Fury knocks out Cunningham on US debut
Tyson Fury enjoyed victory on his US debut after a seventh-round knockout of Steve Cunningham at Madison Square Garden in New York, but it was not all plain-sailing for the undefeated heavyweight.
Fury was knocked down by a huge Cunningham right-hander in the second round, which clearly rattled the Manchester-born fighter before he responded with a gritty display and landed a heavy right hand of his own to down the veteran and claim a maiden victory on American soil.
Fury looked calm in a lively opening round, landing a number of shots as Cunningham struggled to cope with Fury's reach.
However, the veteran threw the first meaningful punch of the bout when flooring Fury with a huge overhand right. It clearly rocked Fury, who managed to see the second round out despite Cunningham landing more shots on the front foot.
Fury was quick to avenge his knock-down in round three, hitting Cunningham hard with a right hand of his own. Both fighters exchanged blows as Cunningham took the advantage just before the bell with a smart right slice.
Cunningham seized the initiative as Fury could not find a foothold in the fourth, the American landing his shots more accurately than his British counterpart.
It got worse for Fury early in the fifth round, as he was docked a point by the referee after numerous warnings over holding. However, Fury used it to his advantage and threw a huge right which left Cunningham rattled before the bell.
Fury continued to use his size as an advantage over Cunningham, stretching his reach in the sixth to land several notable punches.
Good work to the body by Fury in the seventh seemed to hurt his opponent, and it was confirmed as the Brit landed another big body blow before stunning Cunningham with an uppercut. Then came the administrative blow, as Fury landed a final big right hand which Cunningham could not get up from.
"What a fight it was," Fury told Channel 5. "Cunningham put up a good fight, but he lost to the better fighter on the night."
On being knocked down in the second round, Fury added: "I slipped. No, I got caught with a big swinging right hand and when you don't see them coming you go down, but you've got to get back up.
"A good big one will always beat a good little one."
Cunningham was quick to point to the size difference between the pair, stating Fury's advantage was too much to counter.
"He kept leaning on me and leaning on me," Cunningham said. "It's like I'm fighting two people. He's a giant. I was dazed; couldn't make it count."