Tyson Fury is talking as if he is simply going to demolish former IBF cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham when they meet on April 20 at New York’s Madison Square Garden in a clash to be televised on NBC’s Fight Night.
At 6-foot-9, the 24-year-old from Manchester, England, will indeed tower over his older and smaller opponent in Cunningham (25-5, 12 knockouts), who is 36 and six inches shorter.
Fury (20-0, 14 KOs) will be making his American debut as part of his quest to stake his claim as the heir apparent to RING, IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and his older brother, WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko.
“This is what you’ve all been waiting for: The heavyweight champion of Ireland coming to the East Coast,” said Fury during a recent workout.
“The fight fans better be prepared for a good old-fashioned fight, because I’m coming to town and I’m taking no prisoners.”
Fury has weighed as much as 270 and is coming off December’s unanimous decision over Kevin Johnson.
Cunningham, meanwhile, will be fighting as a heavyweight for only the third consecutive time, and weighed a career-high 207 pounds for his debut in the division — September’s unanimous decision over Jason Gavern.
His last fight was December’s disputed split-decision loss to former light heavyweight and cruiserweight beltholder Tomasz Adamek in a rematch of Adamek’s earlier split-decision victory over Cunningham when they fought as cruiserweights in December of 2008.
HEAVYWEIGHT ‘MAGO’ ABDUSALAMOV RETURNS ON SERGIO MARTINEZ-MARTIN MURRAY CARD
Undefeated southpaw heavyweight prospect Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov will be after his 18th straight knockout in as many victories when he faces Argentina’s Sebastian Ceballos on the April 27 undercard to the HBO-televised main event featuring RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez against Martin Murray in Buenos Aires.
Abdusalamov, 32, is coming off last month’s fifth-round knockout of former Olympian Victor Bisbal, who was riding a five-bout winning streak that had included four knockouts, and had a mark of 21-1 with 15 stoppages coming in.
Ceballos (33-7-2, 25 KOs), who is 33, has won four consecutive bouts, three of them by stoppage, including knockouts in the past two.
“Mago is a top contender now. He will only have to win a couple more fights, and he will be in a perfect position to begin his championship reign, which will last a long time. I have said this since early in his career,” said Abdusalamov’s promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing.
“He is too strong for anyone in the world to handle. Some of his opponents come out and use up all their energy in a few rounds and maybe they look like they’re doing ok. But the pressure of Magomed is incredible, and before long, they are waiting to get knocked out like everybody else. He is the future champion of the world.”
PAUL SPADAFORA RETURNS ON SATURDAY
Pittsburgh-based welterweight Paul Spadafora returns to the ring on Saturday night for a clash with Robert Frankel at the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in Chester, West Virginia.
A southpaw who is known as “The Pittsburgh Kid,” the 37-year-old Spadafora (47-0-1, 19 knockouts) was once a highly-rated fighter but has been derailed by repeated troubles with the law.
In facing Frankel (32-12-1, 6 KOs), a 32-year-old winner of two straight fights from Denver, Spadafora will be after his third win over the course of seven months since ending a nearly two-year ring absence with a unanimous decision victory over Humberto Toledo in August of last year.
In his last fight in December, Spadafora unanimously decisioned Solomon Egberime. Frankel is coming off January’s fifth-round technical decision victory over Jermaine White.
LUIS DEL VALLE REBOUNDS FROM HIS LONE DEFEAT
Puerto Rican junior featherweight prospect Luis “Orlandito” Del Valle scored a fifth-round technical knockout over southpaw puncher Andre Wilson (13-6-1, 11 KOs) on Thursday night to rebound from September’s unanimous-decision loss to former beltholder Vic Darchinyan.
“Definitely I’m back in the winning track with the help of my new trainer Don Nacho Beristain. Now its a matter of staying focused in the gym, while I wait for the next opponent.”
Photo courtesy of Hennesy Sports
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]