- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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A few notes from around the boxing world:
• Former two-time cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham, a heavyweight since 2012, and Main Events have parted ways. According to Main Events CEO Kathy Duva, Cunningham's contract was about to expire so "we mutually agreed upon his release." Cunningham (28-7, 13 KOs), 38, of Philadelphia, is on the verge of signing with adviser Al Haymon, who has several other heavyweights in his stable, including titleholder Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola. In Cunningham's last fight, on March 14, he lost a controversial decision to Vyacheslav Glazkov in a world title elimination bout.
• Former junior middleweight titlist Ishe Smith (26-7, 12 KOs) has an opponent for his April 30 bout on ESPN2's special Thursday night edition of Friday Night Fights at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. He will face Cecil McCalla (20-1, 7 KOs), Mayweather Promotions announced Friday. The card is two nights before Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao down the Strip from the MGM Grand, host of the big fight. In the co-feature, Ashley Theophane (37-6-1, 11 KOs) is slated to face Mahonri Montes (30-4-1, 21 KOs) in a 10-round bout at 143 pounds. In another televised bout, super middleweight Ronald Gavril (11-1, 9 KOs) meets Eddie Hunter (10-12-2, 3 KOs).
• Super middleweight titlist Anthony Dirrell and secondary middleweight titleholder Daniel Jacobs are both scheduled to defend their belts on April 24 (Spike TV) in Chicago with Dirrell taking on Badou Jack and Jacobs facing Cabel Truax. Dirrell and Jacobs are both cancer survivors and will be featured in the half-hour Spike TV-televised documentary "Never Give Up: A Boxing Survival Story." The documentary, which debuts April 17 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT, focuses on the heart and grit displayed by two fighters as they overcame cancer.
• Main Events announced that South Africa's Thabiso Mchunu (17-1, 11 KOs) and Congo's Ilunga "Junior" Makabu (18-1, 17 KOs) will meet May 16 in a cruiserweight title eliminator at the ICC Centre in Durban, South Africa. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for titleholder Grigory Drozd.
A few notes from around the boxing world:• Former two-time cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham, a heavyweight since 2012, and Main Events have parted ways.