PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - April 14, 2016  
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Story & photos by John DiSanto
Artwork by Steve Cunningham - USS Comics


For several years now, when he’s not putting on boxing gloves, Steve “USS” Cunningham, 28-7-1, 13 KOs, has been picking up pen and ink to work on an original comic book that features the two-time cruiserweight champion as a super hero.

“I’m a big comic book fan,” Cunningham said. “I was originally slated to go to art college, but that didn’t work out because I went into the Navy. But I kept drawing.”

The pen is down for the moment because Cunningham is closing in on his WBO world cruiserweight championship fight against Krzysztof Glowacki, 25-0, 16 KOs. The 12-round nationally televised bout (NBC) is slated for Saturday, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. A win by Cunningham makes him a three-time world champion and puts him right back into the mix in the 200-pound division that he left in 2012 to pursue a heavyweight campaign.

Once the fight is over, hopefully after some celebrating, Cunningham will be back at it, literally at the drawing board.

“It’s been my little project for a long time,” Cunningham said. “I came up with the idea of turning myself into a super hero and came up with these villains.”

A world class fighter who regularly battles tough guys in the ring doesn’t have to look very far to find inspiration for comic book bad guys.

“I took each villain and put in some characteristics from the guys I fought,” Cunningham said.

A glance at the artwork, reveals comic book heavies who resemble former opponents like Tomasz Adamek, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, and others.

“The real cool part is that I’m drawing it,” Cunningham said. “The fighter is drawing it, and I’m using actual fight photos from my fights. So, the action scenes are going to be from some of my fights. You’ll be able to look at the comic and then Google the pic and see it’s from (a particular) fight.”

The project started in 2009, after Cunningham’s fight with Wayne Braithwaite. While sitting around Chris Byrd’s Las Vegas home, Cunningham, between his two reigns as cruiserweight champion, brainstormed an idea to use his artistic talent to create “USS Comics”.

That idea, which he’s nurtured for seven years now, is about to generate Cunningham’s first digital publication.

“Hopefully by the beginning of the summer we’ll have the website rolling,” Cunningham said. “I want to do a digital comic book first. Then we’re going to get it into a book form.”

Cunningham’s imaginary heroes and villains will have to sit idle for a few more days, while his real-life attempt at boxing heroics takes center stage at the Barclays Center, Saturday night. However once the fight is over, Cunningham will again immerse himself in the world of USS Comics. We’ll have to wait and see if Glowacki punches his way into the storyline.

“I’m just having fun,” Cunningham said.




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - April 14, 2016