Former cruiserweight world champion Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham (27-6, 12 KOs) defeated previously unbeaten Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (20-1, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision on Friday night at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
Mansour came out aggressive, throwing hard but sometimes wild punches from the first bell. Both fighters suffered cuts in rounds two and three. Mansour knocked Cunningham down twice in the fifth round but the super game Cunningham survived the round and came back strong in the sixth round to bring the crowd to their feet. Mansour’s eyes were swollen and almost closed going into the ninth. His glove touched the canvas in round ten for the first knockdown of his career. It was 10 rounds of non stop action of a close fight that had the crowd on their feet and me on the edge of my seat. Mansour was very humble and gracious in his post fight interview. Scores were 97-90 and 95-92 twice. Where will Cunningham go from here? Can he compete with the young guns of the heavyweight division?
On the undercard, Middleweight Curtis “Showtime” Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs) scored a come-from-behind TKO in the tenth round over previously undefeated Tureano Johnson (14-1, 10 KOs) in a toe-to-toe non stop action fight where Johnson was able to force Stevens to the ropes for the majority of the fight and was getting the better of the exchanges, but both fighters had their moments. Johnson looked as though he was headed to a unanimous decision when Stevens hurt him in the tenth round with a left hook. Johnson appeared to be hurt but still alert because he still had his hands up, but the referee had seen enough and jumped in and waved it off with less than one minute remaining in the final round. Johnson was ahead on all three cards by scores of 87-84 and 89-82 twice. Johnson's camp is claiming robbery and is demanding an immediate rematch.Will Stevens give him one?