Steve Cunningham vs Natu Visinia Preview Oct. 18
Steve Cunningham of Philadelphia returns to the ring in his hometown on Saturday, October 18 when he takes on fellow American Natu Visinia in a 10-round heavyweight bout. Cunningham’s last contest was an exciting tilt with Amir Mansour back in April. Cunningham had to pick himself off the deck twice and managed to drop Mansour in the last round to pound out a unanimous 10-round decision win and capture the USBA Heavyweight Crown. The Cunningham vs Visinia bout can be seen live in the U.S. on the NBC Sports Network and will be broadcast from Philadelphia’s 2300 Arena.
The 38-year-old Cunningham, who’s a former world cruiserweight champion, enters the proceedings with a record of 27-6 along with 12 Kos. The 30-year-old undefeated Visinia, who hails from Lakewood, California, will climb through the ropes with a perfect mark of 10-0 with eight Kos to his name. This will definitely be a step up in class for Visinia since his toughest opponents so far have been the likes of Jon Bolden and Phil Brown. In addition, Visinia has never been in a fight scheduled for more than six rounds and he’s faced just two boxers who had winning records, and these were Kourtney Boden at 3-1 and Brown at 6-1.
While Cunningham may be in the twilight of his career, he’s still fighting to earn money to take care of his daughter’s medical needs. His young girl Kennedy needs a heart transplant due to a serious ailment. It’s an unfortunate situation, but you can bet he’s going to be highly motivated for this and all future bouts. There’s no doubt that Visinia has some power in his fists and regardless of his previous opponents, he can do damage if he connects on the button. Cunningham is aware of this and isn’t taking his opponent lightly.
Visinia is a natural heavyweight and a former college football player who played left guard at Southern Illinois University. He’s sparred with the likes of Lamon Brewster, Evander Holyfield and Wladimir Klitschko. Cunningham’s trainer Nazim Richardson told the media, “Visinia is a big kid. He’s a dangerous kid, but Steve is a real veteran. He’s seen a lot. He responds well in the ring. He has courage and talent and at the end of the fight, you will see how he neutralizes the big strong guy, and that is what is important.”
Cunningham has plenty of experience against boxers such as Tomasz Adamek, Tyson Fury, Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Troy Ross, Wayne Braithwaite, Guillermo Jones, Marco Huck, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk and Demetrius Jenkins. He hasn’t won them all, but has always been competitive in all of his fights. He’s lost three split decisions and has been stopped just once, by Fury, when he was hit with what looked to be an illegal blow. Cunningham stands 6-foot-3 with an 82-inch reach while Visinia is 6-foot-2 with an undocumented reach.
Logic would tell us that Cunningham should take this fight with relative ease due to his skill, heart, determination, motivation and experience. However, boxing’s far from a logical sport at the best of times. Visinia, like anybody who steps into the ring, has a puncher’s chance. We don’t know how good he is until he meets a better class of opposition. But since he’s yet to prove himself, I think Cunningham will win the fight via decision with a late stoppage being a possibility too.
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