Showtime adds cruiserweight bout to Garcia-Rivera card
IBF No. 1 Cruiserweight Contender Steve "U.S.S." Cunninghamvs.IBF No. 2 Cruiserweight Contender Guillermo "El Felino" Jones Saturday, May 6, 2006, At 9 p.m. ET/PTDCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
NEW YORK (April 10, 2006) - The top two cruiserweights in the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Steve "USS" Cunningham (19-0, 10 KOs) and Guillermo "El Felino" Jones (33-3-2, 26 KOs), will collide for the IBF cruiserweight crown.
The belt became vacant when O'Neil Bell was stripped for not defending against Cunningham, his mandatory challenger.
Cunningham, of Philadelphia, is ranked No. 1 in the IBF, No. 2 in the WBC and WBO, and No. 4 in the WBA. A talented boxer-puncher, who was an All-Navy Military champion, is trained by the legendary Richie Giachetti.
Cunningham is coming off a fifth-round TKO over Lloyd Bryan on Jan. 7, 2006, but his biggest win came when he outpointed former world champion Kelvin Davis across 12 rounds in an IBF eliminator Sept. 3, 2005.
Cunningham also owns a victory over Jones. In a good, close fight on April 2, 2005, he recorded a 10-round split decision win by the scores of 97-93, 96-94 and 93-97. Jones, of Colon, Panama, is 11-1-1 in his last 13 starts. He has won two straight against former cruiserweight titleholders since falling short to Cunningham.
In his last start, Jones scored a fourth-round TKO over Wayne Braithwaite on Sept. 3, 2005, in Cleveland on SHOWTIME. On May 21, 2005, Jones registered a fourth-round TKO over Davis in Chicago. Jones twice fought for the WBA junior middleweight title, but has been campaigning as a cruiserweight since 2002. He fought to a controversial 12-round draw against WBO cruiserweight champ Johnny Nelson on Nov. 23, 2002.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING's Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be Ray Smaltz with Bob Dunphy directing. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING celebrates 20 years of hard-hitting, explosive programming in 2006.