By: William Holmes
For the second week in a row boxing was on network television as the NBC Sports Network Boxing series broadcasted “Bigger, Better, Stronger” on NBC. Main Events, Peltz Boxing, DiBella Entertainment, Ziggy Promotions, and Pushka Promotions all collaborated to put together today’s card.
The first bout of the night was between David Williams (6-6-1) and William Miranda (6-5-1) in the heavyweight division. Williams was clearly the more athletic fighter of the two, but Miranda showed grit inside the ring and continuously pressed forward behind his jab. Williams seemed hesitant to let his hands go until round three, which was by far his best round of the night, as Miranda’s face began to swell. It was a close fight, with neither fighter doing enough to win, and the end result of a draw was justified. The judges scored it 39-37 Miranda, 39-37 Williams, and 38-38.
The second bout of the night was between undefeated Naim Nelson (8-0) and Osnel Charles (9-4-1) in the lightweight division. Charles can often be seen at fights in Atlantic City calling out any fighter willing to take him on, and tonight’s matchup against Nelson was one to which many followers of the Philadelphia boxing scene were looking forward.
Charles, however, was unable to back up his talk with his work in the ring. Charles was way more active in the first round than Nelson, but once Nelson began to let his hands go in the second, he was clearly outpointing Charles. He landed the cleaner and harder punches, especially his left hook to the body and head. Nelson also showed nice, quick, combinations that were missing in some of his previous bouts. Nelson also landed three possible low blows in the fight, but he was not deducted any points. The final scores were 77-75, 78-74, and 78-74 for Naim Nelson.
The next bout of the night was between Jerome Rodriguez (1-0-1) and the debuting Edwardo Smith (0-0) in the light welterweight division. Rodriguez easily outclassed the inexperienced Smith and pummeled him from the first round till the end of the fight at 2:56 of the second round. Smith’s mouthpiece was knocked out of his mouth in the second round, and a hard Rodriguez uppercut followed by a blistering combination on Smith by the corner forced the referee to stop the fight.
The first bout of the televised card was a heavyweight matchup between the rising Ukranian Vyacheslav Glazkov (13-0) and Tor Hamer (19-1). Both Hamer and Glazkov looked to be in tremendous shape when they entered the ring. Michael Buffer was brought in to introduce the boxers on the televised portion of the card.
Round one started off slowly, with both fighters merely trying to feel each other out. Glazkov’s left hook began to land in round two and two-punch combinations were starting to connect in round three. Glazkov never really unleashed a flurry or combination, but the punches that he landed were hard and loud. A thudding left hook may have hurt Hamer’s eye because he quit on his stool before the start of the fifth round. Glazkov wins by TKO at the end of round four.
After a brief delay, Steve Cunningham (25-4) walked out first for his bout with Tomasz Adamek (47-2) in the heavyweight division. Half of the arena was filled with fans from Philadelphia who made the trip to root Cunningham on. However, Adamek also had a loud and boisterous group of Polish boxing fans in attendance.
Chants of “Adamek, Adamek” and “USA, USA” could be heard throughout the entire bout. Each round was progressively more exciting than the previous round. Steve Cunningham stuck and moved from the outside, while Adamek responded with wild flurries. Cunningham appeared to win a majority of the middle and early rounds with his double jab and lead right cross. Adamek clearly won the last two rounds as Cunningham appeared to tire and was hit by Adamek’s at time desperate attacks. However, Cunningham hurt Adamek more often than Adamek hurt Cunningham, landing crisper and stronger punches.
Many at ringside felt Cunningham did enough to win the fight, but there was some controversy at the end. The final scores were read 115-115, 115-113 for Cunningham, and 116-112 for Adamek. However, Michael Buffer quickly acknowledged there was a mistake in the scorecards and the 115-115 draw was supposed to be 115-112 for Tomasz Adamek.
It was a bad decision, but Adamek squeaked out the victory.