Boxing News

Tyson Fury talks Cunningham fight; his plans for a “Wladimir Klitschko Manhunt”


By James Slater

Unbeaten British heavyweight Tyson Fury has enjoyed his share of headlines these past few days, most of them a result of his heated press conference ahead of April 20th’s fight with Steve “U.S.S” Cunningham. Last week, the 6’9″ 24-year-old verbally attacked the former cruiserweight champ, vowing to “punish” and “retire” the 36-year-old.

Fury, 20-0(14) also found the time to speak with Fightnews a couple of days after the press conference ahead of his American debut:

On last week’s press conference:

“I wanted to get under Cunningham’s skin at the press conference and I achieved that. His trainer [Naazim Richardson] was very upset, and Cunningham dropped his balls. Fights such as this are won before they even happen; just like my fight with Derek Chisora (a July, 2011 12-round UD victory for Fury).”

On whether or not Cunningham, 25-5(12) is his best opponent to date:

“Cunningham is a good fighter with experience, but I think the unbeaten Chisora was a better fighter at the time, and Kevin Johnson. Johnson did run from me, he didn’t fancy messing with my power at all, and Cunningham will run as well. He will run, I’m sure of it, but as soon as I get hold of him and hit him with a couple of good shots, he’ll be on the floor. He’s never been stopped but I will definitely become the first man to stop him.”

On his plans for after the Cunningham fight:

“This win will put me in the number-two spot with the IBF and I am going to go on a manhunt, all around the world, to get a fight with Wladimir Klitschko. Wherever he looks, he will see me! But he doesn’t want to fight me. He could’ve fought me next, but he chose [Francesco] Pianeta instead, which is a much easier fight for him. I think Wladimir will retire instead of facing me. He doesn’t want to fight me and I can’t really blame him. But the thing is, I don’t need him, he needs me. When he retires, I’ll fight for the vacant titles and I’ll build my own legacy. Next up after Cunningham will probably be [Kubrat] Pulev, but I’ll fight anybody. Right now, I’m focused on destroying Cunningham. If a final [IBF] eliminator with Pulev comes up next I’ll take it; if an elimination with the Arreola-Stiverne winner (WBC) comes up I’ll take that. Whichever fight comes up first, I’ll take.”

On the possibility of more fights in the USA:

“All being well, I’d like to come back here and have more fights here. I’m 24 and at age 34 a heavyweight is not old. So I have a good ten years ahead of me.”

On his favourite fight to have taken place at the legendary Madison Square Garden:

“I don’t have a particular favourite fight from Madison Square Garden, there have been so many great fights there. But my fight, as soon as I do a job on Cunningham, that will be my favourite fight from there! I’m really looking forward to this fight.”

On working for a brief period of time with the late, great Emanuel Steward:

“Emanuel Steward was a great guy, a great trainer, and he had a lot of belief in me. He told people I would be the next undisputed heavyweight champion, and I’m going to fulfil his prophecy.”

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