By James Slater
Promoter Mick Hennessy and Channel 5 have announced the eagerly anticipated heavyweight showdown between unbeaten Tyson Fury and former cruiserweight ruler Steve Cunningham will be shown exclusively on Channel 5 in the U.K on Saturday, April 27th. The fight, to go out on NBC in the U.S – NBC, like Channel 5 being a terrestrial or “free” T.V channel – can now be expected to draw huge numbers on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as enjoying a big paying crowd in attendance at Madison Square Garden in New York.
To give you some idea of how a big a hit Fury is with T.V viewers in his homeland, his July 2011 fight with fellow Brit Dereck Chisora drew an impressive 3 million viewers. Tyson’s more recent fights have also attracted big numbers on Channel 5, of well over the one million mark.
Now, with Fury-Cunningham being such an important fight (an eliminator for the IBF#2 position), Channel 5 can likely expect another impressive number later this month.
Hennessy says that as far as he is aware, his long and successful relationship with the T.V network will continue for the foreseeable future. Good news, then, for U.K boxing fans! The head of Hennessy Sports naturally expects huge things from Fury, a fighter who, at age 24, has many potential years ahead of him.
“It’s exciting with Tyson Fury,” Hennessy said to Fightnews. “At age 24, he has such a long career ahead of him. He’s going to be a massive star. And Tyson and I, we’ve been together through lots of ups and downs and we’ll stay together. He will win the world title, no doubt. If you saw this kid in the gym, you’d see that his fights have so far only shown the tip of the iceberg as far as his talent, of what he can really do. Tyson Fury is going to shake up the world of heavyweight boxing.”
Channel 5’s coverage of Fury Vs. Cunningham – which will also feature heavyweight hope Hughie Fury in his second pro bout – will begin at 9.30PM U.K time. NBC’s coverage in the U.S will begin at 4PM ET.