Bethlehem, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Just like their first fight four years ago, Tomasz Adamek emerged victorious over Steve Cunningham via split decision in their crucial heavyweight fight Saturday at Sands Casino Resort.
The 36-year-old Adamek got the nod from two judges via scores of 116-112 and 115-113 while the third favored Cunningham, 115-113.
Ring announcer Michael Buffer earlier announced the fight as draw but he later changed it to split decision in favor of Adamek, who improved to 48-2, including 29 knockouts.
Cunningham has dropped to 25-5, with 12 knockouts.
Adamek will now face European champion Kubrat Pulev in a final eliminator for a shot at world champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Four years ago, Adamek snatched the International Boxing Federation (IBF) cruiserweight title from Cunnignham via split decision despite decking the Philadelphian three times.
Adamek also won the World Boxing Council (WBC) light-heavyweight title in May 2005 when he defeated Paul Briggs via majority decision.
He defended the title twice before losing it to Chad Dawson via a controversial decision. He then moved to cruiserweight division and beat Cunningham for the IBF title.
Adamek successfully defended the title against Jonathon Banks and Bobby Gunn before moving up to heavyweight.
He challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC belt in September last year but suffered the second defeat of his career.
In other matches, former Olympic medalist Vyacheslav Glazkov beat Tor Hamer, who failed to come out for the fifth round of another heavyweight fight.
In another heavyweight bout, Alexander Dimitrenko improved to 33-2, with 21 knockouts, when he beat Samir Kurtagic on points over eight rounds in a tournament in the Czech Republic, despite being knocked down in the last round.