Steve Cunningham vs Amir Mansour preview April 4
Unbeaten heavyweight Amir Mansour takes on former two-time cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham in a 10-round heavyweight tilt at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Friday, April 4. The USBA Heavyweight Title bout will be broadcast across America on the NBC Sports Network at 10 p.m. ET. Mansour, the current champion, enters the bout with a perfect record of 20-0 with 15 Kos while Cunningham has a mark of 26-6 with 12 Kos to his name.
Cunningham will be fighting in front of his hometown fans for the first time in 11 years. Mansour is also known to the Philly boxing fans as he hails from Wilmington, Delaware and works out at the Joe Hand Gym in the City of Brotherly Love. The 37-year-old Cunningham was successful as a cruiserweight with two world titles to his name, but things have been a bit more difficult for him in the heavyweight division going 2-2 so far.
He’s lost recent fights to Tomasz Adamek of Poland and England’s Tyson Fury, but won his last bout by an eight-round unanimous decision against Manuel Quezada back in December. He hasn’t fought in Philadelphia since beating Demetrius Jenkins by an eight-round decision back in March of 2003 at the old Philadelphia Spectrum. Cunningham said he learned to box in the navy and the hometown fans didn’t really know who he was a decade ago, but he’s now developed a fan base in Philadelphia.
Mansour is actually four years older than Cunningham as he’s now 41. His last bout was a seventh-round stoppage against Kelvin Price in December. He turned pro back in 1997 and has knocked out 75 per cent of his opponents. He was put of boxing for nine years between 2001 and 2010 due to a stint in prison for drug possession and is trying to make up for lost time. He said he won the USBA title when he was sick and dehydrated and isn’t about to lose it to Cunningham.
He stated, “I really hurt myself winning this title and I am prepared to defend it. I am not willing to let anyone take it from me. This is my time. I am prepared to die before I lose in this ring. That is my mentality. Before I lose take me out on a stretcher.”
This will be a step up in class for the southpaw Mansour as he’s never met anybody of Cunningham’s level as of yet. His specialty appears to be knockouts, but Cunningham has proven over the years that he has a pretty solid chin to go along with his slick boxing skills. He’s been pretty active lately as he fought four times in 2013 and is on quite a roll.
Mansour said he has a lot of respect for Cunningham’s skills and he’s trained as hard as possible to prepare himself for the bout. He stands 6-foot-1 and generally weighs in about 230 lbs. Cunningham has a couple of inches on him in height at 6-foot-3, but usually comes in lighter than his opponent at 210 lbs.
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Both boxers should be highly motivated for this bout. It features the puncher Mansour against the boxer Cunningham and should be an intriguing matchup. It’s usually hard to outbox Cunningham, but he can be stopped if he’s caught in the chin with a perfect shot. The chances are this fight will go the distance though and Cunningham’s experience should see him take the title by the way of decision at the end of 10 rounds.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights with a Mansour win being listed at +105 and a Cunningham victory at -135. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the bouts.
Amir Mansour betting • Steve Cunningham betting