Vyacheslav Glazkov (19-0, 12 KOs), #2 ranked IBF heavyweight contender and Steve Cunningham (28-6, 13 KOs), current USBA Heavyweight champion. The two will square off on Saturday 14 March as the co-feature to light heavyweight championship fight between Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Vyacheslav Glazkov was very active in 2014, fighting three times; including a dominating victory over former titlist Tomasz Adamek. For the IBF North American Heavyweight title, and is looking forward to starting off 2015 with more of the same.
“It was a very busy year for me last year as a fighter and in my personal life. The most important fight from last year was the one against Tomasz Adamek,” said Glazkov. “It was a very big experience for me to learn something in that bout, After that, I went through the training process that was very disruptive in my personal life with the war in Ukraine,” he explained. “It was a good year for me. There was gaps between my bouts, but I was busy and was always training,” he added.
The situation in Ukraine was at one of its worst points when Glazkov was in preparation for Derric Rossey in August 2014.
“It was pretty hard in the beginning,” said Glazkov. “It was upsetting my concentration and interrupting my training. I lost my grandmother; she was killed in the streets during one of the bombings,” he added.
“Of course it was always distracting to talk with my family back there. Right now, I am 100 percent concentrated, and I am here, I am training, I am ready,” he asserted.
Glazkov has been rumored to be a potential opponent for Wladimir Klitschko or even Bryant Jennings down the road, but the fellow Ukrainian simply does not want the distraction of what could happen. He wants to focus on what lies ahead of him on 14 March.
“I can’t run in front of the wagon; I am a boxer. My career is in the hands of my manager and my promoter. I know I have to face Cunningham on March 14, and that is my priority right now,” he explained.
Steve Cunningham is looking to improve his winning streak from three wins to four. It has not been an easy road for the 38-year old Philly native.
Losing close and perhaps controversial decisions to Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and Tomasz Adamek (twice), Cunningham also lost two decisions to Yoan Pablo Hernandez.
In what was a close fight, an accidental head-butt ended the bout in the sixth; which gave Hernandez a technical decision victory. In the rematch, Hernandez won handily.
In March 2013, just before Cunningham’s recent winning streak, Cunningham was knocked out by Tyson Fury; a fight he was winning at the time of the KO.
Cunningham has been with head trainer Naazim Richardson for a number of years, but they have finally started to click; it has shown since Cunningham’s resurgence in 2013.
“I have been with Naazim for some years now, and he is such a mad scientist when it comes to figuring guys out, so I just let him do his job,” said Cunningham. “He is one of the best trainers in the world for a reason.”
“He looks at the fighter, and he tells me what we are going to do,” he added. “It is still like I am in the military taking orders. Whatever commander Naazim tells me to do, if he tells me to take that hill, I am going to take that hill. That’s the faith and the trust I have in my team,” he explained.
Even a fierce contender in Cunningham had to admit that Glazkov put on an amazing performance against Adamek.
“I thought he did a damn good job,” said Cunningham. “He showed heart; he dug deep. Adamek did come on heavy in those last two rounds to show he was the champion, but before that Glazkov bagged so many rounds that Adamek just couldn’t get the nod,” he explained.
Cunningham took two controversial losses against Tomasz Adamek while Vyacheslav Glazkov scored a convincing victory. A victory over his rival’s victor could add more fuel to the fire for Cunningham, who desperately wants to get those losses off his mind.
“I believe I won that fight every time I look at it,” said Cunningham. “We know there is politics in this business. Adamek had a huge fan base, and Steve Cunningham didn’t, At the end of that fight, I walked away very comfortable, and it seemed like a victory to me, There are things with Adamek I won’t do with Glazkov. Naazim comes up with the game plan,” he explained.
Legendary trainer Teddy Atlas tends to talk about how undefeated fighters are some of the most impuissant in the sport of boxing. He is correct; many do not know how to lose. This is a compelling matchup between a man that has been perfect his entire professional career and a man that has been down before, but didn’t drown. Cunningham has been in places that Glazkov simply has not yet and he has a trainer behind him that knows how to break guys down.
It will be interesting to see who stays afloat in Montreal on 14 March.