Another close call for Tomasz
Tomasz Adamek got the benefit of another split decision when he beat Steve Cunningham in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Saturday night.
Two judges handed in scores of 116-112 and 115-113 in favour of Adamek and the third had it 115-113 for Cunningham.
The 36-year-old heavyweights produced a tense rematch that ended in the same way as their previous encounter.
Just over four years ago, on December 11, 2008, Adamek took the IBF cruiserweight belt from the Philadelphian. He knocked Cunningham down three times but came away with no more than a split decision.
Adamek, from Poland, is now likely to fight Kubrat Pulev, the European champion, for the right to challenge Wladimir Klitschko.
It has been reported, however, that the Ukrainian will probably be compelled to defend his the WBA “super” title against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin before the end of February.
There was confusion after the fight when the result was announced as a draw, but it was soon changed to a narrow win for Adamek whose record improved to 48-2, including 29 knockouts.
Cunningham’s dropped to stands at 25-5, with 12 knockouts.
Adamek won the WBC light-heavyweight title in May 2005 when he defeated Paul Briggs on a majority decision.
He made two defences before losing the belt on a controversial decision to Chad Dawson. He then moved into the cruiserweight division and beat Cunningham for the IBF title.
After defences against Jonathon Banks and Bobby Gunn, he moved up to heavyweight. He challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC belt in September last year but suffered the second defeat of his career.
The spectators in Bethlehem also saw Vyacheslav Glazkov beat Tor Hamer, who failed to come out for the fifth round of another heavyweight fight. Glazkov is a former Olympic Games medallist.
In another heavyweight bout, Alexander Dimitrenko improved to 33-2, with 21 knockouts, when he beat Samir Kurtagic on points over eight rounds in a tournament in the Czech Republic, despite being knocked down in the last round.