By Johnny Walker
The heavyweight with the best name in boxing, Tyson Fury (20-0, 14 KOs), will finally make his US debut on April 20th at the Mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The 6’ 9”, 24-year-old Anglo-Irish giant had planned to fight at MSG on St. Patrick’s Day of 2012, only to have the date taken by Sergio Martinez and Matthew Macklin.
Standing across the ring from Fury will be American veteran Steve “USS” Cunningham (25-5, 12 KOs), a former cruiserweight champion who lost a controversial decision last time out to Polish boxing icon Tomasz Adamek.
Also on the MSG bill will be heavyweight Hughie Fury, Tyson’s 18-year-old cousin who recently won a gold medal in the World Youth Games at heavyweight. Hughie Fury will not only be making his American debut, but his professional debut as well. Both Furys are trained by Hughie’s father, Peter.
Of course, two heavyweights who share the same last name have ruled the heavyweight division for most of the last decade, so when it comes to the Furys, comparisons to the Klitschko brothers are bound to crop up. And it’s a comparison that Tyson Fury is only too happy to make.
“Together we will take over the heavyweight division,” says the always confident elder fighting Fury of he and his cousin.
“When I get the title, I will take on all-comers. Then Hughie will come along and we’ll reign with all the belts. Move over the Klitschkos, the Furys are coming.”
Tyson Fury had been distracted from his world title quest by a proposed fight with domestic rival from Liverpool, David Price, a bout that would have been highly lucrative for both men. But Price’s recent knockout loss to American veteran Tony Thompson has at least temporarily taken that option off the table, and as a result, Fury has now turned his focus back to the Klitschko brothers.
Tyson Fury’s promoter (he will also promote Hughie), Mick Hennessey, claims that he has been chasing a fight for his charge with either Klitschko brother, only to be totally shut out of the picture.
“They are going to have to be forced to face Tyson,” Hennessey says of the champions.
“We have tried to negotiate a fight and they have zero interest. It is ridiculous that they have avoided him – both Wladimir and Vitali –so we are going to force the issue.”
To that end, the fight with Cunningham will be a “official IBF Heavyweight Voluntary Eliminator” for the number two position, with the winner facing the number one contender (likely Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev) or the next highest ranked heavyweight available.
Of course, it’s one thing to say you and your cousin are going to supplant the Klitschkos, and another to actually do it. And Steve Cunningham, wanting to justify his spot in this eliminator following the loss to Adamek, will be trying his best to derail the Fury Express before it can get started.
The Furys, however, unlike the champion Klitschkos, still have youth on their side. Hughie Fury says his goal is to outdo Mike Tyson and win a heavyweight championship at a younger age than the Brooklyn native did (Tyson was a world champ at age 20).
“We’re going to be the ‘Furious Two’ and in a few years we’ll have all the belts, not the Klitschkos,” says Tyson Fury.
The journey begins April 20th in NYC.