|PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - October 18, 2015
The Briscoe Awards again honored the best of the Philadelphia boxing scene on Sunday, but this year during the ceremony, some major breaking news was announced by heavyweight contender Steve “USS” Cunningham, a former two-time cruiserweight champion.
“Can I have your attention?” Cunningham asked the crowd gathered at Xfinity Live! in South Philadelphia. “This is some breaking news right here. We’ve talked with the team and we made a decision. We’re going to go back down to cruiserweight and become a three-time world champion at cruiserweight. My next fight, in January, is going to be at cruiserweight.”
Cunningham cited his frustration at heavyweight, where he’s been on the wrong end of critical controversial decisions which have stalled his ability to secure a title fight. Cunningham most recently settled for a questionable draw against Antonio Tarver, and lost disputed verdicts against Vyacheslav Glazkov and Tomasz Adamek prior to that.
“These judges are not considering me a heavyweight,” Cunningham said. “They are not understanding what they are seeing in the ring, with me being 204 (pounds) fighting guys 230 (or more). I’m advised by Al Haymon and we’ve made the decision.”
Cunningham received two Briscoe Awards Sunday. He, along with Amir Mansour, were part of the “2014 Philly Fight of the Year” and Steve was also recognized for the “Performance of the Year” for the same fight. Since its inception eight years ago, Cunningham has won a record total of five Briscoe Awards.
Amir Mansour also took home a second award, “Knockout of the Year”, for his KO of Fred Kassi.
Bryant Jennings, who became the number one heavyweight contender last year, was named the “2014 Philly Fighter of the Year” at the annual event.
The heavyweight domination of the this year’s Briscoe Awards continued with Joey Dawejko grabbing the award as the “Breakout Fighter of 2014”, and Olympic hopeful Darmani Rock taking home the “Amateur of the Year” award.
Other winners included: welterweight Ray Robinson (Prospect of the Year), junior welterweight Milton Santiago (Rookie of the Year), super middleweight Taneal Goyco (Upset of the Year), and amateur Jaron Ennis (Everett Brothers Award). Steve Cunningham’s daughter, Kennedy Cunningham was also recognized with a special honorary Briscoe Award for her bravery and inspiration during a 2014 heart-transplant surgery.
All the winners, as well as numerous current and former boxers, fans, trainers, media, promoters, and other boxing people were on hand to celebrate the Philly fight scene.
The Briscoe Awards are presented by PhillyBoxingHistory.com and are named for Philly ring legend Bennie Briscoe, whose likeness graces all of the awards given out.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Fighter of the Year – Bryant Jennings
Additional event sponsors included Xfinity Live!, Peltz Boxing, Banner Promotions, Main Events and the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.