Woodlands warrior Cunningham had won seven fights in a row – and had not lost since 2018 – to become British, European and Commonwealth super bantamweight champion.
The 32-year-old’s renaissance has been one of the big recent stories in British boxing and the Doncaster man had designs on challenging for a world title.
But former two-weight world champion Tete was on another level completely to Cunningham’s previous opponents and the toughest test of his career was over inside four rounds.
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Tete controlled the first few rounds and then floored Cunningham with a left hook in the fourth.
He rose from the knockdown but then appeared to be knocked out cold as ruthless Tete landed a series of powerful punches.
Cunningham’s head thudded against the canvas and there were worrying scenes at Wembley Arena as he initially lay motionless in the ring.
He was attended to by paramedics and given oxygen and thankfully appeared to be okay.
Tete’s victory saw him claim the Commonwealth belt, as well as the IBF and WBO international belts, and he is now in line for another world title shot after losing his WBO bantamweight title in 2019.