Fury-Cunningham Presser

By Clarence George on March 14, 2013
Fury-Cunningham Presser
Gracious as usual, Tyson Fury said, "Wladimir Klitschko is the biggest bitch I've ever seen."

A chiropractor once told me, with a marked lack of diplomacy, that I had the build of a heavyweight gone to seed. Based on my experience this afternoon, the gone-to-seed physique is the norm among boxing writers.

The upper room at Jack Demsey’s, on West 33rd Street in Manhattan, is small. It was rendered cramped and tight by a large number of overfed Sweet Science scribblers. The purpose of the gathering was not to hoist a few, but to drink in the words of Tyson Fury and Steve Cunningham.

The heavyweights are scheduled to face each other in an IBF title eliminator at Madison Square Garden on April 20. The victor would likely take on Kubrat Pulev, and the winner of that bout would get his shot at heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. Fury-Cunningham will air at 4:00 pm EST on NBC, as will the co-feature middleweight bout between Curtis Stevens and Derrick Findley.

Cunningham trainer Naazim Richardson got the ball rolling by comparing the upcoming bout to the Jack Dempsey-Jess Willard championship match, in which Willard lost his title while taking a massive beating. Willard was a giant, as is Fury…get it? Cunningham continued the theme, saying “A lot of guys don’t want to step in the ring with a literal giant,” but “I don’t have no fear.” The former two-time cruiserweight champ was confident, but subdued, observing that he prefers fighting to talking.

Fury was initially gracious, noting that Cunningham would likely be the best opponent he’s yet faced, but adding “I’m gonna retire you, Steve.” The Brit also inquired if any advertiser has yet sponsored the soles of his opponent’s boxing shoes, obviously implying that he would render them visible to millions of television viewers. “USS”, making even clearer than he had earlier his contempt for lip-flapping, responded with “Guys who talk a lot, they chumps,” adding that Fury was “garbage,” despite his size. The Brit was unimpressed, saying that he “came here to do demolition on cruiserweights” and promising to knock Cunningham down and out. Fury added for good measure, with even less diplomacy than demonstrated by my erstwhile chiropractor, that “Wladimir Klitschko is the biggest bitch I’ve ever seen.”

Next month’s bout will be Fury’s first fight in the U.S. Undefeated, the 24-year-old has won 20, 14 by knockout. The first man to win the English, Irish, British, and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, Fury fought three times last year. He stopped Martin Rogan in April and Vinny Maddalone in July, both by fifth-round TKO. He defeated Kevin Johnson by unanimous decision in December.

A pro since 2000, 36-year-old Cunningham (25-5, 12 KOs) won his first 19 fights, 10 by stoppage, before finally losing in 2006. He lost his IBF cruiserweight championship to Yoan Pablo Hernandez via sixth-round technical decision in October 2011 and failed in his rematch against the Cuban in February 2012, losing by unanimous decision. “USS” first fought as a heavy last September, defeating Jason Gavern by unanimous decision. He lost to Tomasz Adamek via extremely controversial split decision in December.

Cunningham can outbox Fury, but that doesn’t mean he’ll beat him. The Brit is 6’9” and usually weighs in at around 250, compared to Cunningham’s 6’3” and 205.

I don’t see “USS” playing Rocky Balboa to Fury’s Ivan Drago.

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Tyson Fury v Martin Rogan

2012-12-22 Tomasz Adamek vs Steve Cunningham - NBC - High Definition

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  1. Clarence George 12:52pm, 03/15/2013

    Exactly!  Alternatively, the leading lady would have to stand in a hole.

  2. Mike Casey 12:42pm, 03/15/2013

    Ah, the old Alan Ladd trick still works!

  3. Clarence George 12:03pm, 03/15/2013

    By the way, I didn’t notice a crate when I was there, but there must have been one…and Cunningham must be standing on it.  How else are he and Fury pretty much eye-to-eye in the above photo?

  4. Clarence George 11:58am, 03/15/2013

    Exactly, Mike.  Fury’s probable defeat of Cunningham won’t buy him much.  I don’t think he can take Pulev, let alone Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.

    As you know, I consider the whole current heavyweight division almost surreal in its pointlessness.

  5. Mike Casey 09:33am, 03/15/2013

    Agree with your assessment, Clarence. Difficult to see where Fury is headed. I don’t believe he can beat Wlad or Vitali. For all the fire and brimstone that he tries to generate, Tyson isn’t really a knockout puncher or technically sound. He’s an arm puncher and often flounders and loses his way in fights. I’m sure he’s also two sandwiches short of a picnic upstairs, but I guess the poor kid can’t help that.

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