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  • The "USS" Cunningham takes down the Mansour "Juggernaut" by way of exciting UD 10

The "USS" Cunningham takes down the Mansour "Juggernaut" by way of exciting UD 10

Joseph Herron Updated
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In a brilliant style pairing put together by Hall of Fame matchmaker Russell Peltz, Steve "USS" Cunningham (27-6, 12 KOs) upset the previously undefeated Amir "Hardcore" Mansour (20-1, 15 KOs) via ten round unanimous decision last night at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The three judges at ringside scored the bout, 97-90, 95-92, and 95-92, all in favor of the winner...Steve Cunningham.

In a classic match-up that pitted the bull against the matador, the two fighters engaged in a riveting, hard-hitting affair, in which both men tasted the canvas.

To start the scheduled ten round contest, the 41 year old puncher took the fight directly to the former two-time Cruiserweight Champion and commenced to dropping bombs on the "USS" Cunningham.

Although Steve showed his world class athleticism by avoiding the majority of Mansour's relentless assault, both men did plenty of damage with Heavyweight shots to the body and head of their opponent.

In the dramatic fifth round, Mansour finally hurt the brave 14 year fight veteran with a hard left, right combination to the jaw of Cunningham that sent him crashing to the canvas at the 0:39 mark of the stanza.


Although the former IBF title holder was up at the count of eight, the incredibly hard punching southpaw was immediately on top of the visibly damaged fighter and dropped the Philly native once again with another left, right combination at the 0:11 mark.

Despite being badly hurt to close the fifth, veteran referee Steve Smoger did a masterful job of allowing the brave former champion to fight his way through adversity and comeback from a clear 10-7 round scored for Amir Mansour.

While the 41 year old Heavyweight attempted to close the show with a brutal attack to begin round six, Cunningham displayed his superb conditioning and excellent reflexes with a seemingly uncanny ability to survive and disrupt Mansour's relentless pursuit.

Not only did the Steve survive the assault, but the veteran boxer/puncher amazingly took over the fight. Throughout the remainder of the ten round affair, the popular Philly fighter boxed effectively while consistently countering the aggressive minded brawler. With lots of heart and determination, the former Cruiserweight Champion controlled the distance with his footwork and stiff jab, while battering the heavy footed puncher with plenty of hard right hands that completely closed the left eye of Mansour.

In the tenth and final round, the seemingly exhausted middle aged Heavyweight fighter finally went down for the first time in his career with a series of hard right hands from Cunningham that caused Amir to touch the canvas with his right glove. Although Mansour never left his feet, the third man in the ring correctly called the off balance canvas touch a legitimate knock-down.

The 10-8 round for the hometown favorite seemed to punctuate the brave and impressive performance by the former champion, Steve Cunningham.

After the fight, the determined Philly fighter was very emotional.

"With my God I can do anything," exclaimed Steve Cunningham. "Faith is all I have. I was alright. I've been down before, and I got up and won. He wasn't built for the 'USS' Cunningham. I still want to be heavyweight world champion. The 'USS' Cunningham always finds a way."

Despite suffering his first loss as a professional, Amir Mansour was a most gracious competitor after the fight.

"I can't complain. He was the better man and the tougher man tonight," stated the hard punching heavyweight fighter. "I got tired but he got tired too. I just kept stepping on the gas pedal because that's just the fighter in me. You've got to be smart in the ring if you want to be successful and tonight he was smarter than me."

Once again, promoter Kathy Duva showed a genuine interest in making a return bout for both combatants.

"Both men were winners tonight," stated the CEO of Main Events promotions. "Jolene Mizzone and Russell Peltz are the best matchmakers in the business, hands down. I hope HBO wants to see a rematch because both fighters deserve that kind of platform."


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