Connect with us

Featured Articles

Reflections on Fury-Cunningham

Published

on

Tyson Fury makes a good villain.

Fury is a braggart who calls himself “the best fighter in the world.” To the casual observer, he comes across as an obnoxious big-mouthed lout. As of this writing, the 6-foot-9-inch Brit (or is he is bit shorter than he claims?) has compiled a 21-0 (15 KOs) record against mostly club-fight-level opposition. On April 20th, he made his American debut in New York.

Fury’s latest designated victim, Steve Cunningham, was three months shy of his 37th birthday. Cunningham has now lost four of his last five fights and hasn’t beaten a credible opponent since toppling cruiserweight Marco Huck in 2007.

Fury tipped the scales at 254 and outweighed Cunningham by 44 pounds.

The bout was in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Main Events (Cunningham’s promoter) kept the NBC license fee. Team Fury got the British TV money (which explained why the fight was scheduled for 4:00 PM instead of that night). The costs associated with renting The Garden were split evenly between the two camps.

It was an exciting fight. An inartful first round saw Cunningham missing with wild overhand rights and Fury bringing his jab back slowly and low. As the fighters made their way to their respective corners at the close of the stanza, Tyson conspicuously and gratuitously shoved Cunningham. It wasn’t a bump; it was a shove. A hard one. Referee Eddie Cotton should have taken a point away on the spot. Instead, he let the matter pass, which was a clear signal to Fury that the rules didn’t fully apply to him.

Prior to the bout, Fury had come across like a high school bully who torments smaller boys in school. One hoped that Little Steve would punch the bully in the nose and make the him run away.

Ten seconds into round two, that seemed possible. Fury threw a sloppy jab, and Cunningham responded with a right that was straight enough to land flush on the big man’s jaw.

Fury went down flat on his back with a thud.

“What were you thinking when you got knocked down?” he was asked afterward.

“You don’t think of things when you’re lying flat in your back,” Fury answered. “You get back up.”

At the count of six, he did just that.

Thereafter, Fury used his size well and turned the bout into a brawl. His constant aggression and wild swinging punches forced Cunningham to trade with him to the smaller man’s disadvantage. Equally important, Eddie Cotton allowed Tyson to lead with his shoulder, forearm, and elbow; push down on the back of Cunningham’s head; and otherwise illegally rough Steve up (headlocks are illegal in boxing).

In sum; Cotton lost control of the fight. Although if one were being cynical, one might say that the referee was controlling the fight precisely the way he wanted to. Indeed, at one point when Fury seemed a bit buzzed by another blow, Cotton stopped the action to give him an inappropriately-timed warning for fouling (which afforded Tyson time to recover).

In round five, a head-butt by Fury cost him a one-point deduction. But by then, Cunningham was weakening and the momentum of the bout had shifted irrevocably in Tyson’s favor. Whatever modicum of respect he might have had for Cunningham’s punching power was gone, and he was firing his own punches with abandon.

The start of round six was delayed while trainer Naazm Richardson sloooowwwly repaired some loose tape on Cunningham’s glove. That confirmed the obvious; that Steve was exhausted and would have a hard time surviving the second half of the fight.

The end came in round seven. With forty seconds left in the stanza, a paralyzing right uppercut to the body forced Cunningham to the ropes. Fury then moved in and finished his opponent off, setting up a final crushing right hand by jamming his left forearm into the smaller man’s throat and pushing his head directly into the line of fire.

Two judges had Cunningham ahead on points 57-55 at the time of the stoppage. The third judge had matters even.

“I hunted him down like a lion hunts down a deer,” Fury proclaimed afterward. “In a dog fight, the bigger stronger dog always wins.”

“He did what he was supposed to do,” Cunningham acknowledged. “He put his weight on me. He kept leaning on me and leaning on me. It felt like I was fighting two people.” Then Cunningham added, “He can fight, but he did it dirty.”

So . . . What should we make of Tyson Fury?

First, give Fury credit for getting in the ring. All fighters deserve that. He was in good condition against Cunningham, fought a physical fight at a fast pace, and showed a fighting spirit. He’s fun to watch, less so to listen to. It would be interesting to know whether he’s a jerk in person or if his public persona is just an act. Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

Meanwhile, the heavyweight division is thin enough that Fury stands a reasonable chance of becoming a beltholder some day. Whether he can become a champion is another matter.

Fury’s partisans would like to see their man in the ring against Wladimir Klitschko. In their view, Tyson’s size, free-swinging style, and roughhouse tactics would bother Wladimir. It’s likely that Wladimir’s skill and punching power would bother Fury more.

Either way, Fury versus Klitschko would be fun to watch while it lasted. If Fury got blasted out, that would be entertaining too.

