PHILADELPHIA - They aren't scheduled to fight until April 20th, but Tyson Fury and Steve Cunningham almost fought round one at last week's explosive press conference in New York City.The episode was an ordinary fight announcement event until Irish import Tyson Fury revved up the rhetoric and began some serious trash-talking.
Fury pulled no punches and promised to not only KO the former two-time champion but to end his career as well.Fury's tirade included calling Cunningham a weak-chinned small man, and went so far as requesting to sponsor the soles of Cunningham's shoes.The outburst was something to see, but according to Cunningham was nothing more than hot air.
"He talks so much," Cunningham said."It brought me back to when I was a teen.Guys talked, talked, talked, because they didn't want to fight.They talked so big and bad to try to make you scared of them.What they wanted was to talk you out of a fight."
Cunningham is not the trash-talking type.Always the consummate gentleman, Cunningham remained calm, cool, and composed while Fury laid into him at the presser.He prefers to save it for the ring.
"It felt disrespectful," Cunningham said."Tyson did get under my skin a little, but I'm a veteran.I'm 36, and I've been doing this for 12 years.I once fought a guy named Marco Huck
who did the same thing.He talked all this big talk, disrespected me, and made a big old scene at the press conference."
Cunningham scored a TKO over Huck to defend his cruiserweight title, and will look to teach Tyson Fury the same lesson.
"I'm well prepared for this," Cunningham continued."I know exactly what he's doing.He's expecting me to come in angry.But I know how to stick to the game plan, and the game plan is going to get me through."
Steve will rely on his well-respected trainer Brother Naazim Richardson to design the perfect strategy to defeat the giant-sized Fury, and Cunningham is prepared to carry out that plan perfectly.
"He can do all this talking, but on fight night, he's got to fight," Cunningham said."You can talk and get everybody excited, but you still have to get in the ring with me and fight.I'll be prepared, and fans should be ready to see the best Steve Cunningham they've ever seen.I'm working hard and believe I will prevail."
The Fury - Cunningham battle headlines an exciting afternoon of boxing at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on April 20th. The main event and the co-feature bout with Curtis "Showtime" Stevens vs. Derrick Findley will be broadcast beginning 4PM ET on NBC.
APRIL 20TH FIGHT INFO:
April 20th at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York features a 12-round heavyweight battle between Tyson Fury and Steve Cunningham in the main event. Curtis Stevens will take on Derrick Findley in the 8-round middleweight co-feature. Six additional bouts are planned for the undercard. The main event and co-feature will be broadcast 4PM ET on NBC as a special 2 hour afternoon presentation of NBC Sports Fight Night. The card is presented by Hennessy Sports and Main Events.
The main event is an official IBF Heavyweight Voluntary Eliminator fight for the #2 position. The winner must meet #1 or the leading available contender to establish the mandatory challenger for Heavyweight King Wladimir Klitschko.
Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $100, $250 and $500. Tickets are available at the Madison Square Garden box office, through Ticketmaster 866-858-0008 and atticketmaster.com. Ticket prices include a $5 Facility Surcharge. Ticketmaster purchases are subject to a Ticketmaster Surcharge. Wheelchairs, companion seats, aisle seats and Assistive Listening Devices are available 212-465-6035