Cunningham Versus Fury MSG Fight Card Preview
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Correspondent
New York, NY (April 20th,2013)–Main Events, Hennessy Sports, Peltz Boxing Promotions, USNBC Television and Norway Viasat Sport Television will present an exciting six fight boxing card on Saturday afternoon, April 20, 2013, broadcast live from Madison Square Garden Theater.
The event is a rare public television broadcast in the United states, as boxing continues its return to widespread popularity in the mainstream media. It’s a wonderful throwback to the golden days of boxing in the 1970’s and 1980’s, where boxing fans could sit at home and enjoy the best fight cards in the world in the company of family and friends. Boxing takes its place with professional baseball, football, basketball, hockey and the Olympic Games as public television entertainment. Kathy Duva, Mick Hennessy, and Russell Peltz deserve enormous credit for bringing boxing back to prime time telecasts, following Steve Cunningham’s televised heavyweight bout with Tomas Adamek.
The card will begin with two four rounders. 18 year old heavyweight Hughie Fury of the United Kingdom (a cousin of Tyson Fury) will fight unknown Alex Rozman in a battle of 1-0 fighters. Hughie’s height has been various reported as being between 6’6″ and 6’8″. At 234 pounds, Hughie is 14 pounds less than his cousin Tyson. If Hughie is in fact 6’8″ as he claims (one inch less than Tyson), his size and strength alone should be sufficient to win this four round bout to open the Madison Square Garden. No information about his 1-0 opponent Rozman was available at press time.
In the second bout, two time New York City Golden Gloves Champion Polish heavyweight prospect Adam Kownacki of Brooklyn, New York, age 24, 4-0 with four knockouts, should make short work in the first three rounds of Calbert Lewis, a 37 year old Gary Indiana journeyman who lost both of the four rounders he fought in 2012 by decision in Indiana.
Cruiserweight prospect Sevdail Sherifi of Switzerland, age 24, 9-1-2, eight knockouts, makes his American debut in the third bout against onetime Boxing 360 southpaw fighter Joshua Harris, 30, of Youngstown, Ohio, a loser of three of his last four bouts. Sherifi lost a six rounder in his professional debut in 2009, but is unbeaten in his last 11 pro bouts. Harris has been knocked out in the first round by Julio Cesar Matthews and Jeremiah Graziano, and knocked out in the second round in his last outing in March 2012 by Stivens Bujaj, fighters with a combined record of 33-0. 2 of 3 of Sherifi’s opponents have been knocked out. Expect Sherifi to stop Harris anytime from the fourth round on.
Rapidly rising Philadelphia lightweight prospect Karl Dargan, 27, now 12-0 with six knockouts, will fight rough tough Dominican fighter Edwardo Valdez of New York City, the New York State Lightweight Champion, 12-9-2 with two knockouts. Valdez took DiBella Entertainment prospect Ivan Redkach on an eight round trip to hell in December 2012 at Roseland. Valdez will take Dargan to school. Expect Dargan to win a hard fought six round decision in an exciting undercard bout sure to please the crowd. Valdez’ record is deceiving. Dargan will have to have a big heart and strong chin and be in top form to outgun Valdez, who is always in the house and gives a great accounting of himself. If Dargan can stop Valdez, is would be a major step in the advancement of his career. Valdez is a major test for Dargan.
In the undercard to the main event, middleweight contender Curtis ‘Showtime’ Stevens, of Brownsville, New York, 28, now 23-3, 17 knockouts, will face a most dangerous Derrick Findley, 28, 20-9, 13 knockouts, Gary, Indiana. Findley, a middleweight trialhorse, has lost six of his last nine bouts, but Findley’s record reveals a high quality list of opponents and a number of questionable outcomes.
For example, opponents Findley has lost to include J’Leon Love, Victor Polyakov, Fernando Guerrero, Matt Korobov, Jorge Alberto Gonzalez, Andre Dirrell and Andre Woard, fighters with a combined record of 85-0 when he fought them.
Findley disposed of Ronald Hearns, the son of Thomas Hitman Hearns, by second round knockout in December 2012. Findley also disposed of 10-1 David Thomas by knockout in September 2012. Findley’s troubles have to do with his taking numerous fights without sufficient preparation time in a six to eight week camp.
Stevens is a vicious, brutal hitter. But against fine technical fighters like Jesse Brinkley, Darnell Bone and Dhafir Smith, Andre Dirrell, Carl Daniels, and Don Mouton, Stevens was taken the eight, ten and twelve round distance. Stevens will win a convincing eight round decision over Findley by winning rounds on aggression and power punches landed as the busier fighter. Stevens has not fought a scheduled ten rounder since 20007. This bout would have been better at the ten round distance rather than eight rounds, but it is still an interesting bout. Findley was stopped in the eighth round in July 2006 by Marcos Primera. If Stevens does stop Findley, it will probably late in the seventh or eighth rounds in a good war.
In the main event, Philadelphia heavyweight Steve USS Cunningham, 25-5, 12 knockouts, brings his ‘A’ game to the table in an International Boxing Federation eliminator for the number two ratings position slot, in a 12 rounder against unbeaten but untested Tyson Fury of the United Kingdom, 25, now 20-0, 14 knockouts, in a critical crossroads bout for both men. As Cunningham, a former cruiserweight world champion, has lost three of his last four bouts, he must win this important bout to remain in heavyweight contention.
Fury has fought all of his bouts in the United Kingdom, with exception on an eight round decision win over veteran journeyman Zack Page. Price stands 6’9″ and weighs 248 pounds, and holds quality wins over Dereck Chisora, Vinny Maddalone, Kevin Johnson, Neven Pajkic and Rich Powers, and has held the Irish, British Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight titles. Nonetheless, Fury is untested at the world class level. His Chisora and Johnson bouts went 12 rounds.
Cunningham outboxed Tomasz Adamek in December 2012, but somehow lost a controversial 12 round split decision. The key to Cunningham’s victory is to outbox and outwork Fury both on the inside and outside of range with excellent hand speed and foot motion, creating angles while not providing a moving target. At 6’3″ and 203 pounds, the big question is how well Steve can stand up to the gargantuan Tyson Fury, a modern day Jess Willard. Jack Dempsey was only 6’1″ but got inside and broke down the 6’6 1/2″ Willard with pinpoint accurate punches.
Steve lacks the power to knock out Fury owing to the weight disparity, but he does possess superior boxing skills to win almost every round over the overhyped Fury. Cunningham will win this 12 rounder by decision. Fury’s only chance would be a one punch knockout, which would be possible only if Cunningham got recklessly careless at any point in the bout. Steve can be butt or cut but does not make mistakes. Steve must set the tempo and fight his fight. Steve will win if he can stick to his game plan, keep a good defense, and tie Fury up whenever Fury gets too close.