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NEW YORK -- Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin took care of business inside the ring when he knocked out Daniel Geale in the third round of a dominant performance to retain his title for the 11th time (and score his 17th consecutive stoppage) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

The day before the fight, Golovkin took care of his business outside of the ring when he signed a multi-fight contract extension with HBO, K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler told ESPN.com following the fight.

“We are looking forward to continuing our long-term relationship with HBO,” Loeffler said. “They've invested a lot in Gennady, and we feel they are the best television partner we could have to help take his career to the next level.”

The deal calls for a minimum of four fights, although the Geale bout was the first one under the contract. The agreement also has provisions for overseas fights and potential pay-per-view fights, meaning there could be far more than four bouts. The bottom line is that all of Golovkin’s fights, wherever they may take place, will be on HBO or HBO PPV for the foreseeable future.

The fight with Geale was supposed to be the final bout of Golovkin’s previous agreement with HBO, but the terms for Saturday’s fight were renegotiated, and the old deal was ripped up and replaced by the new deal.

Since making his HBO debut in September 2012, Golovkin’s star has steadily risen, as have his viewership figures, which are among the network’s best for boxing. Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) has fought five of his last seven fights on HBO, with his two overseas fights in Monaco not being on the network, which took some criticism for not showing his February fight with Osumanu Adama. That won’t happen again under this agreement.

HBO declined to comment on Golovkin’s contract, saying it won’t talk about its multi-fight agreements -- the same stance it took when it declined to discuss the exclusive deals it has recently made with Manny Pacquiao and Sergey Kovalev.

Golovkin is expected back in the ring for one more fight this year, likely in October or November.
Welterweight contender Kell Brook isn’t the only British fighter headed to the StubHub Center in Carson, California, to fight on Aug. 16.

Two of his Matchroom Boxing stablemates -- lightweight Luke Campbell and super middleweight Callum Smith -- will be joining him, promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Friday.

Brook, the mandatory challenger, will face world titleholder Shawn Porter in the main event of the Showtime card.

Campbell (6-0, 4 KOs), 26, a 2012 London Olympics gold medalist, and Smith (12-0, 9 KOs), 24, two of England’s best prospects, will both face opponents to be determined.

"I’m delighted to be able to get Luke and Callum their first taste of action in America as pros," Hearn said. "I believe both fighters will be a real hit with both fans and pundits across the pond, and I expect that they will both return there in the future in world-title fights.

"It's all part of the development of our great, young fighters. New experiences, new atmospheres, all part of making them the finished articles. It’s also a great bonus for Kell’s traveling fans to see two rising stars from Britain perform on such a massive stage."

Golden Boy is promoting the card, but undoubtedly part of the deal to avoid a purse bid was for Hearn to get some spots for his fighters on the undercard.

In addition to Porter-Brook, there are two other world-title bouts on the card. Omar Figueroa defends his lightweight belt against Daniel Estrada, and super middleweight titleholder Sakio Bika meets Anthony Dirrell in a rematch of their draw.

Broner awaiting opponent

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
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Adrian Broner, Carlos MolinaEthan Miller/Getty ImagesAdrien Broner, right, is still looking for an opponent for his Sept. 6 fight.

Former three-division titleholder Adrien Broner, who will headline a Sept. 6 Showtime card (probably in his hometown of Cincinnati), said he’s been training for about a month in Washington, D.C., while awaiting word on who his opponent will be for the junior welterweight bout.

“I’m chilling at camp but I still don’t got an opponent,” Broner told ESPN.com on Thursday night. “I really don’t care who I fight Sept. 6. Somebody got to come to Cincinnati to get their ass kicked.”

Broner (28-1, 22 KOs), who turns 25 on Monday, lost his welterweight belt to Marcos Maidana in December and then moved down to junior welterweight, where he returned on May 3 (on the Floyd Mayweather-Maidana undercard) and easily outpointed Carlos Molina in 10 rounds.

