- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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A few notes from around the boxing world:
• Ahead of challenging for a vacant junior welterweight world title, 2014 ESPN.com fighter of the year Terence Crawford has vacated his lightweight title. Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs) won a 135-pound world title on the road in Scotland with a masterful performance in a unanimous decision win against Ricky Burns last March and made two defenses, an electrifying ninth-round knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa in June and a virtual shutout decision of No. 1 challenger Raymundo Beltran in November. Crawford will face Thomas Dulorme (22-1, 14 KOs) for a vacant 140-pound belt on April 18 (HBO, 9:45 p.m. ET/PT) at the College Park Center on the campus of the University of Texas Arlington.
• If representatives for middleweight contenders Hassan N’Dam (31-1, 18 KOs) and David Lemieux (33-2, 31 KOs) do not make a deal a purse bid will be held on April 7 at IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey, for the vacant title bout. They will meet for the 160-pound belt recently stripped from Jermain Taylor, who was unable to make a mandatory defense against N’Dam because of the criminal charges he faces. Lemieux is embroiled in litigation over his contract. Montreal promoter Yvon Michel claims he broke their contract when he signed with Golden Boy in January. However, the fight may go on with the legal issues being settled after the fight.
• Camille Estephan, manager of former heavyweight titleholder Bermane Stiverne, told ESPN.com that Stiverne has resumed training and that he hopes to line up a fight for him in July. Stiverne (24-2-1, 21 KOs), 36, who lives in Las Vegas, became the first Haitian-born fighter to win a heavyweight world title when he knocked out Chris Arreola in the sixth round in May 2014. But Stiverne was outclassed in his first defense, losing a near-shutout decision to mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder on Jan. 17 in Las Vegas.
• With the Sergey Derevyanchenko-Elvin Ayala middleweight fight off as the main event of the ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” card on April 17 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, because of Ayala’s legal issues, promoter Lou DiBella and the network are hoping to have hot junior middleweight prospect Tony Harrison in the main event if they can come up with a suitable opponent. Harrison (20-0, 17 KOs), 24, of Detroit, headlined FNF on March 6 and crushed Antwone Smith in two lopsided rounds.
• DiBella said he has moved Derevyanchenko to a “ShoBox: The New Generation” card on April 10 (Showtime) in Brooklyn, New York. DiBella said he will face an opponent to be determined and open a tripleheader that includes junior middleweight Frank Galarza against Sheldon Moore in the main event and middleweight Ievgen Khytrov against Aaron Coley in the co-feature. Lightweight Ivan Redkach was due to headline the card in a world title eliminator against Dejan Zlaticanin, who recently signed with adviser Al Haymon (who also represents Redkach). However, DiBella said the fight will be delayed because Zlaticanin could not be ready to fight in April.
A few notes from around the boxing world: • Ahead of challenging for a vacant junior welterweight world title, 2014 ESPN.com fighter of the year Terence Crawford has vacated his lightweight title.