved the fight off.
It was a huge win for Glowacki, who was fighting for his first time outside of his home country of Poland, though the win came in front of a loud crowd of Polish-American boxing fans in Newark, New Jersey. The arena had once been a second home to another Polish cruiserweight hero, Tomasz Adamek. Glowacki presumably would be welcome back there, but his first defense could come instead in his home country.
Huck may seek a rematch, or he may leave the 200-pound division behind in hopes of a campaign at heavyweight. He’d gone up there once before, losing a controversial decision to Alexander Povetkin back in 2012. He’d been talking about returning. That may still be the plan, though it won’t be on the terms he’d have preferred.