“By the end of the year, I should have a junior welterweight world title,” Broner said.

One name mentioned as a possible opponent for Broner is former lightweight titlist Paul Spadafora. Although Golden Boy said that fight is not in the works, Broner said if they met “Spadafora would get his ass knocked out.”

A more likely opponent is Emanuel Taylor (18-2, 12 KOs), who dropped and outpointed Karim Mayfield on ESPN2 on July 18.

“I heard it could be the guy that just beat Mayfield,” Broner said. “So if I fight him I can shoeshine his ass. What’s his name? I don’t know him. He’s probably a guy who got my autograph. Adrien Broner is willing to fight anyone who will fight him. I think I can make 135 [lightweight], but I don’t want to fight at 135 because they’ll say I’m just bullying the little guys.”

Broner said he is comfortable training to fight at the junior welterweight maximum of 140 pounds, and after Thursday’s session he weighed 145 pounds. He is on the same card as top junior welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse, who is fighting an opponent to be named.

Unfortunately, Broner and Matthysse are not facing each other. That’s a very appealing fight, and Broner said he would be up for it.

“This is what they should do -- they should give me and Lucas Matthysse a warm-up fight at 6 and 7 [p.m.] and then we could fight each other at 11,” he said. “But I don’t know who I am fighting and I don’t care. I just want to fight. I just want somebody to show up on Friday, Sept. 5, at the weigh-in.”
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In late June, when Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime announced their Aug. 9 card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, it was supposed to include three world title bouts -- all of dubious distinction -- but now it's down to two.

In the main event, junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) was slated to defend against Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs). But while the fight is still on, the title defense part has changed. Salka is a lightweight who wouldn’t rank in anyone’s top 75 much less warrant a shot at the legitimate 140-pound world title. This is an absolutely laughable matchup.

The co-feature isn’t much better, with Lamont Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs) defending his version of the junior welterweight title against unaccomplished 35-year-old Edgar Santana (29-4, 20 KOs), who has never faced a legit contender.

And the opener pits Daniel Jacobs (27-1, 24 KOs), a fine young fighter, against Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs) for a secondary middleweight belt in a fight that is the very definition of why there are too many titles.

Ideally, Garcia and Peterson would be squaring off in the main event, but for some reason they aren’t. Some bogus reasons have been used, such as they’re not ready or it didn’t work out. They’re both with adviser Al Haymon, who could have made the fight in two seconds if he wanted to. Supposedly, they will fight near the end of the year if they both win on Aug. 9.

Instead, Haymon will extract an extra payday from Showtime -- which certainly could have said no -- for two mismatches.

So be it. But at least Garcia-Salka is no longer for a world title. It’s still a mismatch, but a world title isn't on the line.

Now brace yourself, because I am about to agree with the WBC and the WBA, whose titles Garcia holds. That does not happen very often.

Garcia-Salka was recently changed from the 12-round world title fight it was announced as to a 10-round nontitle match at 142 pounds, two over the junior welterweight limit. The reason is because the organizations declined to sanction it, which obviously came as a surprise to Golden Boy and Showtime.

The organizations have sanctioned a lot of horrible mismatches in the past and have had numerous undeserving fighters populate their top 10s in each division, but at least they didn’t try to pass off Salka as a legitimate title contender (although the IBF is doing just that with Santana). Salka is probably a great guy, and by all accounts he is a dedicated and hard worker, but a title contender he is not.

So now I leave it my frenemy, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, to explain.

"The WBC is not sanctioning the Garcia versus Salka fight,” he said in a statement given to ESPN.com. “Danny Garcia had the opportunity to do one voluntary defense before his mandatory and he opted to fight Salka, who is not eligible to fight for the title. It will not be a WBC title defense. If Garcia loses, the title will be declared vacant. If Garcia wins, he will make his mandatory defense after Salka."
Up-and-coming bantamweight Ivan Morales, younger brother of Mexican legend Erik Morales, had his fight against countryman Sergio Frias (15-3-2, 8 KOs) scheduled for Friday night’s “Golden Boy Live” co-feature (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 11 ET) canceled on Thursday.

