Friday, 19 April 2013

Tyson Fury vs Steve Cunningham - Fight Preview

By James McKnight @JamesMcKnight83

Legendary heavyweight boxers such as Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali have all fought at Madison Square Garden over the years. On April 20, Tyson Fury will not only fight for the first time on American soil, he will make his US debut at the spiritual home of boxing when he takes on Steve 'USS' Cunningham. 

Fury and Cunningham go head-to-head in an eliminator bout to become the number 2 ranked fighter with the IBF. 

Fury (20, 0-0, 14 KO's), was born in Manchester but his roots lie in Ireland. Since turning pro, the 6'9" heavyweight has mainly fought in Britian with the exception of when he fought a six round contest in Dublin in 2009 and an eight round contest in Canada in 2010. 

The 24-year-old is a former English, British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, beating the likes of John McDermott, Dereck Chisora and Neven Pajkic to claim those titles. Fury has also claimed the Irish and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight titles with wins over Martin Rogan and Vinny Maddalone. 

Fury's last fight was in December where he beat American veteran Kevin Johnson over 12 rounds in what was a WBC heavyweight title eliminator. 

Cunningham (25-5-0, 12 KO's), has predominantly fought at Cruiserweight for the majority of his professional career. The 36-year-old is a former two-time IBF Cruiserweight champion. He beat Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in 2007 to claim the IBF Cruiserweight title for the first time and he beat Troy Ross in 2010 to reclaim it. 

Cunningham has also beaten the likes of Marco Huck and Enad Licina in IBF title defenses. His most notable losses have come against Yoan Pablo Hernandez (twice) and twice to Tomasz Adamek. 

Cunningham and Adamek fought at Cruiserweight in 2008 with Cunningham aiming to defend his IBF belt. Adamek was awarded the win on points via split decision. Their rematch was fought at heavyweight just four months ago in December in what was Cunningham's first title fight at the weight. Adamek was again awarded a split decision victory, but it was controversial as many people who witnessed the fight believed Cunningham deserved the win. 

If Tyson Fury does beat Steve Cunningham then it is very likely that he will face Bulgaria's Kubrat Pulev in a final eliminator. The winner of that could very well get a shot at IBF heavyweight King. Wladimir Klitschko. 

My Prediction

Fury is the bookies favourite and a favourite amongst many boxing fans. His considerable advantages are in reach, size and power and these are reasons why many have him as a firm favourite. Fury is also 12 years younger. 
Cunningham, however, is arguably the most talented boxer to step in the ring with Fury. 

Cunningham can't afford to go toe-to-toe with Fury as he will simply be dismantled, but if he can keep away from Fury's right hand and use lateral movement, throwing combos in spurts, he stands a chance. 

I foresee Fury cutting the ring off though and landing his left hand jab throughout which will be a potent weapon. When Fury decides to throw his right hand he will have success with that also. 

I just can't see how Cunningham can take Fury's best shots as I don't believe Cunningham is hard to find. I also can't envisage Cunningham hurting Fury as he simply does not have the power to and I think Cunningham will have to move a lot. Cunningham's surely going to have to take a breather during rounds if he's constantly moving and this can only spell disaster if Fury lets his hands go. Fury is the one who can take the risks when unloading. Cunningham can't. 

Fury is a mountain of a Man and I don't think he's slow on his feet either. He's looking in better shape with each passing fight. The size difference will be scary. I just can't see Cunningham winning this. 

For me, Fury wins this in either rounds 10 or 11, but it could end much sooner when Fury lands a powerful right hand.

This could very well end in devastating fashion. 

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