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Fury survives knockdown, stops Cunningham in seven

By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing


Before his American debut, bombastic heavyweight contender Tyson Fury told members of the media that if he lost to Steve "USS" Cunningham, he’d retire.

In round two, Fury (20-0, 15 KOs) looked ready for the rest home after being floored by a right hand. The much bigger man eventually rallied to stop Cunningham (25-6, 12 KOs) in round seven at The Theater in Madison Square Garden.
 
The bout was televised live on NBC.
 
Fury, who outweighed former cruiserweight champion Cunningham by over forty pounds, used his jab in the opening round. He didn’t snap it, but it landed. Cunningham countered back with shots to the body. Fury arrogantly kept his left had low, inviting Cunningham to throw his right.
 
In round two, Cunningham obliged him and let the right go. The punch knocked Fury on his back. He wobbled up at eight and gathered himself. Cunningham bullied his way inside and tried to land another telling blow, but he’s not a knockout puncher. By the end of the round, Fury connected with a left right that stung Cunningham.


Cunningham moved from side to side in round three. He was looking to counter the giant. Fury fought back with short punches on the inside.  
 
In rounds four and five, Fury, with his chin up, ran into a couple of sharp right hands. He absorbed them and began to exploit his bulk by leaning on Cunningham. His combinations were beginning to land on a consistent basis.
 
In round six, Fury worked on the inside. The fight had turned, and was now going his way. Cunningham, 36, looked winded. His punches lacked snap. Fury was deducted a point for head butting.
 
Fury continued his aggression in round seven. He had completely abandoned the jab and decided to go for the knockout. Two minutes into the round, Fury cornered Cunningham. A vicious uppercut followed by a sweeping right floored Cunningham.
 
The Philadelphia warrior tried to get up but couldn’t beat the count.
 
The time was 2:55 of round seven.
 
“This was a fight. Steve came to fight,” Fury said in the ring after the fight. “A good big man will always beat a good little one”
 
After completing his interview, Fury serenaded the Madison Square Garden crowd with a song.
 
Like his performance, the result was mixed.



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