“They said the only ones you can fight is Tomasz Adamek or Cunningham, and Adamek wasn’t willing.” Liverpool's David Price takes on Tony Thompson in his next bout as he continues his ascent up the world heavyweight rankings.Boxing The 38-year-old heavyweight contender and former cruiserweight champion’s powerful reason to keep boxing: to help cover medical expenses while his 9-year-old daughter awaits a heart transplant teve Cunningham never should have gone ahead with that fight. His opponent, Amir Mansour, was from Delaware but trains in Philadelphia. Their city was supposed to conquer the boxing world, not get mired in civil wars. Plus, Cunningham was already in his mid-thirties by the end of his cruiserweight run, and fighting his way back up the rankings to earn a mandatory title shot could take years. If he didn’t return home as a heavyweight, he might have to retire. Now, at 208 pounds, he believes himself to be the smallest heavyweight in boxing.
One more loss and Cunningham’s career might be over. “With all this going on, we need to call this thing off for me! In Philly fighting a Philly heavyweight, his daughter Kennedy sitting in Livvy’s lap on the front row. He’d already been knocked down once, just seconds ago by a right hook, and now Mansour was backing him into the ropes, threatening to cut him down again. Cunningham fell back into the ropes, but stayed on his feet. Tomasz Adamek beat him in a controversial split decision that many boxing observers believe Cunningham deserved to win.
While Cunningham took a moment to regain his balance, Mansour wound up and hit him again. In Cunningham’s next fight, he lost to 6-foot-9, 250-pound undefeated Tyson Fury by seventh-round knockout after Cunningham scored a knockdown in the second round and seemed on the verge of a huge upset.
Without the belt, a top cruiserweight contender like Cunningham, with no following in his home country, meant too much risk and not enough reward for European fighters.
Matchmaking in boxing often boils down to the risk/reward balance presented by an opponent.
Tyson Fury aims to show he is “the real deal” when he makes his US debut at Madison Square Garden.
Fury’s first fight in America will be against former IBF cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham on April 20 and he plans to make a statement to the US fight fans.
“It’s to show the American people I’m the real deal and not just a joke,” said the unbeaten heavyweight prospect.
Cunningham, 36, has stepped up to heavyweight after losing his IBF title and has been defeated in three of his last four fights.
Fury’s critics claim the American is not the big name he claimed he would have in the opposite corner for his US debut.