Saturday, 22 March 2014 14:56

Cunningham vs. Mansour: Do or die?

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Former two time Cruiserweight Champ Steve “USS” Cunningham (26-6, 12 KOs) will take on undefeated Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (20-0, 15 KOs) Friday night April 4th at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA.
The fighters will contest for the USBA heavyweight title and the bout will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network (in the U.S.) at 10 PM ET and 7 PM PT.

The 41 year old Mansour will be making the second defense of his title while the 37 year old Cunningham will be seeking his second straight victory and to re-establish himslef as a legitimate heavyweight following his April 2013 loss to top ten contender Tyson Fury.

Cunningham, who will be fighting in his hometown for the first time since March 2003, expressed how important this fight is for his career and his family.

"This isn't about a belt or about winning, this time I need this for my family. I need to make money. I have to get a new house for my daughter's condition."

"I am fighting for another pay day and to keep going,” Cunningham said.

Mansour who has had his career stalled due to an 8 1/2 year prison sentence from 2001 to 2010 and another 14 month prison stint in December of 2011, knows he’s fortunate to be in the situation he's in.

He also has fond memories of Cunningham who he sparred with not long after being released from prison.

“It is ironic for me to fight Steve Cunningham; I was flabbergasted when they told me. When I got home in 2010 Steve was the first person I saw. He was fighting a southpaw and needed a sparring partner."

"I was so happy that I performed well with a world champion after an eight and half year layoff and I was literally crying. This is just a great opportunity for me to take advantage of,” Mansour said.

The winner of this fight may be in line for a bigger fight later this year. For the loser, it could signal the end of the road, especially if it’s Cunningham.
Jason Leach

I was born in Queens NY, but currently reside in Hackensack NJ. Became a diehard boxing fan in the 1980’s watching Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson.

I’ve enjoyed watching and talking about sports for as long as I can remember. In late 2012 I began to pursue a sports writing career with the Harlem Times. Within a few months I was covering events such as the Big East Tournament and the Adrien Broner vs. Paulie Malignaggi fight at the Barclays Center.

Love boxing because of the Sweet Science, the history of great champions, and knowing at any moment a fight can be over with one punch.