It has been announced that Tyson Fury recruited his last opponent Steve Cunningham as a sparring partner for his upcoming and by far biggest fight to date - against former unified cruiserweight world champion and WBA heavyweight world champion David Haye.
This is an interesting decision but one that I think is a brilliant choice. It is unusual for people who have fought so recently to work together as sparring partners. Fury fought Cunningham in April and was knocked down by the American before recovering to win via a knock-out in the 7th round.
Cunningham, a former cruiserweight now fighting up at heavyweight, has been introduced by the Fury camp to try and replicate some of what David Haye will do in the ring. Cunningham is quick and slick in his movement and is small for a heavyweight. Haye is also lightning quick and not the tallest for a heavyweight at 6ft 3.
Cunningham put up a really good performance against Fury and exposed the clumsiness of Fury’s work at times. Fury just came forward with no regard for Cunningham’s ability and was made to regret that by being knocked down in the 2nd round.
Yes Fury fought back to claim a thrilling win but the performance leaves question marks on his chin. Cunningham is not known as a puncher with only 12 ko’s from 25 wins. Haye on the other hand is famous for his power with an impressive 24 ko’s from 26 wins.
Recruiting Cunningham as a sparring partner is a clever move as he can replicate the movement and speed of Haye and will provide a very different sort of test to Fury’s other sparring partners Michael Sprott and Dillian Whyte. Cunningham a former world champion will provide great preparation for Fury and really is a brilliant choice from trainer Peter Fury.
The Haye v Fury match-up is really starting to get exciting and has really got me interested in what looks set to be a top all-British affair. Haye v Fury are bringing excitement back into the heavyweight division.
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