Morales (25-0, 14 KOs) had a visa issue at the U.S. embassy in Tijuana and could not come to the United States for the card at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, according to Golden Boy.

Welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (17-0, 13 KOs) still meets Vernon Paris (28-1, 16 KOs) in the 10-round main event. An eight-round middleweight fight between 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (10-0, 5 KOs) and Ronnie Warrior Jr. (15-8-1, 5 KOs) has been elevated to the new co-feature.
James Kirkland-Glen TapiaChris Farina/Top RankJames Kirkland, left, has been inactive since his exciting December knockout against Glen Tapia.
One of the more common questions I get these days from #FightFreaks in the non-Mayweather/non-Pacquiao category is: "What's up with James Kirkland?"

Kirkland, of course, is the wildly aggressive and wildly entertaining junior middleweight power puncher with a shaky chin, and that always makes things interesting when he's in the ring.

He was last seen doing a number on Glen Tapia in December, engaging him in a tremendously exciting and competitive fight for three rounds and then beating Tapia down for three more rounds until the fight was finally stopped in the sixth round. It was a big win for Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs), 30, of Austin, Texas, to bump off the undefeated prospect.

Rather than capitalize on the slugfest that had so many fans talking about him, Kirkland, for what seems like the millionth time, wound up in a layoff and in a snit with his handlers, trying to break contracts with his managers and trainer Ann Wolfe (who has a small percentage of his managerial contract).

That led to yet another layoff, although it's better for Kirkland to have that kind of layoff than some of the others he has had in the past when he was in prison.

So I checked in with Michael Miller, Kirkland's co-manager, on Thursday to see what was going on with the fighter. Miller said the managers had their contract upheld by a judge in March and that they and promoter Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson are trying to line something up for him.

"It's frustrating to watch him sit," Miller said. "James wasn't communicating very well with his promoter, 50 Cent, or with us. But we finally said, 'Why don't we all work together and try to put it back together,' and that's where we are."

Kirkland figures to land a major fight before the end of the year, considering former junior middleweight titlist Canelo Alvarez plans to fight in November, and newly crowned middleweight champ Miguel Cotto intends to fight in December. They both need an opponent and Kirkland would make sense for either.

Miller, who has a good relationship with Eric Gomez, the vice president and matchmaker for Golden Boy, which used to promote Kirkland, said they have been talking about a possible Alvarez fight.

"Eric and I have kicked around the idea of a Canelo fight," Miller said. "We talked about if Canelo was offered would we need a tune-up fight? Kirkland doesn't need a tune up. I said talk to 50 Cent and see if we can put it together. If not, we'll listen to other offers. We're open to suggestions. If Cotto makes sense, of course, we'd listen.

"But the fight Kirkland has wanted is Canelo. He has wanted it forever. He screwed himself two years ago, but he's still motivated to fight Canelo and would take it in a heartbeat."

In May 2012, days after Paul Williams was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident and his September 2012 fight with Alvarez was canceled, Kirkland accepted the fight as a substitute opponent.

But days later, Kirkland dropped out saying his injured shoulder was not 100 percent. But he also said he would go through with the fight for more money. The fight ultimately went to Josesito Lopez.

Miller is hoping to revive the fight with Alvarez or land Cotto.

"We'd prefer Canelo, but Cotto would be fine too," Miller said, adding that he saw Kirkland last weekend and that he was in good shape and weighing about 175 pounds.

Miller also manages junior middleweight Alfredo Angulo, who was stopped by Alvarez in the 10th round in March and has lost two fights in a row by 10th-round stoppage.

Angulo (22-4, 18 KOs), who lost a fantastic fight to Kirkland in 2011, is training with Virgil Hunter in the Bay Area and looking for a fall return.

