By Steve Lillis, courtesy of The Daily Star
STEVE CUNNINGHAM insists he will not be wound up by Tyson Fury’s trash talk ahead of their New York showdown.
Fury, the former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, has been fi ring from the lip in the build-up to the clash at the Madison Square Garden Theatre on Saturday night.
Former IBF world cruiserweight champion Cunningham will be having only his third heavyweight fight when he tackles the Manchester Gypsy.
Cunningham, 36, said: “He wants to get under my skin with his antics, imitating Ali, doing all these tricks.
“He wants me to just come in and punch him in the mouth, but I will stick to the game plan and not get out of control. It’s all about the game plan.
“He can say what he wants to say. It’s only going to make him look bad when he gets beaten by a supposed light heavyweight.”
Although Fury has won all 20 pro bouts, Cunningham is a tricky and vastly experienced fighter.
Cunningham, who has won 25 of his 30 fights and is a two-time world champion, is one of the best cruiserweights of the last 10 years.
He moved to heavyweight last September when he beat Jason Gavern on points, but in December dropped a split decision to Tomasz Adamek.
The former US navy man added: “I’m going to utilise my strengths, and we’ve worked on my weaknesses.
“So you’re going to see some different things. I feel great. I feel strong. I feel energetic. I’m excited about this fight.”
Cunningham is being trained by Naazim Richardson, best known for his work with Bernard Hopkins.
He said: “Steve Cunningham has been overlooked. He is an intelligent fighter and he’s getting smarter all the time.
“In boxing, power has always won guys things, but you never see anybody maintain it with just power.
“Never happens... the strongest muscle in your body is that brain. The guy that can use that can find a way to manipulate almost any other person in the ring.”