Tyson Fury: Brother Naazim Can't Fight For Cunningham

By Jake Donovan

Tyson Fury is still five weeks away from his April 20 heavyweight showdown with Steve Cunningham, at Madison Square Garden’s The Theatre but believes he’s already won a major battle. A press conference held last Thursday afternoon in New York City was civil until about the final ten minutes, when the two camps erupted into a violent war of words.

Further drama ensued off camera when Fury wound up in a shouting match with Naazim Richardson, Cunningham’s trainer. The outbursts made for an eventful day, one that Fury insists went exactly according to plan.

“I’ve done exactly what I wanted to do – I got under their skin,” Fury (20-0, 14KO) says of the day’s developments. “It got heated, and I achieved my goal. (Richardson) tried to outspeak me, and that’s never going to happen. I wish Steve Cunningham and Brother Naazim – as they call him - the best of luck. Trainers can’t fight for you. You can have all of the game plans you want, but the fighters still have to go in there and fight.”

The fight – which airs live on NBC – is to determine the next challenger for top rated contender Kubrat Pulev. The winner of that fight will then become the mandatory challenger Wladimir Klitschko later in the year.

What excites Fury even more than the prospects of a title shot is that he makes his U.S. debut in this fight and is fully prepared to take New York City by storm. The fact that his opponent’s camp knew so little about him was a bit surprising, as Fury laughed off Richardson’s claim of being more popular than the unbeaten heavyweight. The humor stemmed from the fact that Fury wasn’t too familiar with the very man making such suggestions of anonymity.

“I heard his name, because of his work with Bernard Hopkins,” Fury says of the Philly trainer. “Beyond that, I never really knew much about him. I don’t know where he gets that he’s more popular than me, but ask yourself – who really knows Steve Cunningham?”

Beyond that, Fury seems less concerned about the popularity contest than he is about the fight, although he offers a solution to the isolated debate.

“If he wants to go out on a street crawl after the fight and see who draws more applause, we can do that,” Fury quips. “The man is 50, 60 something years old. I really don’t have any interest in fighting with him over who’s more popular.”

Fury hopes to use April 20 as a springboard to bi-continental popularity. Already a big draw in the U.K., the second generation prizefighter is already targeting the Northeast as his potential stomping grounds for a stateside run.

“I’d like to be a draw in the United States. I’d like for the Irish community to get behind me,” says Fury, British by location but whose descendants are Irish travelers, including his father and former domestic heavyweight “Gypsy” John Fury. That the press conference took place in New York City just prior to St. Patrick’s Day weekend was hardly an accident.

“New York on St. Patrick’s Day weekend - it’s a great place to be this time of the year. I’d like to think that in New York, Boston, Philly and around here I can rally the masses to get behind my career.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Thickear on 03-20-2013

Both men’s fights are always entertaining, leave you wondering every moment what’s going to happen next, both own high punch output plus a dodgy chin. Could be one and the same guy. But for size and surface colouring, is it…

Comment by boxing is life on 03-19-2013

cunningham isnt a true heavyweight and doesnt have any knockout power, fury takes this

Comment by Mr. Philadel on 03-19-2013

Big Man....tell us something we don't already know...nobody thought Naz was gonna fight for Steve :lol1:....anyway, Big Man is gonna get exposed for what he REALLY is

Comment by 4Corners on 03-19-2013

If Cunningham was handle Fury's size....he'll out box Fury easily in my opinion. We'll only find that out on fight night though. Winner of this should fight Pulev though, than fight Wlad.

Comment by ddangerous on 03-19-2013

Naazim gained some casual fan recognition while training Hopkins AND Sugar Shane. Fury is quickly gaining notoriety because he is hilarious. Pulev beats both Fury and Cunningham in my opinion.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (5)
Top Headlines Scott Quigg Makes Featherweight Debut on Anthony Joshua Card Pacquiao vs. Vargas Lands on BoxNation Katie Taylor Inks Promotional With Eddie Hearn, Pro Debut Set Oscar De La Hoya: 2016 is Maybe The Worst Year For Boxing Roach: I Don't Think Andre Ward is The Fighter He Used To Be Video: Freddie Roach Talks Golovkin, Kovalev vs. Ward, More Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Have Retirement Pact in Place Video: Justin Fortune Discusses The Heavyweight Division Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Sure, Why Not Video: Bob Arum Talks Schaefer, Trump, King, UFC, More Arum: I Would NEVER Do Pacquiao vs. Golovkin - It Was a Joke! Video: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work For Vargas Title Clash Video: Freddie Roach on Thurman-Garcia, Lebedev-Gassiev, More Mason Menard's Fight Now Off Due To Bookkeeping Issue Molina Still Wants Danny Garcia Fight: He Has Holes in His Armor Video: Manny Pacquiao Talks Camp, Retirement, Vargas, More Demetrius Andrade Very Motivated as Jack Culcay Clash Nears Photos: Manny Pacquiao Putting in Work at Wild Card Gym Canelo Says The Ball is in Golovkin's Court: Accept The Offer! Ricardo Mayorga Crashes Into Taxi, Pursued For 200K in Damages Canelo Eager To Prove WBO Prez's Prediction of Mayweather KO Vences: A Win Over Casey Ramos Will Open A lot of Doors For Me Photos: Juanma, Vazquez Explode in Very Tense Final Presser Ustinov's Manager Expects WBA To Order Klitschko Title Fight Premier Boxing Champions Reveal Season 3 Schedule Helenius Faces Basile on 12/17, Chisora Rematch Eyed For March Arthur Abraham Shelved For Three Weeks Due To Elbow Injury SHO's Espinoza: Mayweather Won't Even Joke About Ring Return Curtis Stevens-De La Rosa Added To PPV Portion of Kovalev-Ward Briggs Claims Haye Used His Name: He Backed Out of Our Deal Cuellar Vows To Take Mares Out - Targets Frampton, Santa Cruz Klitschko: No Retirement, Joshua Fight Will Be Biggest in Years Wilfredo Vazquez Jr: Juanma Repulses Me, I Will Knock Him Out! Jarrett Hurd vs. Jo Jo Dan Set, Jorge Cota is Now Out Badou Jack Thinks Ward-Kovalev is 50-50, Leans Ward With Pick De La Hoya Not Concerned With The Return of Richard Schaefer Andre Ward: Kovalev Won't Bully Me - He Tires, He Gets Frustrated Arum: Trump Thought of Andy Ruiz When He Said 'Bad Hombre' Tino Avila Wants To Dominate Ramirez, Fight For Title in 2017 Molina: Look at My Wilder Fight, I'll Raise Hell Against Joshua!

Latest Active Forum Threads