Cunningham outpoints Wlodarczyk for IBF cruiserweight title

Updated: May 26, 2007, 8:43 PM ET
Associated Press

KATOWICE, Poland -- American Steve Cunningham won the IBF cruiserweight title Saturday night, outpointing Poland's Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.

"I feel great, I feel awesome," Cunningham said. "I'm the world champion."

The 30-year-old Cunningham avenged the only loss of his career -- a split-decision to Wlodarczyk for the vacant title last November.

Judge Alejandro Lopez of Mexico scored the 12-round fight 116-112 for Cunningham, while Somsak Sirianantof of Thailand had it at 115-112 for the American. Bob Gibson of New Zealand scored it 114-114.

Cunningham (20-1) said he tried to be more active and throw more punches than in his first fight with Wlodarczyk and "to crack him with some big shots."

"He's tough, he can fight, he can punch," Cunningham said. "You got to be tough to beat him."

Wlodarczyk dropped to 37-2 with the loss in his first title defense.

Despite a loud partisan crowd at the Spodek Arena, the Pole was sluggish in the early rounds and struggled to work around the American's longer reach and solid jab.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press