Steve “USS” Cunningham
[On his first fight in Montreal] I am excited. This is my first time in Canada. From the Pascal fights I have seen, the fans in Montreal are crazy for boxing. I am excited to go.
[On his first fight on HBO] It is 14 years in the making. I am happy to finally be here.
[On Glazkov] He struggled against Malik Scott and Derric Rossy and they have similar styles. I ain’t worried about none of that though. I need to do what Steve Cunningham does. I come to kick butt. I come to win. I come to walk out of there with my hands raised.
[On the stakes riding on this fight] The stakes for this fight are the ultimate stakes. This is the fight to get to the heavyweight title. This is that fight that gets you there. Every fight I have had has been the most important fight of my career but this fight is on the stage for that #1 spot. This is to get to the champion. This is the biggest fight of my career. This is the biggest fight of a lot of peoples’ careers. I want to capitalize on it. I want to make the best of it. I want to get in there and do what I am supposed to do. I want to get in there and do what I know I can do. I don’t want to be concerned with Glazkov himself I am just focusing on me. This is the upper echelon stakes.
[On fighting Klitschko or Jennings if he wins] I just need to get in there and handle this business. I can elaborate more on that March 15. Right now Glazkov is the tip of the spear.
I am looking at this fight like it is a cruiserweight fight. Naazim and I had good work. We got in good sparring with good guys that we have worked with before. We have been putting in good work and we are ready for anything. He could come in at 250 [pounds] if he wants or 210 [pounds] and we are ready to go.
I have been the underdog since I started boxing. The main thing to do is keep the faith. When you believe in what you are doing, you love what you do and you work hard at what you do then nobody can stop you. I have always been the underdog, always. I was the underdog for so long so that motivation is just built into me. How many times have I fought in Philly? As a cruiserweight it was only one time. Now I have fought here a few times as a heavyweight. Even as an amateur I never really had that home court advantage, never. That is a kitchen I cook in well. I am used to not being comfortable. I learned to work in uncomfortable situations. I was in the United States Navy for four years. I am ready for hard work. When you can perform in lack of comfort it builds something in you. I have seen guys seen guys break down mentally when they have to fight overseas because they are not in comfortable setting. I could care less about where I fight. We could have a ring on the moon and Steve Cunningham is golden time.
A lot of fans want to see you take the throne from the king. I am a boxing fan myself. Before I was a fighter I was a fan. I understand the fans want you to take the crown from the king. I would love to fight Wladimir [Klitschko] because when you are a champion and you are at that level the challenges are what drive you. It is not just money and this and that. A champion wants to put himself up against the best. He wants to see how he fairs against the best. Wladimir Klitschko is the best right now. I would love to challenge him. I have been to camp with Wladimir twice. He and I have a good relationship. We talk all the time. We’ve got the same lawyer. I totally respect him.
We work on putting the weight on. This camp I have been coming in higher than I have in the past. I don’t matter. Whatever weight we come in at, that’s the weight we are fighting at. That’s my mindset. I try to put the weight on but my metabolism is so crazy and I sweat so much I can’t keep it on.
Brother Naazim Richardson, Cunningham’s trainer
[On Glazkov’s Olympic experience] I don’t underestimate Glazkov in any capacity. Even though fighters say it’s not true, but I believe any kid who has been to the Olympics is ready for the big stage. I have been to the Olympics. The Olympics is large. More people watch the Olympics than any world championship fight. I was with my son at the Olympics with Bernard Hopkins, and Bernard had every belt you could have, and I asked my son how the opening game of the Olympics compared to any fight he had ever been to. He said this ain’t even close. I think Glazkov is ready for anything after competing in the Olympics. He is definitely one of the most dangerous athletes, if not the most dangerous, one we have ever faced for that reason. He is a very talented kid.
Steve needs to be the best Steve Cunningham he can be and that will be enough for Glazkov. When Steve is at his best he brings enough to the table to beat him. Steve just turned heavyweight not too long ago yet he is facing his fourth undefeated heavyweight and the third one in a row. Who has done that, including the champion? I feel that had he had more time to acclimate to this weight class he would have put on an even better performance against [Tyson] Fury.