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Tyson brings the Fury with seventh-round knockout of Steve Cunningham

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Tyson Fury (left) took a hard punch in the second round, but knocked out Steve Cunningham in the seventh. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Tyson Fury (left) took a hard punch in the second round, but knocked out Steve Cunningham in the seventh. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

NEW YORK — Three thoughts on Tyson Fury’s seventh-round knockout win over Steve Cunningham:

Fury packs a real heavyweight punch

No question, Fury is still a work in progress. At 24, his style is sloppy, he leaves his chin exposed—evidenced by the punch Cunningham landed that in the second round that sent Fury toppling to the canvas—and he doesn’t use his jab enough to keep smaller fighters off  of him. But he packs a wallop and uses every inch of his 6-foot-9, 257-pound frame, leaning on Cunningham and wearing down the two-time cruiserweight champion. Cunningham fought a sharp fight: He moved well, landed accurately and, thanks to a knockdown and a point deduction, appeared to be in a good position on the scorecards. But the strength and size of Fury took its toll, and a series of shots in the seventh capped by a clubbing right hand put Cunningham down and out.

Tough ending for Cunningham

Cunningham is one of the easiest fighters to root for. He served four years in the Navy and earned his way in boxing the hard way, going overseas to challenge top cruiserweights on their home turf. He’s a good heavyweight who could probably hold his own against Chris Arreola, David Haye or any of the other big men his size. But he faded quickly against Fury, unable to keep the bigger man off of him and unable to move enough to keep him away from him. Cunningham (25-6) is 36, and there is no reason he can’t keep fighting if he wants to. But he needs to be carefully matched, because the biggest of the big men are too much for him.

Whither, Fury?

Fury fancies himself a legitimate title contender, and with his size, record (21-0) and gregarious personality, he is unquestionably a rising star. By beating Cunningham, Fury set himself up for a fight with Kubrat Pulev, with the winner of that fight earning a title shot against Wladimir Klitschko. But Fury could get a shot sooner. With Vitali Klitschko’s future unclear, Fury, ranked No. 5 by the WBC, could be in a position to challenge for Vitali’s belt if he vacates it. Promoter Mick Hennessy told me Pulev was the top target, but, obviously, they would give up the eliminator for a title fight.

- Chris Mannix

  • Published On Apr 20, 2013
  • 6 comments
    joeshine730
    joeshine730 like.author.displayName 1 Like

    Fury’s career is rudderless and meaningless going in circles. Poor inept management and promoting by british boobs will cost this dumb lumbering oaf his career meager as it will be.

    hoolio
    hoolio

    Nothing about the singing after the fight?

    SukeMadiq
    SukeMadiq like.author.displayName 1 Like

    Fury is very active for a big guy and kind of fun to watch, but he does not use his height that well other than to lean on people.   His defense does not exist, not ready for the big Russian brothers and probably never will be.

    shreds28
    shreds28 like.author.displayName 1 Like

    If Cunningham could deck Fury just imagine what will happen to him when he faces a legitimate heavyweight who can bang. Either one of the Klitschkos would make short work of him.

    figment79
    figment79

    come on, chris. the only thing that tyson fury showed was the ability to lean on a smaller fighter who really has no business competing against guys weighing in at 240 plus pounds.  the fact is that there are no money / high profile fights in the cruiserweight division. if cunningham was 225-235, fury would have been out of there by the 5th round with all the shots he was getting tagged with.  

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    1. [...] He may not fight in the prettiest or most composed way, but Tyson Fury showed his tremendous ability with a seventh-round knockout of Steve Cunningham, writes Chris Mannix. SI.com – MMA [...]

    2. [...] Tyson Fury shows his raw skill in defeat of Steve Cunningham [...]