Freddie Roach said it best when asked his opinion on the Tomasz Adamek-Steve Cunningham decision on Saturday afternoon. The legendary trainer and color commentator for the fight said: "that's boxing."
Unfortunately, that's all too true.
After outboxing Adamek for 12 rounds, Cunningham was robbed of what should have been a decision victory. What made matters even worse was that the scores were originally read as a draw.
I would have disagreed with that decision as well, but I was completely disgusted when Michael Buffer "corrected" himself by reading one judge had the fight scored 115-112 for Adamek, instead of a 115-115 draw, as had been originally announced.
Cunningham didn't blow Adamek out of the water in this fight, but it was clear he won. The scoring announcement team of B.J. Flores and Roach agreed.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweeted:
Steve Cunningham got robbed. His upset wife, Livvy, just said, "He works too hard for this." No one on press row scored it for TA— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) December 22, 2012
This was the rematch of one of 2008's best bouts, and it was nearly as exciting. Cunningham lost the first fight largely because he was dropped three times—despite outboxing Adamek for most of the fight.
The same thing happened on Saturday—minus the knockdowns—but the man they call USS still didn't get the nod from the judges.
Cunningham clearly fought the fight he needed to win against a much bigger man, and the judges simply didn't recognize it. His quickness and jab set the tone for the fight, and he accented his performance with a healthy diet of counter right hands.
I'm not sure what more he could have done to win. Adamek never hurt Cunningham, and the latter landed more frequently, while connecting on cleaner and harder punches.
The fact that this injustice took place on NBC's Fight Night series is bad for the sport. Boxing is attempting to make its way back into the mainstream with quality fights on network television.
Having a fighter that deserves to win robbed is no way to endear the sport to casual fans. Boxing just continues to bury itself.
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