Antonio Tarver fights to draw with Steve Cunningham

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Five-time world champion Antonio Tarver fought to a 12-round draw with former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham in a lackluster heavyweight contender bout Friday night at the Prudential Center.

Judge John McKaie scored the fight 115-113 in favor of Cunningham (28-7-1), with Cunningham getting the last two rounds. Judge Robin Taylor had it 115-114 in favor of the 46-year-old Tarver (31-6-1, 22 KOs) and referee John Steward had it even at 114-114, causing the draw. Taylor and Stewart had Tarver winning the final four rounds.

Tarver was hoping to stay in line for a possible heavyweight title fight, but did not enhance his chances in his first fight of the year.

”I knew that the judges were not educated on my defense and gamesmanship,” Tarver said. ”I threw all the harder punches. I controlled the tempo. I wasn’t tired. He didn’t hurt me. I got my jab in and outboxed him. I won the fight and did what I had to do to win the fight. I got a draw and I’m not satisfied with it.”

The 39-year-old Cunningham fought for the first time since a 12-round decision loss in March to Vyacheslav Glazkov.

The heavyweight bout between the two aging veterans did not produce a lot of action.

In the fourth round, Tarver staggered Cunningham with two straight left hands, but didn’t have enough to cause significant damage.

Cunningham seemed to be in better physical condition than his opponent, but didn’t get much of a chance to use that conditioning. He did manage to score points in the middle rounds with a solid left jab, but none that seriously hurt Tarver.

Cunningham gained attention last year when he revealed he had to box in order to find sufficient funding for his young daughter Kennedy to have life-saving open-heart surgery. Kennedy Cunningham is now 9 years old and healthy after having the surgery.

”I’m the man I always was,” Cunningham said. ”You won’t hear me kicking or screaming about this. I’ll get together with my team and my family and figure out what’s next.”

Earlier, challenger Krzysztof Glowacki of Poland survived a sixth-round knockdown to knock out former WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck of Germany at 2:39 of the 11th round.

After almost getting counted out in the sixth round, getting to his feet on the count of eight, Glowacki (25-0, 16 KOs), losing on all three officials’ scorecards, first knocked down Huck with a vicious left that caught Huck by surprise.

Huck survived the 10-count, but then Glowacki finished off Huck with a series of punches that knocked Huck through the ropes and forced referee David Fields to step in and stop it at 2:39 of the 11th round. It was the first time Huck (38-3) had lost a cruiserweight title fight since winning the crown in 2009, winning 13 straight title defenses.

Glowacki was fighting for the first time ever in the United States.

”When I was down in the sixth, I didn’t know where I was and didn’t regain myself for a whole round,” Glowacki said through an interpreter. ”I heard from my corner that there was a minute left in the 11th (round), so that’s when I had to come on strong. It’s the biggest night of my life. The U.S. market is now open to me.”