Andrew Tabiti gets past veteran Steve Cunningham
Andrew Tabiti defeated Steve Cunningham by a unanimous decision in the opening bout of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor pay-per-view telecast Saturday in Las Vegas.
When the fight was booked, most experts assumed that the young, heavy-handed Tabiti would use the well-traveled Cunningham to showcase his ability. But the fight wasn’t a cakewalk, as it was much closer fight than the 97-93, 97-93 and 100-90 scores for Tabiti would indicate.
After a relatively pedestrian start by both fighters, business started to pick up in the third round as Cunningham went on the attack. However, Tabiti (15-0, 12 knockouts) snuffed out his opponent’s advances with clinches and scored from a distance with the jab. But Cunningham (29-9-1, 13 KOs) kept up the pressure and had a few moments in the middle rounds. He’d occasionally land the right hand and roughed up Tabiti on the inside. But, for the most part, Tabiti’s jab and sparse offering of hooks and body punches racked up enough points to give him the victory.
Although it wasn’t the showcase fight that many expected from The Money Team fighter, it certainly allowed him to get some work in to prove he can hang with a seasoned veteran.