Andrew Tabiti Decisions Steve Cunningham Over Ten
By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Andrew Tabiti clearly inspired the judges more than the group Saturday night.
The unbeaten Tabiti crushed previous cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham by consistent choice in their 10-round battle at T-Mobile Arena. Tabiti won their apparently focused battle 97-93 on the scorecards of judges Robert Hoyle and Tim Cheatham.
The third judge, Eric Cheek, scored each of the 10 rounds for Tabiti in the principal battle Showtime Pay-Per-View broadcast as a major aspect of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.- Conor McGregor undercard. Tabiti is advanced by Mayweather's organization.
Tabiti, a Chicago local situated in Las Vegas, enhanced to 15-0, held the NABF cruiserweight title and won the USBA cruiserweight title in what was a stage up in rivalry. The 41-year-old Cunningham dropped to 29-9-1.
Philadelphia's Cunningham unequivocally couldn't help contradicting the choice since he trusts Tabiti was excessively mindful and cannot, making it impossible to lock in.
"I don't think Andrew Tabiti is a title level warrior," Cunningham said. "I thought I won the battle. I didn't think I saw anything unique from him. He was speedy and sharp, so I would not like to simply jump in and commit an error. I took as much time as necessary, yet when I saw that he wasn't endeavoring to battle, I needed to push it somewhat more.
"I was in there attempting to battle. I figured we ought to have gone in there and worked for our cash. He would not like to give the fans the show they merited."
The 6-feet-3 Cunningham took the battle to Tabiti from the opening chime and seemed to utilize his size further bolstering his good fortune against a shorter contender. Cunningham's work rate backed off amid the second 50% of the battle, however, when the 6-feet-1 Tabiti turned out to be more exact with his poke and landed more punches by and large.
The 27-year-old Tabiti held fast more in the second 50% of the battle too. Prior in the battle, Cunningham was the attacker and Tabiti consistently moved far from him.
"I was simply punching him and ensuring I remained savvy," Tabiti said. "He's a veteran, so I needed to remain created. I needed to demonstrate that I could box. This was a stage up for me and I felt agreeable in there.
"He had a not too bad hit, yet he wasn't sufficiently occupied. I simply would not like to commit errors. In the event that you begin too quick against a veteran, you're at risk to get got by him. I just remained quiet in there. I needed it to seem as though I was a veteran. He didn't press the issue enough. When he did, I was attempting to get him."
Tabiti thumped out 12 of his initial 14 rivals, yet none were almost as expert or experienced as Cunningham, a previous two-time IBF cruiserweight contender and onetime heavyweight contender.
Before Saturday night, Cunningham had battled only once in the past 16 months since his consistent choice thrashing to then-WBO cruiserweight champion Krzysztof Glowacki in April 2016 at Barclays Center.