Boxing, as a televised event has in recent times been a predominantly evening affair, with promotional giants such as ‘Top Rank’ and ‘Golden Boy’ staging live cards and Championship bouts in night time PPV slots.
Now on the 22nd of December, Network NBC TV in association with Main Event Promotions will show an afternoon festive boxing fight card with a very interesting main event. Afternoon Boxing is truly old school broadcasting in every sense of the word. Five decades have passed since NBC last aired a live afternoon boxing event. In fact the Networks haven’t shown a live card in almost a decade.
The event will be held at The Sands Casino Resort in ‘Bethlehem’ Pennsylvania, a nice touch given the time of year. The Main Event will be a heavyweight bout between 2 former cruiserweight champions, Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham. Both men who at one stage in their respective careers were dominant forces in the cruiserweight ranks have now moved up in weight.
These 2 men are no strangers to each other either and have met before back in 2008 in a cruiserweight IBF championship bout which was a ‘fight of the year’ contender. That night Adamek took the decision on points after a tremendous battle lasting 12 brutal rounds which saw Cunningham hit the canvas on 3 separate occasions.
This bout has a touch of extra added spice after it was announced that the winner of the Main Event will face No 1 contender Kubrat Pulev for the eventual right to challenge IBF Champion Wladimir Klitschko.
So NBC and Main Event Promotions have set up a ‘No1 Contender’ elimination bout so to speak with Adamek taking on Cunningham at heavyweight.
The bout itself almost never happened. The original contest was meant to be between Adamek and Odlanier Solis, the Cuban heavyweight powerhouse. However Solis had to withdraw from the bout citing legal problems. Solis himself is no stranger to high profile withdrawals and the occasional ‘in ring’ moment of controversy. His bout against Wladimir’s brother Vitali, ended in the 1st round with Solis unable to continue due to a knee injury sustained during a knock down.
So with Solis withdrawing, the stage was set as Cunningham was brought in (He is now a Main Event Fighter) to face Adamek for the 2nd time in a rivalry that was born 4 years ago in an absolute thriller.
Although the participants are the same, the dynamics of this contest could be slightly different with the 2 men now Heavyweight operators.
Both are coming off of wins at their new weights; Adamek currently the North American Heavyweight Champion after his unanimous points win over ‘Fast’ Eddie Chambers. Cunningham gaining momentum after his points wins over Jason Gavern.
The date, stage, and card have been set for Afternoon Boxing to return, courtesy of NBC and Main Events Promotions to our screens with the 2 former cruiserweight kings ready to do battle in the hunt for a shot at heavyweight glory.