Opinion: Tyson Fury Is Good For Boxing
By Michael Hatamoto
The fight world was focused on the lightweight title fight between Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez on UFC on FOX 7, but that wasn’t the only major fight of the weekend.
British boxer Tyson Fury met Steve Cunningham during an IBF title eliminator in New York City, as both fighters looked for a chance to compete for the IBF heavyweight championship.
Fury survived an early scare to defeat Cunningham during their heavyweight fight – and US debut – at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday.
Despite having a stiff jab and reach/height advantage against the undersized Cunningham, the British fighter found it difficult to find his range during the first few rounds. In the second round, a powerful overhand right knocked Fury down, though he survived and could get back into the fight.
Fury had a point deducted in the fifth round for excessively using his head to throw off Cunningham when they were close. From there, the larger, stronger British fighter was able to find his range and more effectively use his weight to tire out Cunningham – and the tides started to turn the longer the fight continued.
In the seventh round, Fury landed a solid right hook that dropped Cunningham at the 2:55 mark of the round.
Fury will now likely face Kubrat Pulev to determine a No. 1 contender for the winner of Francesco Planeta against Wladimir Klitschko.
The boxing world needs Fury to beat Pulev and Klitschko to win, as a Klitschko vs. Fury fight would be able to rejuvenate boxing (for a while). I wouldn’t give Fury much of a chance to beat Klitschko, but Fury’s loud mouth and brash behavior should be able to draw headlines for anyone he steps into the ring with.