A vet and an ultra vet heavyweight tangled in the main event on SPIKE, from the Pru Center in NJ on Friday night.
Steve Cunningham is used to being undersized and was again, against an ex 175 ace, Antonio Tarver.
39 versus 46, and the pace wasn’t blazing. We saw USS with a volume edge and Tarver with a power edge and the judges had a final say: they saw it 115-113 for Cunningham, 115-114 for Tarver and 114-114, even. It was a split draw.
The stats, according to CompuBox: USS went 154-678 to 141-450 for Tarver.
No one pulled away and put their stamp on it, so I’m OK with a draw.
Steve Farhood had Tarver up by two points on his card.
Tarver (31-6 entering), from Florida, is 46 and lives in Tampa. Cunningham (28-7 entering; age 39) is a Jersey resident.
In the first, we saw USS looking leaner and Tarver looking a bit chubby and slower. The lefty Tarver, though, does have that guile on tap so we’d have to see if physique mattered. It was a feel out round. In the second, USS jabbed more and won it. Slow fight so far. In the third, Tarver looked to back USS up after the NJ boxer peppered him some. We went to the fourth…the jab worked for USS. He picked up his pace and had the older man working harder than he wanted to. Cunningham ate a hook and it might have buzzed him. A right behind the ear did it and then he got his front foot hooked up.
In the fifth, USS got staggered again. A left counter on the button was impressive. To round six..Tarver’s power was noted by USS and he moved more. His corner told him to finish his combos after the round. In round seven, and then eight, Tarver looked to land bombs. To the ninth…Tarver wanted to end it with a left. USS was wide awake defensively, though. He ate in the tenth, as Tarver pressed. He edged forward, knowing the end was near and he could expend more energy. Then Cunningham tried to steal the round with effort. In round 11, the action picked up. In round 12, both stayed smart and USS pushed more. A left by Tarver landed hard and clean did he steal the round? To the cards we went…