By Jake Donovan
Time will tell if Tyson Fury will prove to be the future of the heavyweight division or yet another entry in a long list of horizontal heavyweighs to come from the United Kingdom.
One thing that nobody can claim of the 6’9” contender is an inability to adapt to the environment.
Fury worked the crowd – as well as the nerves of Steve Cunningham and his team – while all were in New York on Thursday promote their April 20 heavyweight bout, which airs live on NBC from The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The unbeaten fighter is confident of his ability to eventually run the tables, but still humbled by his stateside debut landing in the marketing capital of the world.
“New York, St. Patrick’s Day weekend. It’s a great place to be on this weekend,” Fury said while in town to promote the fight. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamed about fighting at Madison Square Garden, so this is a dream come true.”
Fury (20-0, 14KO) has spent all but one fight in the UK, with the exception coming more than two years ago in a stay-busy win over Zack Page in Quebec, Canada. Building an audience at home has been advantageous to his career, but has largely been the case only because he had never received the proper motivation to travel abroad.
The heavyweight semifinal elimination bout with Cunningham – in which the winner faces Kubrat Pulev – provides that very incentive. That it takes place in New York ultimately provides the best of both worlds for Fury.
“Mick Hennessy worked hard to get me over here for my debut in America, but it was never the right time to come over here. Now we have a big date and a big venue. I’m very happy to be fighting on this big day.”
As for how long the day will last… let’s just say that Fury plans to spend more time on the victory parade than on the fight itself.
“This is a three-hit fight,” Fury insists. “I hit him, he hits the floor, Tyson Fury hits New York.”
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