"I'm hoping to get him on the Floyd Mayweather undercard with Mayweather's approval," Miller said of Mayweather's Sept. 13 rematch against Marcos Maidana. "When I was talking to Eric about Angulo [who is with Golden Boy], that's when Canelo and Kirkland came up," Miller said.
Felix Verdejo, Engelberto ValenzuelaChris Farina/Top RankFelix Verdejo figures to get his stiffest test when he faces Oscar Bravo on Aug. 16 in Puerto Rico.
A few notes from the Top Rank stable:

• Lightweight super prospect Felix Verdejo, a 2012 Puerto Rican Olympian, and one of boxing's fastest-rising prospects, figures to get his stiffest test as a professional on Aug. 16 when he headlines a UniMas-televised card in Caguas, Puerto Rico against experienced Oscar Bravo of Chile.

Verdejo (13-0, 10 KOs) has been blitzing his opponents, knocking out three of his last four in the first round and the other in the third round. So Top Rank matchmaker Brad "Abdul" Goodman went with Bravo (21-5, 9 KOs) as his next opponent because although he lost to such notable opponents as Diego Magdaleno and Will Tomlinson, Bravo went the eight-round and 12-round distance with them. Bravo has never been stopped in his five defeats.

"We need the rounds [for Verdejo]," Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said. "Oscar Bravo should provide eight highly competitive rounds."

• Moretti said Top Rank has signed 21-year-old junior welterweight prospect Mike Reed (10-0, 6 KOs) of Washington, D.C. Reed turned pro in early 2013 and caught Top Rank's eye when he won a shutout six-round decision against Alberto Morales on its June 14 card in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"He has a solid amateur background and his hand speed travels faster than bad news," Moretti said. "He's only 21 and has a terrific following from the D.C. area. We look forward to building him and eventually having him featured in TV fights in Washington, D.C., which is a great fight town."

• Former unified lightweight titlist Juan Diaz (39-4, 19 KOs) returns to action to headline a "Solo Boxeo" card on Sept. 6 (UniMas) in Laredo, Texas. He'll go in a 10-rounder against an opponent to be determined. The fight will be Diaz's fifth since he ended a three-year retirement in April 2013.

• Assuming all goes well for 21-year-old junior welterweight prospect Jose Ramirez (10-0, 8 KOs) in his eight-rounder against Alfred Romero on the Aug. 2 Brandon Rios-Diego Chavez undercard in Las Vegas, he will be back to headline a "Solo Boxeo" card on Oct. 25 (UniMas) in his home region of Fresno, California. Ramirez, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will face an opponent to be named in the eight-round main event.
Former lightweight titlist Brandon Rios has lost two fights in a row: a close decision to Mike Alvarado in their interim junior welterweight rematch, a 2013 fight of the year candidate, followed by a one-sided pasting by Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight fight.

After the loss to Pacquiao in November in Macau, Rios tested positive for a banned stimulant (which didn’t help, because Pacquiao won basically every round in an utterly lopsided fight).
A third loss in a row would be a death knell to Rios’ career in terms of six-figure paydays on major televised cards.

Having served a suspension for the failed drug test, Rios is now aiming to re-establish himself while also making some noise at welterweight by taking on rugged Diego Chaves on Aug. 2 (HBO) at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

“I am looking forward to getting back in the ring. I feel like it’s been a long time since I fought. I miss boxing,” Rios said Wednesday at his media day at trainer Robert Garcia’s gym in Oxnard, California. “I know that a lot of people think I am done but believe I am far from being finished. Pacquiao was a very difficult fight for me and I just felt I could have done better, but he was just too fast.”

He won’t have to worry about Argentina’s Chaves having the kind of speed Pacquiao has. Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs) is similar to Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) in that he is more likely to stand and brawl than give angles like Pacquiao can.

Chaves showed enormous toughness -- and a fan-friendly style -- last July when he lost his interim welterweight belt by 10th-round knockout to Keith Thurman in San Antonio, Texas, in an excellent fight.

