Fury gets off the floor to KO Cunningham
Tyson Fury (21-0) survived a second round knockdown to knock out Steve Cunningham (25-6) in the seventh round of their heavyweight bout on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, New York.
The unbeaten Mancunian looked in all sorts of trouble as the former cruiserweight champion sent him spawling to the canvas at the start of the second round but regrouped well to eventually wear down his 36-year-old opponent.
Fury had a seven-inch height advantage and used that to full effect early on as the American struggled to get close in the opening round although Fury's lack of dicipline showed as he pushed Cunningham after the bell with the refeee issuing a warning.
Seconds into the second round Fury was sent to the canvas for only the second time in his career. Cunningham caught Fury with a swinging right hand over the top, which failed to make full contact but was enough to put the Briton down.
Fury dusted away the cobwebs and kept his opponent at bay with straight jabs but in the third Cunningham had better success inside, while a blow in the fourth had Fury in trouble again. Having been warned earlier on, Fury was deducted a point for use of the head in the fifth as Fury's antics were starting to annoy the referee but a fine body shot hurt Cunningham towards the end of the round which finished with both men exchanging on the ropes.
By the midway point Cunningham was beginning to struggle with Fury's constant pressure and was finding it increasingly hard to keep his opponent at bay.
The Briton dominated the seventh when a body shot and an uppercut clearly had the American in trouble before a right hook to the jaw ended the contest.
The exuberant 24-year-old celebrated wildly as his opponent was counted out and rarely lacking in confidence, proceeded to sing for the audience as he introduced himself on his American debut.
Although Fury proved he can mix it with international class fighters, the blow that put him down shows there is plenty of improving to do if he is going to challenge Klitschko seriously.
"It's one of those things, you can't go swimming and not get wet, he put on a good fight," Fury said. "I got caught with a big swinging right. You have to get up, this is a learning experience.
That was a good hook to the side of the jaw, it was a matter of time before I got hold of him and when I caught him it was curtains."