MONTREAL — It was the kind of fight that’s hard to score because neither man does much of anything to distinguish himself. Yet in the second HBO fight of Saturday, it was Vyacheslav Glazkov who defeated Steve Cunningham by unanimous decision.
It was not a good fight, that’s for sure, a bout where most fans’ reaction was that they didn’t care who won. Cunningham wasn’t a powerful cruiserweight; he has zero power at heavyweight. Yet he controlled the early action with his movement and his jab, flummoxing the lumbering, curiously cautious Glazkov.
Glazkov got more accurate in the second half of the fight, which is, really, all he needed to do. Cunningham can’t punch. If he isn’t hitting his man a lot more than he’s getting hit, he can’t win. It’s obvious whose punches are having more impact in there — the ones coming from the guy who’s not Cunningham.
And Cunningham, to his credit or to his detriment or both, just in different ways, has a lot of “fighter” in him. When he gets hit, he wants to hit back, and try to hit harder even though he can’t. So he did that, and, perhaps, he tired as the fight went on, and when he was getting clocked that often it became easier for the judges to go against him. It’s not like they needed much of an excuse. Backward-circling boxers rarely get the benefit of the doubt.
So this writer had it a draw. Some had it wide for Cunningham, some wide for Glazkov, and the judges had it 116-112, 115-113 and 116-112. It’s hard to imagine either of these fellows competing at a higher level when they competed so poorly against one another as fighters who are sort of in the bottom half of the division. It’s hard to imagine wanting to watch them compete against anyone, either. Montreal is a great fight town and was treated, in two undercard bouts, to two dreary affairs. Fingers crossed that the main event, Sergey Kovalev vs Jean Pascal, delivers.
Photo: Glazkov (right) connects with the head of Cunningham. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)