“Chaves is a tough fighter and I expect a good, hard fight and one the fans will enjoy,” Rios said. “I know I could have fought an easier opponent but I want to show everyone what I am still capable of doing against a top-level guy.”

Rios knows it’s a pivotal fight.

“It's do or die for me and I will do what I have to do to win this fight,” Rios said.
Adrien Broner Al Bello/Golden Boy/Golden Boy/Getty ImagesAdrien Broner will return as a junior welterweight to headline a tripleheader Sept. 6.

Junior welterweight contenders Adrien Broner and Lucas Matthysse are both penciled in for Sept. 6 returns on Showtime, although not against each other.

Golden Boy Promotions is working on putting together a tripleheader for the show, which Broner (28-1, 22 KOs) would headline in his second fight since moving down to junior welterweight after losing his welterweight belt to Marcos Maidana in a terrific fight in December. Broner bounced back from a loss on May 3 on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Maidana undercard to win a one-sided 10-round decision against Carlos Molina.

“Broner would be the main event with Matthysse as a co-feature. I can confirm that,” Golden Boy Promotions vice president Eric Gomez told ESPN.com. “We don’t have a confirmation on a third fight yet. I gave [Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza] a few ideas. He’s supposed to let me know. He’s willing to do a tripleheader, but the third fight is up in the air.”

So are the opponents for Broner and Matthysse, although Gomez has a list of potential foes he said he and Espinoza are discussing.

Although Gomez would love to match Broner and Matthysse with each other at some point, people should not read into their appearance on the same card as any sort of official prelude to such a fight.

“No, they are not fighting each other [on Sept. 6],” Gomez said. “I would love for them to fight each other, but right now it’s just two guys who need to fight. These are two exciting fighters and two of the top guys in the division fighting on the same card.”

The location for the card has not been determined. Gomez said that Broner would like it to be in his hometown of Cincinnati, which is a possibility. South Florida and San Antonio, where Maidana beat Broner, are other possibilities.

Matthysse (35-3, 33 KOs), a big puncher from Argentina, lost a decision in a high-profile fight to unified junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia last September on the Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez undercard and bounced back to stop John Molina in the 11th round in April in a fantastic fight, one that is a leading fight of the year candidate.

When middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin and former titleholder Daniel Geale square off on Saturday night (HBO, 9:30 ET/PT) at New York’s Madison Square Garden, it will not be the first time they have duked it out.

Back in 2001, at the amateur East Asian Games tournament in Osaka, Japan, Golovkin (29-0, 26 KOs) and Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) met in the welterweight final. Neither fighter remembers much about the showdown other than that Golovkin won a decision.

It was a long time ago and both fighters had a lot of amateur bouts. Golovkin, of Kazakhstan, had more than 300 in an amateur career that included a 2004 Olympic silver medal. Australia’s Geale did not have quite as decorated an amateur career, but he was a 2000 Olympian, whose Olympics came in his home country of Australia.

Golovkin said he "vaguely" recalls the amateur fight with Geale. His scant memories are simply that he "won going away" in a four-round bout with no knockdowns.

Geale said, "It was a long time ago. The only thing I recall is that we got the opportunity to fight at a few different international tournaments, and, for me, it helped me to step up. I got a chance to fight some of the best fighters from places like Russia and Kazakhstan, and I improved. I think I made the next step after. The thing I remember about the fight [with Golovkin] was that it went the distance and I didn’t fight as well as I wanted to. I was disappointed in my performance."

Unlike some amateur rivals who meet as pros, where the experience with each other sometimes means something -- Vernon Forrest and Shane Mosley, for example -- the Golovkin-Geale matchup from 13 years ago has no bearing on Saturday night’s fight.

"This definitely means nothing as far as Saturday goes," Geale said. "It was early on for me. It was early in my international career."

Adamek-Szpilka in the works

July, 22, 2014
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A heavyweight crossroads fight between the up-and-coming Artur Szpilka and faded contender Tomasz Adamek is in the works for Nov. 8 in Krakow, Poland, according to the promoters for both.

