Saturday night, the 20th of April, heavyweight contender Tyson Fury
faces what is expected to be his toughest test to date when he meets
former IBF cruiserweight champion Steve “USS” Cunningham at the Madison
Square Garden in New York City. During the 188th edition of “On The
Ropes” boxing radio I had a chance to speak with Tyson Fury about the
upcoming challenge and get his thoughts on making his debut in the
United States. Fury also talked about the Klitschko's and gave his views
on whether or not either brother wants to face him. Additionally Tyson
discussed the possibility of fighting David Haye and what other fights
might be in his future. Here are some of the comments Tyson Fury made
during his 20 minute appearance on the show.
Jenna J: You have a big fight coming this weekend against Steve Cunningham, how do you feel about the opportunity?
Tyson Fury: This
is a good opportunity especially because its on NBC, and he's supposed
to be a top heavyweight, (Cunningham) one of the best in America, so
it’s a good opportunity for me to showcase my skills, go to Madison
Square Garden, get my swag on, knock somebody out, and hit the town.
Jenna: What disadvantages do you think Steve Cunningham faces when he steps in the ring against you?
Fury: I'm not
too sure really what his disadvantages are really because I'm not Steve
Cunningham or his team, but you know, obviously the size factor, but
they will be trying to counter that, so obviously I'm bigger, stronger,
younger, better looking everything really.
He's disadvantaged on every single element
there is, I’ve got more power than him, I'm fresher. It's an up hill
battle for Steve Cunningham all the way really and if he can pull this
off he definitely needs five stars.
Jenna: How do you feel about making your debut in the United States for this fight?
Fury: I feel
good you know, its about time, its been a long time coming, there's
always been different reasons of why and why not too and whatever's, so
I'm really happy that it’s finally happening. I'm glad the USA are
getting to see the "Furious One" and I hope they like what they see.
Jenna: This fight is for the #2 spot in the IBF, how does it feel to be getting that much closer to a title fight?
Fury: It’s good it’s a good feeling to get
closer and closer but I'm gonna tell you something, I think I'll fight
Cunningham and then I'll fight Pulev for the mandatory spot and then
I'll end up fighting for the vacant IBF cuz I know that
Wladimir(Klitschko) don't fancy the job against me, and Ill probably
fight whoever's next in line for the vacant title.
Jenna: You think Wladimir will actually drop the belt instead of facing you?
Fury: I believe he's gonna retire
completely whether its the IBF, WBO, WBA, he's gonna retire. Both of the
Klitschko's will retire before fighting Tyson Fury, that's a fact. If
they do fight me that’s a bonus, but I cant see them doing it to be
honest, that's my personal opinion I'll end up fighting for the vacant
Jenna: Why do you believe he will retire when you are one of the biggest fights out there for him?
Fury: I think that he doesn't want to fight
me, like I say against Steve Cunningham, he's got the same problems,
I'm big, young, ambitious and you know, I've got inside information on
him. And you know Emanuel Steward was always in their ears saying Tyson
Fury's gonna take over from you guys, Tyson's the next man, Tyson's
this, Tyson's that and they start to believe it you know.
He's getting on, he's 37 now (Wladimir) and
he's got a job in politics so why mess up a legacy now, why risk it?
He's gonna retire as heavyweight champion I just believe that, maybe he
won’t maybe he will, that's just my personal opinion. I'm not holding my
breath for a Klitschko fight cuz I don't think there's gonna be one
for some reason or another, I don't think there will be a fight between
me and him.
Jenna: There have been a lot of rumors in the past that Wladimir had interest in fighting you, have you ever been offered a contract?
never been offered a fight with a Klitschko. One time I was promised
that whoever won out of me and Dereck Chisora, the winner would get a
fight versus Wladimir and there was no go there. I won, then Chisora
gets a shot at Vitali instead, so as far as I'm concerned I’ve never
been offered a shot to fight any of them.
Jenna: Tyson, your last fight was an eliminator for the WBC, why are you fighting another one for a different belt this time around?
