Philadelphia, PA: Steve “USS” Cunningham (26-6-0, 12 KOs) has been boxing professionally for almost 14 years and has 32 professional fights under his belt, his opponent USBA Heavyweight Champion Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (20-0-0, 15 KOs) has much less professional experience but honed his boxing skills while serving time in a federal corrections facility and has “Hardcore” knockout power. When these two hometown warriors collide at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA on Friday, April 4 on NBCSN Fight Night the question on everyone’s mind will be whether or not Cunningham’s experience can overcome Mansour’s power? The scouting report for this heavyweight match-up is below:
Steve “USS” Cunningham
Amir “Hardcore” Mansour
26-6-0, 12 KOs
20-0-0, 15 KOs
Cunningham is a crafty former world cruiserweight champion with more experience than his older opponent. He is taller with longer reach too.
Mansour is a big, big puncher. The southpaw outweighs Cunningham by approximately 25 pounds.
Steve is not known as a knock out puncher. He sometimes tires in final rounds of 12-round bouts.
Amir lacks experience in big fights. Also he tends to brawl. While he outweighs Cunningham, he is the shorter man of the two men at 6’1″
Cunningham as the two-time cruiserweight world champion clearly has the edge here.
Mansour has scored most of his wins via early KO. He is taking a big step up with this bout against a former world champion – this will be the biggest fight of his career.
Although Steve is not generally known for his power, at heavyweight, he knocked down Tyson Fury. He said, “People know me as a superb boxer. I can get gritty and grimy with him; if need to be I will.”
The power edge goes to Mansour, who has a 75% (15 of 20) knockout-to-win ratio. Mansour said, “They don’t call me Hardcore for nothing. April 4th I got to do what I got to do. This is my time to shine. I am prepared for war. We are going to get it on.”
Steve is the smaller fighter so with that speed comes. He is the better boxer and has faster hands.
Mansour does not have much speed, but can double that jab and Steve may not see that left coming from the bigger southpaw.
Cunningham has gone 12 rounds nine times in his career.
The edge here has to go to Cunningham because Mansour has only gone 12 rounds once in his career.
Steve is a boxer that will mix it up when he wants to. He does not waste many punches.
Mansour’s accuracy is his one punch knockout power, if he connects, his opponent is going down.
Steve is a boxer so he is more likely to slip more punches.
Mansour’s only defense is his power.
Cunningham was only stopped once in his career by Tyson Fury, who did it with an illegal punch.
Mansour has never been down in his career so his chin is still in question.
Steve is a boxer/puncher.
Mansour is a southpaw/big puncher.
50/50 – Steve is a Philadelphia native fighting in front of his home crowd.
50/50 – Amir is Philadelphia trained and a Delaware native so Philadelphia is his adoptive home crowd. However, Brother Naazim Richardson, Cunningham’s trainer said, “Fighting here in Philly is an advantage for Mansour. His supporters are based in Philly. He’s got Philly history behind him.”
This is an interesting match-up because Cunningham is an experienced boxer and Mansour has less experience but he is a really big puncher.
About this match-up Cunningham said, “This time I am going to step it up a lot. I am supposed to be here. If I can stop him I will. Opposition brings out the best in me. With Quezada they said I broke his rib. It is a skill level thing. Mansour is hungry, driven, has got a good team and that will bring out the best in him. But this will be the best Steve Cunningham the world has ever seen.” Mansour does not seem to be intimidated by Cunningham’s experience. He said, “I know that I can make the adjustments that I need to make. There is a whole bag of tricks that I have up my sleeve.”
Hall of Fame matchmaker and Philadelphia boxing legend J Russell Peltz said, “It’s the best all-Philly fight in years. Two careers are on the line in this one. The winner becomes a player in the heavyweight sweepstakes. Cunningham has to prove he’s still viable as a heavyweight and Mansour must prove he can hang with the big boys.”
Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva said, “This is a real 50-50 fight. Neither fighter has a clear advantage. I can’t wait to find out who wins!”