If Tyson Fury had not stunned the world by defeating Wladimir Klitschko last year, Krzysztof Glowacki would most certainly have captured honors for Upset of the Year. In most years, his defeat of Marco Huck would have qualified. As it was, the battle Glowacki waged with Huck in New Jersey last August was a top contender for Fight of the Year.
Glowacki was undefeated but almost completely unknown at the world-class level coming into his challenge for Huck’s WBO belt. Huck, meanwhile, was among the longest reigning champions in the sport. The only fight he had lost since 2007 had been against Alexander Povetkin, by majority decision, on a forray up to heavyweight.
Glowacki refused to be intimidated by his reputation, though. He started aggressively with Huck, winning the early rounds. But the veteran adjusted and appeared to be taking control of the fight, even knocking Glowacki to the canvas in Round 6. Still, the fight remained a slugfest throughout. In Round 11, Glowacki mounted a furious comeback, knocking Huck through the ropes and causing the referee to wave off the count.
I had expected the two to rematch by now. However, what seemed like a can’t miss fight has failed to materialize. Huck instead fought Ola Afolabi, his oft-times rival, last February, stopping him in Round 10, the most decisive outcome yet between the two.
Instead of Huck, Glowacki will make his first defense against Steve Cunningham on Saturday night in Brooklyn. While it will be hard for this fight to live up to the thrills of Glowacki’s battle last year with Huck, Cunningham is definitely a compelling opponent for him.
Cunningham was the last man to defeat Huck at cruiserweight, prior to Glowacki. He’s spent the past four years campaigning at heavyweight, where he’s been in some battles. In April 2013 he put current heavyweight champion Tyson Fury flat on is back in Round 2, before getting overwhelmed by the far larger man and stopped in Round 7. Cunningham handed the rugged Amir Mansour his first defeat in a war in April 2014 and was robbed against Vyacheslav Glazkov in March 2015.
Cunningham is aging for a top-level prizefighter, due to turn 40 in July. But he is an extremely well-conditioned athlete and is a product of the Philadelphia boxing scene, which makes him a pugilistic PhD. He’ll be a good test for a new champion looking to become a legitimate star.