PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - April 06, 2016  
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Story & photos by John DiSanto


Former two-time cruiserweight world champion, Steve “USS” Cunningham, 28-7-1, 13 KOs, held an open media workout on Wednesday at the Rock Ministries Gym in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. The event was in advance of Cunningham’s upcoming fight with WBO world cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki, 25-0, 16 KOs, on Saturday, April 16th, at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY. A win by Cunningham in the 12-round title fight, would make the Philadelphian a champion for a third time.

“Winning that third title would be great,” Cunningham said. “It won’t be an ‘I told you so’, but it would be like, ‘look at that dude, hard work pays off’. It should make people go back and rehash my heavyweight run.”

Cunningham’s fight with Glowacki will be his first trip back to the 200-pound division after a three-year, eight-bout, campaign at heavyweight.

“It would put a big exclamation point on that part of my career,” Cunningham said. “Three times? A lot of people can’t do it once. So, I’m trying to do it a third time. It’s a blessing, no doubt.”

The fight will be televised live during primetime on NBC. It will also be Cunningham’s first appearance at the Big Apple’s newest boxing Mecca.

“Barclays is like a new era Madison Square Garden,” Cunningham said. “It’s kind of replaced that and makes it the big show. NBC, primetime, (It feels like) I’ve made it. This is big.”

Waiting for Cunningham next Saturday will be Krzysztof Glowacki, an undefeated champion making his first defense of the title. In his last outing, the Polish fighter stopped longtime champion Marco Huck in a thrilling war of attrition. Glowacki came off the floor and clawed his way to TKO victory in the 12th and final round.

“I can’t sleep on this young man,” Cunningham said. “I can’t, I won’t. His drive alone… He ain’t some guy who just happened on the title. He literally took it from him (Huck). So, we’re coming to take it from him. That’s what I’m here for. All respect to him. We’re warriors. That’s what we do. He’s saying the same about me, I’m saying the same about him. We’re going to have some fun on April 16th.” 

Cunningham’s chief trainer and strategist, Brother Naazim Richardson knows that Glowacki will be a tough test for his fighter.

“One thing you got to be aware of is that he (Cunningham) was the guy that used to go to people’s countries and take belts. So, you have to look at this guy (Glowacki) and see he’s going to try to do the same thing.” 

Cunningham’s return to cruiserweight also poses an unusual challenge.

“I said from the time he decided to go back down to cruiserweight that he wasn’t going to go down there thinking he a bully,” Richardson said. “I think the first battle is mental, to not get caught up in thinking I dropped the biggest guy in boxing (Tyson Fury), so these cruiserweights shouldn’t be a problem. He didn’t feed into that. We going to go down there and show these guys that we got skills. We ain’t going to go down there trying to be a bully. That ain’t our style, and I think he’s dealt with that. This whole camp he’s been very focused, worked just as hard, and he knows it’s not about just winning a fight. He’s won fights. It’s not even about just winning a belt. He’s won belts. This is about him making a statement now. He’s at that stage in his career where there is no way that Steve Cunningham should be in obscurity.” 

As usual, Cunningham and Richardson are on the same page.

“I want to make a statement,” Cunningham said. “I want to be special in the world of boxing. I want to look like the guys that I watch and admire – (Guillermo) Rigondeaux, Andre Ward. So, we work hard, hard, hard. This being the world title and on that stage, in Brooklyn at the Barclay’s Center, we pushed harder. We pushed extra. We’ve been planting seeds for a long time. We’re going to get a harvest. Me personally, I don’t believe anything is coincidental. I don’t take anything for granted. I keep the faith.” 




John DiSanto - Kensington - April 06, 2016