Cunningham-Jones II added to Karmazin-Spinks!


Cunningham-Jones II added to Karmazin-Spinks!

The special edition of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING airing July 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT has turned into a world championship doubleheader on SHOWTIME with the addition of a rematch between undefeated Steve "USS" Cunningham and Guillermo "El Felino" Jones for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) cruiserweight title.

The previously announced main event on the Don King Productions fight card from Savvis Center in St. Louis remains IBF 154-pound World Champion Roman Karmazin defending his title against former undisputed world welterweight champion Cory Spinks.

In a terrific rematch of streaking, talented cruiserweights, Cunningham (19-0, 10 KOs) will face Jones (33-3-2, 26 KOs) for the title vacated earlier this year when O'Neil Bell was stripped by the IBF. 

Cunningham and Jones first clashed on April 2, 2005 in Worcester, Mass., with Cunningham narrowly winning in a 10-round split decision. Cunningham dominated the early rounds of their first meeting with a combination of well-timed jabs and stiff right hands, and appeared to be making quick work of his opponent. But Jones landed the more punishing shots as the fight wore on and stole several rounds late. Two judges favored Cunningham with one at 97-93 and the second closer at 96-94.  The final judge saw Jones as the wide-margin winner at 97-93.


        “I guess Bell would rather lose his title rather than face me,” said Cunningham referring to Bell’s withdrawal from their May 6, 2006 fight. “That’s fine with me. Jones and I have earned the right to fight for the title.  The Panamanian is a gutsy guy but nothing’s going to keep me from winning the world title.”

Cunningham, of Philadelphia, is ranked No. 1 in the IBF, No. 2 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO), and No. 4 in the World Boxing Association (WBA). A talented boxer-puncher, who was an All-Navy Military champion, is trained by the legendary Richie Giachetti. Cunningham, who recorded a fifth-round TKO over Lloyd Bryan in his last start on Jan. 7, 2006, earned his biggest win when he outpointed Davis in an IBF eliminator on Sept. 3, 2005. Cunningham remains undefeated.

Jones, of Colon, Panama, is 10-1-1 in his last 12 starts. He has won two consecutive bouts since falling to Cunningham, both victories coming against former cruiserweight champs. In his last start, Jones produced a career-best performance when he scored a fourth-round TKO over Wayne Braithwaite Sept. 3, 2005, on SHOWTIME. Jones also registered a fourth-round TKO over Kelvin Davis on May 21, 2005. In one of the boldest developments in the history of boxing, Jones turned pro at welterweight, twice fought for the WBA junior middleweight title, and has been campaigning as a cruiserweight since April 2002.

Tickets priced at $25, $45, $60, $100, $200, $300 and $500 are on sale at the Savvis Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers including Famous-Barr, Schnucks Video Clubs, Streetside Records, the BlueNote Sports Shops and the IceZone at St. Louis Mills or by speaking to a sales representative by phone at (314) 421-4400 or (618) 222-2900.  Tickets also can be purchased on the automated phone line at (314) 241-1888 or online at <>.

  SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING’s Steve Albert and Al Bernstein will call the action from ringside with Jim Gray serving as roving reporter. The executive producer of the SHOWTIME telecast will be David Dinkins Jr. with Bob Dunphy directing.

        On Saturday, July 1, a night normally reserved for SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, a special edition of "ShoBox: The New Generation" will air at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).  The sons of four former world champions and the cousin of another will be featured.

SHOWTIME celebrates 20 years of hard-hitting, explosive boxing in 2006.  In March 1986, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING was born when “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler defeated John “The Beast” Mugabi in a spectacular and unforgettable 11th-round knockout in Las Vegas.  Since that time, the network has aired some of the most historic and significant events in the sport including both Holyfield-Tyson bouts.

Always at the forefront of boxing, SHOWTIME has set itself apart by telecasting “great fights, no rights” on the first Saturday of every month.  SHOWTIME is the first network to regularly deliver live boxing in High Definition.  In addition, SHOWTIME continues to be a pioneer in sports television with a number of interactive features across multiple platforms making SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts the most enjoyable, immersive viewing experience for the boxing audience.

For information on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and “ShoBox: The New Generation” telecasts, including complete fighter bios and records, related stories and more, go the SHOWTIME website at <>.

Savvis Center is a 21,000-seat arena in downtown St. Louis.  Opened in 1994, the arena is home to St. Louis Blues hockey (NHL), Saint Louis University Billikens basketball (NCAA Division I) and St. Louis Steamers soccer (MISL), and also plays host to a wide variety of other sporting events, concerts and family shows.  Nearly 2 million people enjoy 170 events each year at Savvis Center, and the facility is consistently ranked annually among the top 10 arenas in North America in tickets sold.

Don King Productions has promoted over 500 world championship fights with nearly 100 individual boxers having been paid $1 million or more.  DKP also holds the distinction of having promoted seven of the 10 largest pay-per-view events in history, as gauged by total buys, including the top four:  Holyfield vs. Tyson II, 1.95 million buys, June 1997; Tyson vs. Holyfield I, 1.6 million buys, November 1996; Tyson vs. McNeeley, 1.58 million buys, August 1995; and Bruno vs. Tyson, 1.4 million buys, March 1996.

DKP has promoted or co-promoted 16 of the top 25 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including the top five: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also highest live-gate gross for any event in the history of the world.), date: Nov. 13, 1999; Holyfield vs. Tyson II, paid attendance: 16,279, gross: $14,277,200, date: June 28, 1997; Holyfield vs. Tyson I, paid attendance: 16,103, gross: $14,150,700, date: Nov. 9, 1996; Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $113,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995; De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, paid attendance: 11,184, gross: $12,949,500 (Also garnered the most pay-per-view buys for a non-heavyweight fight at 1.4 million.).