- Michael Woods, Boxing
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Tyson Fury, who fights Steve Cunningham at the Madison Square Garden Theater on April 20, has one of the best names in boxing. His dad, a pro fighter, saw the newborn, born seven weeks premature, and decided to name him after Mike Tyson. It sort of fit, seeing as how he impatiently exited the womb, and reportedly "died" three times in the ICU, but was resuscitated. As a baby, the kid was a fighter. Today, he's a full-on fighter.
Apart from having the best name, Fury, who is in town to hype his clash with ex-cruiser champion Cunningham, maintains he's the best boxer in the sport today, bar none.
Yes, he's not lacking in chutzpah.
Cunningham, the Philly-based pugilist who will seek to be the better ring general at MSG, might prefer to see it as full of blarney.
Fury, who lives in Cheshire, England, doesn't think it's a question of who's the best heavyweight in boxing.
"It's not to be determined," Fury said Friday in a phone interview to help sell the bout, which is being promoted by Main Events. "I'm the best heavyweight, and the best fighter on the planet, pound for pound. Anyone you want to set me up with, I will fight."
Throwing fists has been a part of the Fury DNA "back to the 1880s," the 24-year-old Irish hitter said.
His great grandfather, Tiger Gorman, boxed, as did his uncle Bartley Gorman, who he called "King of the Bar Knuckles." His father, John, went 8-4-1 as a heavy in the 80s and 90s.
Fury (20-0 with 14 KOs) expects to go further in boxing than his dad. He wants to make a splash in America by stopping Cunningham, 36, (25-5 with 12 KOs) who he believes is not the best he's fought in the ring. Both Dereck Chisora and Kevin Johnson, Fury said, are natural heavyweights, while Cunningham has an iffy chin, in his mind.
"Cunningham is getting knocked out for sure, he's a smaller man than me," he said. "I'm out for the knockout, no points, not in my US debut. I'm out to pump some life back into the boring heavyweight division."
Cunningham boxed super smart in his last outing, a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek in December, and if he maintains focus for the duration, Fury could taste loss for the first time as a pro.
In the trash talking department, though, Fury has the edge. During a Thursday press conference in New Jersey, he asked Cunningham if he could sponsor the soles of his boxing boots, implying that when he goes down, watchers will get a good look.