By: William Holmes
You can’t say boxing is dead when it’s being broadcast two weeks in a row on network television. Last week, Golden Boy Promotions televised a successful card on CBS, and this week Main Events Promotions will be televising their own card on NBC.
You also can’t say the heavyweight division is dead when NBC has elected to broadcast two heavyweight bouts on their initial boxing telecast. Steve Cunningham will engage Tomasz Adamek in a rematch of their thrilling 2008 cruiserweight bout, while heavyweight prospects Tor Hamerand Vyacheslav Glazkov will fight in a battle for recognition.
Tor Hamer (19-1) vs. Vyacheslav Glazkov (13-0); Heavyweights
Tor Hamer is a native of New York City and is promoted by DiBella Promotions. He recently won the 2012 Prizefighter Tournament in England that featured heavyweights such as Maurice Harris, Kevin Johnson, Albert Sosnowski, Tom Little, Tom Dallas, Noureddine Meddoune, and Marcelo Luiz Nascimento. He defeated tournament favorite Kevin Johnson in the finals and that victory helped Tor become a legitimate prospect in the heavyweight division.
The Penn State graduate began boxing in 2008 and has 12 stoppages out of his 19 victories on his record. He stands at 6’2” and has been extremely active in 2012. This Saturday will mark the 7th time that Tor has stepped inside the ring as a professional. However, three of those fights occurred on the same night in the Prizefighter tournament.
Hamer is 29 years old and is in the midst of his prime. His lone loss was a split decision loss in 2009 against Kelvin Price, who was recently smoked by Deontay Wilder on Showtime. All of his opponents since 2010 have had winning records, and his most impressive victory to date was against Kevin Johnson. The same Kevin Johnson that was recently blown out by Tyson Fury in Belfast, Ireland.
His opponent will be the Ukranian prospect Vyacheslav Glazkov. Many consider Glazkov to have considerably more upside than Hamer. It’s hard to argue with that position considering the fact that Glazkov won the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic Games and the silver medal at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships. One of his victories as an amateur came against current unbeaten contender David Price.
Glazkov has stopped 9 of his 13 opponents. This will be the second time Glazkov has fought in the United States. His first appearance in the US was in 2010 in a 3rd round TKO over Mark “Oak Tree” Brown in Philadelphia.
The Ukranian has an impressive amateur background and high potential and this will be his first televised professional fight in the United States. He’s yet to face a well known opponent and Hamer represents his toughest opponent, record wise, to date. His two best victories so far have come against Konstantin Airich and Denis Bakhtov in Russia.
This should be a showcase fight for Glazkov and it will be a good indicator of whether or not he’s ready to be considered a legitimate contender in the heavyweight division. An unimpressive victory will likely send him back to Russia where he’ll struggle to make his name known amongst the North American boxing audience.
Glazkov should win on Saturday, but Hamer won’t make it easy for him.
Tomasz Adamek (47-2) vs. Steve Cunningham (25-4); Heavyweights
Adamek and Cunningham have fought previously in 2008 in a bout that many considered to be the fight of the year. Since then both fighters careers have taken different directions. Adamek has only lost to Vitali Klitschko since his encounter with Cunningham while Cunningham lost twice to Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
Adamek is a former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion. He has an extensive amateur career but has never competed in the Olympics. He’s known for having a rabid Polish fan base in the New York/New Jersey area and has regularly sold out the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. His success isn’t just limited to the cruiserweight and light heavyweight divisions. As a heavyweight he’s beaten the likes of Andrew Golota, Michael Grant, Chris Arreola, and Eddie Chambers. He has also beaten the man who upset Seth Mitchell, Johnathon Banks.
He lost his light heavyweight belt to Chad Dawson in 2007, but a knockdown scored by Dawson was actually the result of a trip and Adamek knocked Dawson down in the 10th round and was close to stopping him before time ran out.
Adamek has average power, as he has stopped 29 of his 47 opponents. However, only one of his last five fights was a TKO victory.
Steve Cunningham is a Philadelphia native who won the National Golden Gloves championship in 1998. He’s the former IBF Cruiserweight Champion and has stepped up to the heavyweight division after losing two bouts against Yoan Pablo Hernandez in Germany.
Cunningham has never been shy about traveling to his opponents backyard to take them on. He fought Krzystztof Wlodarczyk twice in Poland. He lost the first bout by a disputed split decision, but he won the second bout and the IBF Cruiserweight title in their rematch by a majority decision. Cunningham’s most impressive victory was against Marco Huck in Huck’s home country of Germany by TKO in the 12th round.
Cunningham isn’t known for his power, as only 12 of his 25 victories have come by way of KO or TKO. His last fight against Adamek was a split decision loss, despite the fact Cunningham was knocked down three times.
Both Cunningham and Adamek are 36 years old and have little time left to make a significant impact on the heavyweight division. Adamek has been considerably busier than Cunningham when they last fought, Cunningham has only fought six times since then while Adamek has fought twelve times.
Saturday will also only be Cunningham’s second bout in the heavyweight division. In his first bout as a heavyweight he only weighed 207lbs. Adamek has been campaigning as a heavyweight since 2009 and his body has adjusted to the heavier weight class.
Adamek will walk into the ring on Saturday knowing that he’ll have the size advantage and the experience advantage on Cunningham. He’ll also know that he knocked him down three times in their last bout.
All indicators point to an Adamek victory on Saturday night, but Cunningham will do his best to get his revenge.