Thomas Hauser can be reached by email at thauser@rcn.com. His next book (Thomas Hauser on Sports: Remembering the Journey) will be published by the University of Arkansas Press later this spring.

 

Featured Articles

Odds Review for Friday’s Boxing on Telemundo

Miguel Iturrate

Published

on

boxing odds
South Florida promoter Tuto Zabala Jr has a seven fight card planned for the Osceola Heritage Center in Kissimmee this Friday, February 22nd that sees three undefeated prospects headline the show. For more than two decades, Zabala Jr has promoted the sport in Mexico and Florida and Friday’s event will air on Spanish language Telemundo in the United States, so check your local listings for start times.
A pair of ten round bouts hold the main event spots as undefeated Yomar Alamo faces veteran Manuel Mendez at welterweight and likewise unbeaten Carlos Monroe takes on Jonathan Tavira in a middleweight bout.
The 23 year old Alamo is from fight hungry Puerto Rico and he is considered a key piece to promoter Zabala Jr’s plans to run shows back on the island. The 28 year old Mendez once carried the ‘prospect’ label as well but Mendez is 1-3-1 in his last five fights. The experience of being in there with the likes of Sonny Fredrickson (19-1) and undefeated Johnathan Navarro (15-0) will make him Alamo’s toughest test to date. The welterweight division is crowded and Alamo is going to need to keep winning beyond Friday to get noticed, but he already banks on the fervent support of his “boriqua” crowd. Promoter Zabala Jr may be wondering if matchmaker Ruben DeJesus picked the right guy in Mendez. Alamo’s record in Puerto Rico looks to have a good bit of fluff. He didn’t face an opponent with a single pro win until his seventh fight. He faced 40 year old vet Edwin Lopez in 2016, but Lopez hurt his hand in the first round and could not continue, so Alamo is largely untested.
Middleweight prospect Carlos Monroe looks to go 12-0 as he steps in to his first bout scheduled for ten rounds. Veteran Jonathan Tavira provides the opposition for the 24 year old Monroe, who turned pro in December of 2017 and notched 10 fights in calendar year 2018. Monroe has been brought along carefully, as the combined record of his 11 opponents stands at 46-98-8. Tavira has been in there with the likes of Arif Magomedov, Dario Bredicean and Esquiva Falcao, all undefeated fighters on the way up. Tavira hits hard but he has been stopped five times in his six losses, so look for Monroe to improve on his eight KOs to date.
2016 U.S. Olympian Antonio Vargas looks to improve to 10-0 in an eight round bantamweight bout against Lucas Rafael Baez (34-17-5). Vargas was originally scheduled to take on Wilner Soto, a veteran with a 21-5 record and he was a big favorite in that match-up.
Below are the current lines as we start off fight week.
Fri 2/22 – Osceola Heritage Center – Kissimmee, Florida
Welterweight 10 rounds –
Manuel Mendez(16-4-1) +160
Yomar Alamo(15-0)         -210
Middleweight 10 rounds –
Jonathan Tavira (17-6)            +550
Carlos Monroe (11-0)             -1050
Bantamweight 8 rounds –
Lucas Rafael Baez        +1150
Antonio Vargas            -2450
(Opponent change for Vargas, line should be similar for new opponent Lucas Rafael Baez)

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Blake Caparello Looks To Grab WBA Regional Belt This Friday

Miguel Iturrate

Published

on

Caparello
This Friday night in Australia, light heavyweight contender Blake Caparello returns to action as he faces youngster Reagan Dessaix for the WBA’s Oceania title in the main event of a planned six fight card at The Melbourne Pavilion.
Dessaix currently holds the belt that Caparello held back in 2017, and the 22-year-old is hoping a win on Friday will put him on the international radar. It is where Caparello, who enters this fight as a 32-year-old, has been and hopes to get to again.
Those are the basics of Friday’s main event, the youngster Dessaix making a significant leap in competition level as he looks to get ranked internationally, while the veteran Caparello is hopeful a win will propel him closer to another world title shot.
Caparello laid claim to the IBO’s world title at 175 pounds back in October of 2013 when he won a comfortable unanimous decision over veteran Allan Green. Caparello, who was 17-0-1 at the time of the Green fight, went on to an introductory fight in the United States, and a win there saw him earn an August of 2014 title shot against WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.
Caparello has to feel he was close to a world title as he had the feared Kovalev down in round one before the “Krusher” took him out in round two. Since then, he has fought Isaac Chilemba and Andre Dirrell, extending both ranked veterans the full fight distance. The March of 2018 loss to Chilemba was for the WBC’s world title, and Caparello managed to go 2-0 the rest of the calendar year.
Green, Kovalev, Dirrell and Chilemba. The bottom line is that Dessaix had a solid amateur career in Australia, but there is no one with resumes like the men Caparello has faced when asked to step onto the world scene.
The WBA’s current world champion is Dmitry Bivol (15-0), who is making the fourth defense of his title in March against hard hitting Joe Smith Jr. The veteran Caparello could mount a case for a mandatory shot against either man with a win on Friday, while Dessaix would likely have to keep fighting and winning before earning a shot at a world title.
The co-feature bout is for the Australian title at 154 pounds and sees 31 year old Billy Klimov facing Joel Camilleri. Camilleri is favored as he has had a lot more professional experience than Limov, who turned professional at 29 years old. Strictly regional stuff here.
Both fights have lines at some of the sportsbooks. Check out the numbers as they were at the start of fight week below.
Fri 2/22 – The Melbourne Pavilion – Victoria, Australia
WBA Oceania Title
Light Heavyweight 10 rounds –
Reagan Dessaix(16-1)         +255
Blake Caparello (28-3-1)    -365
Australian Title
Super Welterweight 10 rounds –
Billy Limov (4-0-1)     +200
Joel Camilleri(16-5-1) -280
Check out the link for the live event right here. http://www.epicentre.tv/events/blake-caparello-v-reagan-dessaix/

