Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Tyson Fury: Steve Cunningham, Not Wilder, Was My Toughest Opponent

Deontay Wilder famously dropped Tyson Fury twice when they fought in December 2018, the second time in a way that made it appear Fury wouldn’t get up.

Wilder still wasn’t Fury’s toughest opponent – not even close, according to Fury. The lineal heavyweight champion considers Steve Cunningham the most formidable foe he has faced in 30 professional fights.

Cunningham floored Fury in the second round of their April 2013 bout in New York. Fury got up from that knockdown and eventually knocked out Cunningham, a former cruiserweight champion, in the seventh round in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

“I wouldn’t say [Wilder] was the toughest fight,” Fury said of their controversial split draw during a recent conference call to discuss his rematch with Wilder on Saturday night in Las Vegas. “I would say that was one of my easiest fights, to be fair. Other than the two knockdowns, it was a pretty one-sided fight. Yeah, my most difficult fights were much more harder than that. Deontay Wilder’s not my toughest opponent – that’s for sure. My toughest opponent in my whole career was Steve Cunningham. He was a former cruiserweight champion. I fought in him 2013 in New York, Madison Square Garden, and that was the toughest fight I ever had.”

fury-cunningham (26)_1

England’s Fury was behind by the same score, 57-55, on two cards when he finished Cunningham with a right hand in the seventh round. The third judge had their fight even entering the seventh round (56-56).

“At that time in me life, I had never fought anybody like Steve Cunningham,” Fury said. “He won the [IBF] cruiserweight title and defended it maybe seven times or something like that. He was a unified champion and it was my step up to anybody with that type of ability. And he was slick, and he was hard to hit. He was very awkward, and he was a very good boxer, so that was the toughest fight of me life.”

The 6-feet-9 Fury weighed in at 254 pounds prior to encountering Cunningham, who officially weighed 210 pounds. Fury didn’t underestimate Philadelphia’s Cunningham, even though he had a 44-pound weight advantage and stood six inches taller than the 6-feet-3 Cunningham.

“I never underestimate anybody,” Fury said. “He was 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. He was probably taller than Evander Holyfield, and bigger as well. So, we say small heavyweights, but they’re really big heavyweights. But today, the heavyweights have gone super-sized. So yeah, he was a tough opponent. I didn’t underestimate him. He was just a very good [opponent], very good boxer.”

Cunningham went 5-3-1 a heavyweight. He returned to the cruiserweight division for two of his three final fights, and finished his career with a record of 29-9-1, including 13 knockouts.

The odds are just about even on the 12-round rematch between Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs), of Manchester, England. Their second fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title will headline an ESPN/FOX Sports pay-per-view event from MGM Grand Garden Arena ($79.99 in HD; 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by P4Pdunny on 02-19-2020

I hope Wilder uses his jab more and sets up the big shot because if he gives up rounds like he did against Ortiz it may backfire.

Comment by chirorickyp on 02-18-2020

Steve Cunningham. A nobody in any era. And Fury critcizes Wilder's opponents?

Comment by lowblows420 on 02-18-2020

Calzaghe vs Lacy 2.0 beating for 12...wilder is going to look lost swinging for the fences gassed and demoralized

Comment by SnoopySmurf on 02-18-2020

If Wilder fights like he did against Ortiz in their rematch, Fury will win by easy UD. Wilder fought like he was uncertain and a little bit shy on the trigger until he connected.

Comment by revelated on 02-18-2020

[QUOTE=Bum squad;20397539]Same as Calzaghe who sighted a washed up Eubank as his toughest fight.[/QUOTE] Eubank shouldn't have lost that fight. The dude was 31 and still had power. Calslappy was just too fast for him and Eubank was never one…

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (14)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Ryan Garcia: Gervonta Davis Is A B-tch, He's Short As F--k! Saunders Misconduct Hearing Could Be Held By Video Conference David Allen Secures New Trainer, Links Up With Jamie Moore WBSS Fantasy Tournament: Winky Wright Stops Sugar Ray Leonard in Nine Froch: Joshua Beating Wilder Will Make Fury Fight Even Bigger Kubrat Pulev Expects To Face Anthony Joshua on July 25 Chris Eubank Jr. Tears Apart Billy Joe Saunders Over Controversial Video Aqib Fiaz Inks Promotional Pact With Eddie Hearn Hooker: I Still Want Prograis Fight, Ready For Whenever It Happens Danny Garcia Aims For July Return, Eyes Spence Showdown Teddy Atlas: Golovkin Is Shot Fighter; Canelo-GGG Trilogy Too Late WBC Prez Condemns Saunders For Advocating Domestic Violence Boxing Without Boxing: Mike Tyson vs. Pinklon Thomas - 05/30/87 Bob Arum Celebrates 54 Years in The Sport of Boxing Joe Joyce Discusses Potential Fights With Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury Foreman: Give Wilder Another Chance - He Can Beat Fury Easily! Marvin Cordova Jr. Inks Managerial Pact With Andre Rozier Ray Mancini: I'm So Happy That I Came Up At The Time I Did Arum Explains Why 'Monopolist' Dana White Would Not Survive in Boxing Felix Verdejo Heads Back To Puerto Rico as Vegas Gym Closes Jackie Nava vs. Mariana Juarez is LIkely Getting Pushed Back Arum: Dana White Making Fool Of Himself By Insisting On Holding UFC 249 Javier Castillejo Working As Volunteer To Battle Coronavirus in Spain Scott Fitzgerald Arrested After Confrontation With Ex-Partner Anthony Joshua: Even Rebel Like Me Is Following Coronavirus Guidelines DAZN Won't Pay Rights Fees Until Events Resume; To Furlough Employees Ramirez-Postol Postponed A Second Time Due To Coronavirus Pandemic WBSS Fantasy Tournament: Marvin Hagler Stops Kelly Pavlik in Eight Brook on Facing Crawford: I Won't Look For a Way Out Like Khan! Pedro Diaz in Contact With His Stable, Ensures They Stay in Shape Fury Smiles: I'll Never Tire of Beating Wilder, I'll Take Pride In It! Robert Garcia Urges Stable To Remain Patient And Stay Ready Davison: Wilder Will Be Dangerous If He Lets His Hands Go In Third Fury Fight Andrade To Charlo: I'm The Best And Willing To Put That In Action Devin Haney Sees Luke Campbell vs. Javir Fortuna as 50-50 Fight Boxing Without Boxing: The Magnificent Max Baer Aaron Aponte Goes Pro, Given Praise From Top Trainers Joyce's Manager: New Date, Same Result - Dubois Gets Stopped! McDermott Still Feel Strongly That He Beat Tyson Fury in 2009 Jackson England Discusses WBC Asia Title Victory
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement