Cunningham is looking for a quick start to 2011.
Bout is Cunningham’s First Defense of IBF Cruiserweight Title
Steve “USS” Cunningham (23-2, 12 KOs) is all set to make the first defense of his IBF Cruiserweight Title on January 22nd, when the Philadelphia native takes on Berlin’s Enad Licina (19-2, 10 KOs) in Neubrandenburg, Germany. The championship pairing will serve as the co-feature to an IBF Middleweight Title Bout between Sebastian Sylvester (34-3-1, 16 KOs) and Mehdi Bouadla (21-3, 10 KOs).
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring,” Cunningham remarked. “I’m working hard to win and retain my title on January 22nd. I still feel the world hasn’t seen the best of Steve Cunningham yet. I’m expecting a hard fight from Licina. I know he’ll come prepared.”
Cunningham last stepped in the ring in June when he took a TKO victory over Troy Ross for the vacant IBF Cruiserweight Championship. The win was the first for Cunningham under the Team Sauerland banner, with whom he signed the month prior in May.
"We are thrilled to kick off the New Year with a big bang," said Chris Meyer, General Manager of Team Sauerland. "The fans in Neubrandenburg have seen many exciting fights, and I am sure that both title clashes will be very entertaining.”
Licina has emerged victorious in 16 of his last 17 fights, and the only defeat was a decision loss in 2009 to Yoan Pablo Hernandez for the IBF Intercontinental Cruiserweight Championship. He has since bounced back with a pair of wins, and the German tactician scored a unanimous decision victory over Felix Cora, Jr, the last time he stepped through the ropes.
"Every world champion is beatable," Licina stated. "Cunningham is a strong fighter, but I have spotted some weaknesses and we are going to exploit them."