Gigantic English heavyweight Tyson Fury made a successful stateside debut last at New York's Madison Square Garden, knocking out ex-cruiserweight world champ Steve Cunningham to capture the #2 spot in the IBF rankings.
But it certainly wasn't easy for the Manchester traveler.
Fury found himself outboxed in the first round, made to look a bit clumsy by the far more skilled Cunningham, and responded by yelling at the American from the center of the ring and even pushing Cunningham after the bell rang to end the initial frame.
The visitor took his aggression one step further, chasing Cunningham and eating a huge right hand for his trouble. The punch caught Fury by surprise, belting the Englishman on the forehead, sending him down hard on the canvas.
Fury lay on the floor in total disbelief but managed to haul himself up and beat the count. Cunningham was able to plant further hard rights on his adversary but could not repeat his success as Fury survived the round.
From that point on, Fury became stronger, stalking Cunningham behind a high guard and tossing hard shots whenever he got close enough. There was plenty of wrestling and roughhouse tactics in the ensuing clinches, with Fury losing a point for extracurricular use of his head.
Cunningham had trouble with Fury's massive size and weight advantages but was the more accurate puncher, finding Fury's head with regularity but the Philadelphian was getting worn down by all the physical altercations with Fury and his punches no longer had the snap of the earlier rounds.
By the middle of the fight, Fury was starting to find a home for his right hand and Cunningham was getting clipped with hurtful shots, slowing his down and taking away his edge in quickness.
By the seventh, Fury was flat out gunning for his rival and hit paydirt late in the frame, belting the American around on the ropes before whipping in a short shot to the jaw that Cunningham never saw coming.
Cunningham fell to the canvas and was unable to raise himself before he was counted out at 2:55 of the seventh.
With the win, Fury stays undefeated at 21-0 (15), while Cunningham drops to 25-6 (12).
Fury gets closer to a world title opportunity but will likely have to face unbeaten Bulgarian Kubrat Pullev before a clash could happen with IBF champion
However, Fury will have to make improvements on his defense if he is to have a hope of strapping a world title belt around his waist.
The undercard featured middleweight Curtis Stevens, 24-3 (17), outpointing Derrick Findley, 20-10 (13), after eight rounds by scores of 79-73, 78-74, 78-74.