By Jake Donovan
While the United States remains on the hunt for a heavyweight hopeful, similar concerns exist in the United Kingdom. It’s not exactly a golden era for the British heavyweight scene, perhaps even more depressing than the prospects of waiting for an American above 200 lb. to seize control of the division.
Where Tyson Fury believes he separates from the rest of the pack is two-fold; first is his continued success whereas his countrymen continue to flop. The other is his realization of imperfection, whereas heavyweights on both sides of the pond continue to insist that things aren’t as bad as they seem.
The difference is that Fury is attempting to do something about it. The charismatic and unbeaten 6’9” contender brings his gift of jab and gab to the United States, when he faces former cruiserweight king Steve Cunningham in his stateside debut.
The two collide on April 20 in New York City, with the heavyweight title eliminator to air live on NBC.
Fury (20-0, 14KO) crosses the Atlantic as a heavyweight with the weight of a nation on his massive shoulders. Lucky for the U.K. masses, their guy is up to the challenge.
“In the U.K., it comes down to the Final Four, which really comes down to one,” explains Fury. “You have David Price, David Haye, Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury.
“David Price was just knocked out by Tony Thompson, who has already been knocked out twice by Wladimir Klitschko. David Haye doesn’t want to fight anyone. Dereck Chisora (whom Fury handed his first loss in July ’11 and has since lost three of his last four) has turned girly.”
And then there was one. That one is still shy of his 25th birthday and continues to peak.
“That just leaves Tyson Fury as the last man standing and I’m OK with that.”
A win over Cunningham would elevate Fury to the #2 slot in the IBF rankings, where he would then face fellow unbeaten contender Kubrat Pulev in a final eliminator. The winner of that bout would then become the mandatory challenger to Wladimir Klitschko, who in the meantime faces Francisco Pianeta on May 4.
With any luck, the year will end with greater clarity in the heavyweight division. While the Klitschkos continue to dominate, older brother Vitali may have very well fought his last fight – an anti-climactic injury win over Manuel Charr last September – while Wladimir slowly runs out of challengers.
Fury is prepared to change that in a hurry, or at least within his next couple of fights.
“I’m taking the bulls by the horns and crossing the pond. I’m ready to conquer the heavyweight division,” Fury insists.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox