Steve Cunningham’s Achievements: Greatest Knockouts, Wins, Records, and More

Published 04/14/2021, 7:00 PM EDT

Before succumbing to some scratchy losses and injuries, Steve Cunningham was a reputed world champion in the cruiserweight weight-class. He was a hard-hitter and a skilled puncher who roared through the division in his prime. However, his heavyweight journey might not have made a similar mark.


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Well, he was the one who knocked down Tyson Fury in 2013 but ended up losing the fight. So, it clearly speaks of his power and prowess in the game. However, entering a bigger weight class was seemingly a bad decision for the former IBF world champion.


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It brought some unmemorable losses on his resume, but that hasn’t made him fall short of sensational wins and knockouts. The 44-year-old has competed in 298 professional rounds in 39 fights, winning 29 of them. Meanwhile, he secured 13 KOs under his name. Here’s a look at some of his best knockouts and wins.

Steve Cunningham- ‘USS’ Terror was for real

Cunningham holds a professional record of 29 wins, 9 losses, and 1 draw while competing at heavyweight and the cruiserweight units. The 6’3” tall orthodox puncher had a reach of 82”. While he had all the physical specimen of an elite boxer, Cunningham’s power and skill was also impeccable. In 2001, the entire world got to know it.

Putting Shawn Townsend to sleep

‘USS’ Cunningham staged his debut in 2000 and the next year, he fought ten times, winning all 10 of those fights. Moreover, he secured eight of those wins via KOs. The last KO of the year came against Shawn Townsend on August 30.

While Cunningham was already an alarming name in the division, he proved his worth once again by taking out Townsend in the third round of their fight. It was yet a subtle message to the entire world. However, he was yet to see the bigger wins and knocks out of his career.

World champion Steve Cunningham scores a knockout

After claiming the IBF cruiserweight belt in a rematch against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in 2007, Cunningham defended it in the same year against Marco Hyck on December 29. The fight took place in Germany and the stellar 12-rounds main event went till the final bell.

Both men had their moments in the game, and Cunningham was facing a steady competition. But the American champion landed his best shot and didn’t let the judges decide his fate. He closed the show in round 12 with a knockout and retained his belt in fashion.

Steve Cunningham becomes the 2X world champion

After losing the belt to Tomasz Adamek, Cunningham returned in a non-title fight to validate his title claim. Post-win over Wayne Braithwaite, Cunnigam faced Troy Ross for the vacant IBF belt in 2010. It was a huge moment for both men, but Cunningham captivated his chances in style.

The 12-rounds main-event fell short of seven rounds as Cunningham secured his win and the title in round five with a thunderous knockout. Unfortunately, it was the last knockout in his career and Cunningham retired after competing in 14 more fights.

All these stats made him a household figure in the boxing world, but Cunningham’s name calls for much more respect. He is an ex-US official and despite having a secured profession; he entered the violent game of boxing.

More than just a boxer

Steve Cunningham had served as a US mariner and Navy before becoming a pro-boxer in 2000. It wasn’t an easy phase for him, as Cunningham had to deal with several troubles in that period. In an interaction with army times, he spoke about it.


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”You’ve got Navy guys trying to discourage you, [saying,] ‘There’s nothing for you to do out there.’ For four years, I was getting two checks a month basically for just being there. I was doing my job, but you know, you’re just there. You do what you do. It’s habit,” told the ‘USS’.

Coincidentally, he picked up the nickname for having a navy and airforce background of his country. While he touched several accolades as a boxer, Cunningham continues to be much more than that in his country.


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Raj Sarkar

2077 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.