New York - A press conference held Thursday afternoon at Jack Dempsey’s Pub in New York to announce the April 20th fight between Steve “U.S.S.” Cunningham and Tyson Fury.
The area was quite small and packed and tension was in the air. Tyson, who was named after heavyweight great Mike Tyson, spoke glowingly about fighting at the Theater in New York. “I’m absolutely ecstatic to be fighting at Madison Square Garden.”
This is a voluntary title eliminator which will used to establish the number two contender and set up a match with the top ranked contender for the IBF Heavyweight mandatory title shot.
It’s an intriguing fight between a former two time champion who lost his last fight in controversial fashion. The other, an undefeated dynamo from Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom, those height is Cooney-ish at 6’9’. Steve Cunningham is competing in the heavyweight division after a successful run at Crusierweight where he reigned as a two time IBF champion.
He lost a disputed decision in a rematch with Tomasz Adamek, who defeated him for the crusierweight title ending his first reign. The nature of that loss has indirectly set up this opportunity. Though Cunningham record of 25-5 with 12 knockouts’s is far from imposing, he can box and his size will help against this most imposing opponent.
Steve, who had a focused look to him at the conference is excited by this upcoming fight. “For the first time in my career I have a guy coming to my country to face me.” Steve explains “I am certain he has never faced a fighter like me.”
Tyson Fury, is undefeated and largely unknown having fought in England, Canada, and Northern Ireland. But he has a confidence and with a 20-0 record and 14 knockouts, and his power has wrested him the Irish, Commonwealth, and British Heavyweight titles. His most impressive win was a fifth round stoppage of Vincent Maddalone.
He will have a small reach advantage and will tower over Cunningham a bit though Cunningham is not small by any standard. Tyson, who is a student of boxing history, knows well who he is fighting. “Cunningham’s got all the tools; a former World Champion, good fighter. I’m looking to put on a devastating performance.”
Main events CEO, Kathy Duvaand Mick Hennessy CEO of Hennessey Sports are pleased to be bringing these two heavyweights together. “I’m very proud to say that Tyson Fury’s American debut is taking place here in Madison Square Garden. It just doesn’t get better than this.” Wladimir Klitschko at 36, is nearing the age where most champions are nearly ripe for the taking.
In a division that has seen a lack of any real decent contenders, Cunningham and Fury look to be just the type of fighters this division has been lacking in quality competition. The timing may just be right to watch the heavyweight division once more. “Steve put on a fantastic performance against Ademek and deserves to be rewarded.” Kathy explains “We also get to introduce a young heavyweight contender to the American public.”
This match is a rare crossroads affair that will impact the division. On the undercard Curtis “Showtime” Stevens fights an eight round middleweight duel with Derrick Findlay as a co-feature. There will be six additional bouts on this 4pm special which will be televised on NBC Sports Fight Night. Main Events is working with Hennessy Sports to puton this event.