Fury: I'll tell you why, because the WBC
are playing stupid games. First of all I fight an eliminator versus
Johnson yeah, WBC official eliminator. Worked my way up to number 3 and
then you've got Jonathan Banks and Seth Mitchell fighting an eliminator
at the same time. You've also got Chris Arreola and Bermaine Stiverne
fighting a final eliminator. At the same time so you've got three people
here, six people fighting eliminators and you've got the champion
holding the belt hostage, he's not fighting, he's inactive and they are
just doing what they want.
So obviously I cant be waiting around for
other people to make decisions and playing with me like I'm on a piece
of string like I'm a child, I'm a man you know I've gotta do what I've
gotta do, if the WBC don't want to play ball then I've got to move on to
somebody who does want to play ball.
The IBF have said “win this, we'll put you
number 2 and then you can fight Pulev for the mandatory slot in the
IBF,” so I’ve gotta go that route, but I believe I’ve already fought an
eliminator, I’ll fight another eliminator here, I’ll fight a final
eliminator against Pulev, then I’ll fight for the vacant title.
Jenna: You just mentioned Kubrat Pulev. What are your thoughts on him as a fighter?
Fury: Pulev's just a big strong European
fighter like all of them, like Helenius like Pianeta they're all limited
fighters, big strong Europeans. They train hard in the gym and they
think that's going to win them fights, but Pulev will get his face boxed
off and stopped round about eight rounds.
I call them stiff European's, I know I'm a
big European as well, but I call them stiff European's because they come
out in straight lines and have a high guard and you can just punch
holes in them really. We'll see, we'll see if what I say is true, I
believe I'm too good for Cunningham I believe I'll chop Pulev to bits.
Jenna: Speaking of
future fights, David Haye is set to return in July. If you win your next
fight and he wins his, do you see yourself fighting him sometime in the
Fury: I'm not interested in David Haye at
all, he thinks he can have a play around in the jungle, have a year off,
fight a journeyman in Dereck Chisora and come back an be mandatory for
the title. If the WBC are going to let him (Haye) go fight for the title
then let him do it, I’ve got no interest in fighting him, I’ve got
Cunningham, Pulev, title. I'm not going to alter all my plans just so
David Haye says yeah, I want the fight, let him go play somewhere else
I'm not playing games its very serious for
me, I'm putting my life at stake, I want to do things right, I'm two
fights away from being mandatory for the IBF championship. Why would I
then go and fight Joe Bloggs and give him a chance to beat me to take my
slot. When I'm champion I can fight David Haye and the likes of those
people. As far as I'm concerned I’ve got two fights and I'm going to be
the heavyweight champion of the world.
Jenna: What are your final thoughts on this upcoming fight with Steve Cunningham and do you think we will see a knockout in this fight?
we’re all going to see if he can take a shot because I aint coming to
New York to play games, I know that main event fights can tend to go
opposite ways that they are not supposed to. I watched Malik Scott
versus that Russian guy, whatever his name was, and I thought Malik
Scott deserved the win and he got a draw, and the Adamek vs Cunningham,
Cunningham lost and I thought he won, you know there's a few dodgy
decisions going on so I'm not coming there to look for no points
I'm the away fighter and I'm coming to the
guys local, to where he lives, so there's gonna be a lot of support
there for Steve Cunningham but I'll have a lot of support there as well.
I'm out to impress the fans, my debut in America, a top young
heavyweight like me should put his fist straight through Steve
Cunningham if I'm any good.
If I'm of any use at all I'll knock Steve
Cunningham out, if I'm no good then I'll lose simple. I'm not putting
pressure on myself, I'm just saying it as it is. A six foot guy 250 lbs
24 years old and in the best shape of my life, if I cant beat someone
like Cunningham, where am I going?
He's half the size of me, half the weight
of me he's got half the chin I have and what else can I say, I should be
beating guys like this if I'm gonna go on and be the super champion
that I believe I'm going to be. I believe I'm gonna be the undisputed
heavyweight champion of the world and take on all comers and nobody's
going to beat me, so if Cunningham can beat me then I'm not going to do
that am I obviously.
***Special thanks to Ruben for his help to bring this article to boxing readers