It would be a major event in Poland, where both fighters are quite popular, and probably quite an entertaining fight. Both are also in need of a victory since they are both coming off losses.

Main Events, Adamek’s promoter, and Warriors Boxing promoter Leon Margules, who co-promotes Szpilka, both said they are working on the deal, although both acknowledged there are still a number of open issues.

The 37-year-old Adamek (49-3, 29 KOs), a longtime contender (not to mention a former world heavyweight title challenger and former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titleholder), seemed to reach the end of the line as a serious threat in his last fight when Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov doled out a bit of a beating in a decision win on March 15.

Szpilka (16-1, 12 KOs), a 25-year-old southpaw who seems to still have a bright future, suffered his first loss in January in New York when he was stopped in the 10th round by unbeaten prospect Bryant Jennings.
British heavyweight contender Tyson Fury probably will remain on the card Saturday at the Phones4U Arena in Manchester, England, and face a replacement opponent for injured Dereck Chisora.

Fury (22-0, 16 KOs) and Chisora (20-4, 13 KOs) were supposed to meet in a rematch in the main event for Chisora’s European title and an eliminator to determine one of world champion Wladimir Klitschko’s mandatory challengers. However, Chisora, who lost a decision to Fury in 2011, withdrew Monday after suffering a fractured left hand Friday in his final sparring session.

While promoter Frank Warren announced that the Fury-Chisora fight would be rescheduled -- possibly in September -- Fury has put in a full training camp, and the decision was made to keep him on the card.

Warren and Hennessy Sports are looking for a last-minute opponent to face Fury, but even if they find one, don’t expect it to be a top-level fighter.

A frustrated Fury also saw a fight with former world titleholder David Haye called off twice in the past year because of Haye’s injuries.

“It’s very frustrating for me that another of my major fights has been canceled with my opponent pulling out injured,” Fury said. “I have been training for months to get ready for this fight and am in the best condition of my life, so for this to happen again -- for the third time in such a short space of time -- is a big blow. Nevertheless, I will be fighting this weekend, and my team will find an adequate replacement. Believe me, whoever I face on Saturday, they will be in big, big trouble, and I will take out my frustrations on them.”
Bantamweight Randy Caballero is headed overseas again, this time in an effort to win a vacant world title.

Caballero will face former titleholder Stuart Hall of England for the belt recently vacated by Paul Butler. But instead of fighting in his home region of Southern California, where Caballero has fought most of his career, he is headed for England because of the result of Tuesday's IBF purse bid.

Promoter Dennis Hobson, representing Hall, won the auction for $261,750, easily outbidding Golden Boy Promotions, the only other bid, which offered $127,000.

Hobson has 90 days to put on the fight. The purse will be split 50-50, with Caballero and Hall each receiving $130,875.

England’s Butler won a split decision against the 34-year-old Hall (16-3-2, 7 KOs) on June 7 to claim the 118-pound title, but rather than defend it Butler vacated and is moving down in weight, leaving Caballero and Hall as the leading available contenders to vie for the vacant belt.

To get the title shot, Caballero (21-0, 13 KOs) traveled to Japan and knocked out Kohei Oba in the eighth round on April 4 in an elimination bout to become the mandatory challenger for the belt.

A resident of Coachella, California, the 23-year-old Caballero has no problem going back on the road.

“Randy has no problem with it. He’s a real pro,” manager Cameron Dunkin told ESPN.com. “He is not afraid to go anywhere. He went all the way to Japan for the eliminator. He’ll go to England, no problem. He’s great at fighting at home, but [Golden Boy] didn’t win the bid so he has to deal with it. He said, ‘I don’t care where I have to fight. I’ll fight on the moon. I want to be champion.’ He has a great attitude.”
When heavyweight Steve Cunningham faced Amir Mansour and defeated him by 10-round decision -- after getting knocked down twice in the fifth round -- in a terrific slugfest in April, the former cruiserweight titlist made no secret about the reason he continues to fight.

