Tomasz Adamek handed controversial points win over Steve Cunningham
Tomasz Adamek remains on course for another world title shot after a controversial points win over Steve Cunningham.
Last Updated: 23/12/12 1:12pm
Adamek claimed a split decision win in their first fight at cruiserweight in 2008 and he again got the nod over Cunningham, despite being outworked by the American at the Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Pennsylvania.
Cunningham outlanded Adamek in total punches, 209-169, but he only received one score of 115-113 in his favour, while the two other judges scored it 115-112, 116-112 for Adamek, who edges closer to a shot at IBF, WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko.
The Philadelphia man worked behind his crisp jab from the start and easily slipped away from Adamek's dangerous right hand in the early rounds.
Adamek appeared to be pacing himself, exploding to life in the latter stages of the rounds, but Cunningham stuck to his patient game-plan and even wobbled his foe with a crisp right in the sixth.
There was more urgency from Adamek in the last quarter as he finally got through with his right hand in the eighth, while Cunningham soaked up more big shots in the closing rounds before he grimly held off a big assault in the 12th.
Ring announcer Michael Buffer incorrectly announced the fight as a draw, but Cunningham's frustrations worsened when Adamek was confirmed the winner shortly afterwards.
The baffled loser said: "I really don't know what more I can do. What can I say? What can I do? Real men cry, real men shed tears.
"You can't knock everyone out. We did our thing in the ring. It saddens me. I can't be getting cheated like this. It's sad, man, it's sad. It's nonsense. What needs to be done in boxing for this not to happen again? This isn't a game."
But Adamek felt he was a worthy winner and accused Cunningham of employing negative tactics throughout the fight.
"That was like sparring. Not very many punches were thrown. I feel like I can go back into the ring and fight again," said Adamek, who was halted by WBC king Vitali Klitschko last year.
"The fight was close, my trainer told me I had to go after him after the eighth round, and I felt he ran against me.
"It was part of the plan to come on late in the last 20 seconds of each round. In a few rounds, I tried to attack him, and he would run. He ran. I fought. It's why I won."