Steve Cunningham takes credit for flipping Tyson Fury's boxing pedigree

The former cruiserweight world champion believes that his fight against the Gypsy King forced the British heavyweight to change his approach to boxing.

Steve Cunningham was Fury's first fight in the United States and the ex-Navy officer very nearly derailed the Gypsy King's American invasion after sending him to the deck.

However, like Deontay Wilder, he was unable to nail him to the canvas with Fury overcoming the crisis to stop him in round seven.

The 44-year-old has been named by Fury himself as the toughest opponent of his career.

Cunningham believes that it was the storm he rained down on Fury that made the Morecambe fighter take his fight preparation more seriously.

"Our fight made him switch gears," Cunningham told Sky Sports.

"It showed the people that he can switch gears, that he had a solid chin, that he can get off the floor after being hit with a hellacious shot, then evolve in the fight to secure a win.

"What else did our fight do for him? It changed how he prepares. He said: 'That won't happen again'.

"He weathered a storm."

Cunningham also stated Fury has more punching power than anybody he has faced during his professional career.

"I've been knocked down probably 20 times in my career, but I've got up every time except against Fury," Cunningham added.

"People said: 'Cunningham doesn't have a chin'. But do I stay down? No. Staying down is not having a chin.

"Amir Khan, I love to watch him for his speed, but he does not have a chin. He goes down then gets up with wobbly feet and has been knocked out numerous times.

"A guy can get hit all day and not go down. That's a great chin. The chin that Fury and I have? You can go down, but you still get up and kick ass.

"Deontay Wilder landed two clean right hands in the first round of his second fight with Fury, but they did not even make him blink!

"Fury has a database: 'I have felt that power now'.

"He learned to evolve because he was goofing off with everybody else then realised, with me: 'I can't hit him'.

"Brother Naazim says you can take damage or knowledge. Fury took knowledge. I did too. That fight changed me, but it helped to change Fury even more so.

"He got an education from a pure boxer with a bit of power. I'm not known for my power."

"We drilled the overhand right every day"

"The day we signed a contract to fight Fury, we went to the gym and Brother Naazim told me: 'You will knock him onto his back pockets with this punch...'

"We drilled the overhand right every day. I mean every day.

Cunningham credits the late, great trainer Naazim Richardson with helping him perfect the punch that he used to knock down Fury.

Fury destroyed Wilder in their rematch to become WBC champion
Fury destroyed Wilder in their rematch to become WBC champion

"Brother Naazim stood on a big tractor tyre holding a medicine ball, and I would punch it.

"Fury threw a lazy jab, I ducked under it and connected with the overhand. It was not a conscious thought; it was muscle memory," Cunningham relates.

"It wasn't a bad night for him. It was a great night for him," USS declared.

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