Hello everybody. Sorry to have been so absent, recently - we were snowed in for a week (even tractors and my old Land Rover couldn't get through), we barely had internet through that week, then we went to Cornwall for a fortnight, just outside Tavistock, and we have no internet in the house down there. So I kind of disappeared. Sorry.
Anyway, I've only seen one fight in a month (we lost Sky, too - frozen dish, high wind, we live pretty high up), Rigondeaux-Donaire, so feeling somewhat out of practice.
Good fights this week, delighted we have all four grandparents staying the weekend for my son's fourth birthday. Yay. But on with this week's pick.
Fury-Cunningham: I like Cunningham, I really do. I don't think he has had much luck in his career, yet I always find him pretty level-headed about it all. He was spectacularly robbed against Adamek, in my view. All that said, his heavyweight career is not that great. He didn't dominate Adamek, and Adamek is not all that, imho. Cunningham's win over Gavern came bang in the middle of Gavern's (continuing) six-fight losing streak. He was stopped in all of those fights... except the one with Cunningham, which went to points. So Cunningham's CW power was okay, his HW power is pretty much non-existent. He has also never fought anyone approaching the combination of size and aggression that Fury will bring - Gavern is 6'2'', Adamek just under that. Cunningham himself is 6'3'', and is also 36 now. Fury, on the other hand, is obviously a naturally big HW - he'd have to chop off a leg to make CW. He has a massive height advantage, a bit of a reach advantage, but tellingly he's also much younger, quicker and should bring more sustained aggression than Cunningham, who tends to pace himself, particularly these days. Fury also brings decent power - he has knocked over 70% of his opponents, who have often been bigger or younger than Cunningham. So it's an obvious Fury KO. Is it? Well here's the rub - I'm not yet ultimately convinced by Fury, either. Let's look at the last two year's of Fury's career, his run towards title level. He has fought, in order, since the end of 2010, Nascimento, Chisora, Firtha, Pajcik, Rogan, Maddalone, Johnson. I'll do that list again, with a short review of the opponent in brackets: Nascimento (okay but limited, professional opponent, Prizefighter loser), Chisora (came in disinterested and about 400lb, still went the distance), Firtha (quite big but has lost ten, including one to Pajkic, will never trouble the world titles), Pajcik (not very big, not very good, still had Fury down), Rogan (old, small, pretty awful), Maddalone (old, small, these days pretty awful, couldn't/wouldn't get close), Johnson (negative, thinks that all there is to boxing is not getting hit hard and hearing the final bell from inside the ring rather than the dressing room). So not much there to tell us what he'd do with a capable, focussed, positive, aggressive heavyweight. So it does give me a little pause, Cunningham might just go on the offensive, land combinations, and make a little boxing history footnote.
That said, however, at 36 that's a big if. So I'll go with Fury, TKO. But I'm a touch nervous.