Madison Square Garden Theater, New York, New York– Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 KOs) remained undefeated with a seventh round stoppage of former two-time cruiserweight champ, Steve Cunningham (25-6, 12 KOs), but it wasn’t the one-sided blowout Fury had been predicting for his U.S. debut.
Early on, the smaller Cunningham, who gave away 44 pounds in weight and twelve years in age, boxed well, darting in and out and managing to stay away from his opponent’s long-range bombs and up-close mauling.
An overhand right from Cunningham would drop Fury in the second round and put the Manchester, UK native on shaky legs for a few moments. But the 24-year-old Fury would recover and begin to find his rhythm in the fourth round, landing solid shots from the outside and using his 254 lb. frame to smother and tire Cunningham on the inside.
Cunningham would try to reproduce the success he had earlier in the fight with winging overhand shots, but Fury was keeping his hands up and carefully pushing forward. The size disparity also started to creep into the equation as Cunningham began to tire and throw fewer actual punches that mattered.
In the fifth round, Fury has a point deducted for attempting to use his head on the inside, but it wouldn’t matter. Cunningham was on a downward spiral and it appeared to be just a matter of time before the Philadelphia native would fall.
In the seventh round, with Cunningham against the ropes and already hurt from a shot, Fury went in for the kill, finally finding the right combination in a left forearm-right hook selection.
Cunningham made the attempt to beat the count, but just couldn’t find the energy.
After the bout, Fury regaled the MSG theater crowd with tales of his awesomeness and a godawful, wobbly-voiced serenade.
On the televised undercard, middleweight fringe contender Curtis Stevens (24-3, 17 KOs) scored a unanimous eight round decision over Derrick Findley (20-10, 13 KOs) with scores of 78-74, 78-74, and 79-73.
Also, Tyson Fury’s cousin, 18-year-old Hughie Fury (2-0, 2 KOs) made quick work of former MMA competitor Alex Rossman (1-1), scoring two knockdowns en route to a first round TKO.