By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photos: Mike Gladysz/Team Adamek
“When we got this deal with NBC, about year ago, we knew that we will have to be on the network in the end of this year and from that day, it was obvious that it is really only one person we should be targeting for this day. Tomasz Adamek has never ever let his fans down. He has never, ever put an performance he should not be very proud of. He will finally get the kind of platform in the U.S. he always deserved. I believe more people will see Steve and Tomasz fight on December 22 then probably ever watched either one of them in United States. I cannot even express how happy I am that this is the fight we are bringing to NBC and all the fans out there,” said Kathy Duva, “Main Events” CEO, in her opening statement on Tuesday at the first press conference at Club “Wisła” in Garfield, NJ, to announce the Tomasz Adamek (47-2, 29 KOs) vs. Steve Cunningham (25-4, 12 KOs) showdown on December 22 at the in “Sands Casino-Resort” in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The main event will be broadcast live on NBC network TV beginning at 4PM ET.
Daryl Peoples, IBF president: The IBF is excited to be part of this event. The first time they fought it was 2008, the fight ended in the split decision. It was a great fight, probably one of the best fights of the year. Now we had an opportunity to see Steve and Tomasz develop as fighters, both were IBF champions. These guys are always prepared, they have great styles for each other and this will be a perfect fight for network television and to bring network television back to great boxing. We are expecting big things from both of these guys and I will certainly be there.
Naseem Richardson, Cunningham head trainer: This is an tremendous fight. Tomasz Adamek is one of the best guys in the last couple of years in this sport; he is always ready, he never embarrasses himself. He’s a great ambassador for the sport. We want to follow along this tradition – Steve Cunningham is one of the toughest spirited guys I’ve ever seen and it’s a pleasure to work with him. We are very confident and plan to put on an outstanding show in Bethlehem.
Steve Cunningham: I would like to thank NBC, Main Events and the IBF. I want to thank IBF especially, because just like Kathy Duva said, this is one of the best sanctioning bodies in the sport. They stick to their rules and I can attest to that first hand, with all my trips to Europe. Thank you guys for being part of this fight. I want to thank Team Adamek, he’s a great fighter and I really respect him. Before the last fight, I can truthfully say I underestimated him. We went to knock him out and you saw what happened – just fireworks, but I ended up being knocked down three times. We continued to fight because this is the person who I am. I remember growing up, watching fights on NBC and ABC, and now to be able to be in one of the first fights in over 20 years on regular network is an unbelievable honor.
Tomasz Adamek: I’m sure that after 2008 Steve was angry because I took his belt and he was waiting four years for a rematch. The IBF gave him a chance to fight me again – it should be an interesting fight for my fans. Everybody knows me, they know me as a warrior. I’m four years older now, but still the same warrior. Watch me live in the casino or watch me on NBC. What I can say to Steve? Good luck and train hard, see you December 22.
The card is presented by Main Events and Ziggy Promotions in association with Peltz Boxing.