His family is dealing with the mounting medical bills for his 8-year-old daughter, Kennedy, who has a serious heart ailment.

[+] EnlargeSteve Cunningham
Courtesy The Cunningham FamilySteve Cunningham's 8-year-old daughter, Kennedy, needs a heart transplant.
The little girl was ringside for the fight and had a big smile on her face when Cunningham was announced the winner. But given her grave condition, smiles have been hard to come by.

She needs a heart transplant to give her a chance to survive a condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, in which the left side of her heart has not completely developed.

Around the time of Cunningham’s fight with Mansour, the family received word that Kennedy, who had open heart surgery when she was 2 days old, another one six months later and spent the first year of her life in the hospital, was not a candidate for a heart transplant.

Despite numerous medical issues, she is closing in on her ninth birthday, a feat in itself. Doctors in her hometown of Philadelphia told Cunningham and his wife, Livvy, that the best they could do was give Kennedy medication to help her heart function, but that eventually it would give out and she would die.

“I was so completely heartbroken the day her doctor sat me down and gave me the news," Livvy Cunningham said. “My world collapsed. I cried for three days straight while I tried to wrap my head around the news and tried to figure out how to live without the hope of a beautiful future for our beautiful daughter. Tried to picture our lives without her. I just couldn't, it was impossible."

At that point, the Cunninghams sought a second opinion. Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh agreed to evaluate her and last month accepted her into its program and put her on the list for a transplant.

"I'll never forget the day I got the call from my wife with the news (that she wasn’t a transplant candidate),” Cunningham said. “I broke down like never before. I lost it. I was in the middle of my training camp for a must-win fight. People close to me told me I should pull out of the fight, that it was too much for me.

“But I knew that I had to fight for Kennedy. She has been through so many battles in her life and has never once given up and I was not going to let her see her father quit. I turned my sadness and fear into determination and on fight night, I had to dig deep. But it was that determination that got me up off the canvas twice to win. We will never give up on Kennedy and are so blessed and excited that the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh has agreed to take her on and list her.”

The Cunninghams will take Kennedy to the hospital in Pittsburgh one or two times a month for checkups while they await a call telling them that there is an available heart. If that call comes, they’ll have four hours to get her to the hospital.

The bills are a hardship for the Cunninghams and they have set up a fund to help them cover the costs of her medical care. So far they have raised a little more than $7,000 of what they hope will be $25,000. To donate, you can go to http://www.heartbyfaith.com/.

Haymon signs more fighters

July, 21, 2014
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A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Manager Al Haymon’s signing binge continues. He has signed welterweight Roberto Garcia and middleweight Caleb Truax, Sam Watson, Haymon’s right-hand man, told ESPN.com. They join a stable that includes more than 50 fighters, many of whom Haymon has signed this year. Garcia and Truax are both being featured on this week’s edition of “Friday Night Fights” on ESPN2 in Chicago. Garcia (35-3, 23 KOs) takes on Breidis Prescott (27-5, 20 KOs) in the main event and Truax (23-1-2, 14 KOs) meets Derek Ennis (24-4-1, 13 KOs) in the co-feature. Both fights are scheduled for 10 rounds.

• With the postponement on Monday of Saturday’s heavyweight rematch between British contenders Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora because Chisora fractured his left hand in his final sparring session, AWE, which was due to televise the card in the United States, has dropped its coverage plans. Although the Fury-Chisora II main event is off, the card is still going on but will not have American television coverage now.

• Iron Mike Productions announced a card that will take place at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Aug. 8 (Fox Sports 1) that will be headlined by hometown favorite Samuel Vasquez (15-0, 11 KOs) facing James Stevenson (21-0, 14 KOs) of Baltimore in a 10-round welterweight fight. Ievgen Khytrov (5-0, 5 KOs), a 2012 Olympian from Ukraine, is also on the card against Willie Fortune (17-1, 8 KOs) in a six-round middleweight fight.

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