NEW YORK - To make a memorable boxing event, of course the first step is to create a great match, but that is not the only factor that counts. Often the atmosphere at ringside plays a significant role in making an event unforgettable. Fan participation outside the ring can influence the fighters to reach new heights and sometimes even helps to sway the way the fight goes.
When it comes to the Tyson Fury vs. Steve Cunningham heavyweight collision coming up on Saturday, April 20th, consider both areas well covered.
The fight itself is likely to produce a real clash between the dangerous Irish import, Fury, and Cunningham, the more seasoned pro from Philadelphia. The hard-punching, six-foot-nine-inch Fury, 20-0, 14 KOs, is promising a definitive knockout over the former two-time champion. Cunningham, 25-5, 12 KOs, who has never been knocked out, is determined to school his younger foe and deliver the giant his very first defeat.
However, it is the atmosphere for the fight and the involvement of the fans that just might help to make this one a "Fight of the Year" candidate. Polarized by the pre-fight press conference fireworks that sparked the bout with excitement early on, each fighter will bring an ardent fan base with them to Madison Square Garden, and these opposing factions should make for a rivalry every bit as scorching as the one inside the ring.
Fury's fans are convinced that he is the next big thing in the heavyweight division, and will pack the Garden to cheer him to victory over Cunningham, his stiffest test thus far. They must be there in person to see Fury crash the heavyweight rankings.
Meanwhile, Cunningham supporters, still raw from seeing Steve get robbed against Tomasz Adamek in December, will insist on being in New York to show their support and see their man finally earn his stripes as a heavyweight. If Cunningham gets another raw deal, the fans will have his back at the Garden.
This 12-round, too close for comfort, "pick 'em" match up, is one that both fan bases want to be a part of, and would never consider missing. It should be an event to remember.