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Will Fury’s Deal With ESPN Torpedo The Fights That Fight Fans Want to See?

Arne K. Lang

Published

on

Fury's deal with ESPN

For the past few weeks, boxing fans have been led to believe that the rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was ever so-close to being a done deal. But in the world of professional boxing where Machiavellian characters seemingly hold all the positions of power, nothing is ever a done deal until it’s finally finalized. Today’s announcement that Tyson Fury has signed with ESPN is the latest case in point. It’s a three-fight deal that will reportedly earn the Gypsy King $80 million if he can successfully hurdle the first two legs.

As Thomas Hauser has noted, what we have in boxing today is something similar to leagues in other sports. There’s the Top Rank/ESPN League, the Matchroom/DAZN League, and the PBC/Showtime/FOX League. We would add that these are intramural leagues. Occasionally there’s cross-pollination, similar to when the Yankees play the Mets in a game that counts in the regular season standings, but basically the boxers in each league compete against each other.

We have no doubt that WBC/WBA/IBF heavyweight ruler Anthony Joshua will eventually fight Wilder and/or Fury, but it now appears that these matches, when they transpire, will have marinated beyond the sell date. The action inside the ring may mirror the Mayweather-Pacquiao dud.

A match between Joshua and Wilder is already somewhat less enticing than it would have been if it had come to fruition last autumn. The odds lengthened in favor of Joshua after Wilder’s raggedy performance against Tyson Fury on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.

True, the Bronze Bomber almost pulled the fight out of the fire with a thunderous punch but he was out-slicked in most of the rounds and it wasn’t as if he was fighting a bigger version of Pernell Whitaker. Before that fight, casual fans were less tuned-in to Deontay Wilder’s limitations.

It was reported that the Wilder-Fury rematch was headed to Las Vegas or New York, but that Las Vegas fell out of the running when the State Athletic Commission insisted on using Nevada officials. Fury was the one that balked.

In hindsight we should have seen that this was fake news. No Nevada officials were involved in Fury-Wilder I. The judges were from California, Canada, and Great Britain. The California judge voted against Fury, scoring the fight 115-111, a tally for which he was excoriated. The judge from Great Britain, like many ringside reporters, had it draw. The TV crews, especially the crew from Great Britain, left no doubt that Fury should have had his hand raised and the controversy made the hoped-for rematch more alluring.

So who will be Tyson Fury’s next opponent? Speculation immediately centered on Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev.

Pulev, who turns 38 of May 4, sports a 26-1 record. He was slated to fight Anthony Joshua in October of 2017 but suffered a torn biceps in training and was forced to withdraw. In his most recent bout he outpointed Hughie Fury, Tyson’s cousin. He’s currently ranked #1 by the IBF.

On Dec. 8 of last year, Bob Arum announced that he had hammered out a deal to co-promote Pulev. It was subsequently reported that Pulev’s first fight under the Top Rank/ESPN umbrella would be against Finland’s Robert Helenius on March 23 in Los Angeles. Six days ago, the distinguished European fight writer Per Ake Persson told his readers that the fight had fallen out, ostensibly because the parties could not come to terms.

Tyson Fury is the most charismatic white heavyweight to come down the pike since Gerry Cooney and the big galoot is bigger than Cooney ever was as he has avid followers on both sides of the Atlantic and Cooney didn’t have social media to enhance his profile. I have little doubt that ESPN will recoup their investment in him. However, deals in boxing are never consummated with an eye on uplifting the sport – on patching things up with the disaffected – and here’s yet another example.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

 

Continue Reading

Trending