ST. LOUIS, Mo. (July 6, 2006) – Guillermo Jones has withdrawn from his scheduled IBF cruiserweight world title fight with Steve Cunningham on Saturday night due to medical reasons, it was announced today by promoter Don King. The main event, an IBF junior middleweight championship bout between current 154-pound champion Roman Karmazin and former world welterweight titlist Cory Spinks, will be the only televised bout airing live on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/PT,.
Cunningham, who was scheduled to fight O’Neil Bell for the IBF title on SHOWTIME back in May, lost that opportunity when Bell pulled out of that fight reportedly for medical reasons. The IBF then stripped Bell of the title and sanctioned Cunningham and Jones, the No. 1 and 2 ranked contenders, to box for the vacant title Saturday.
Said a classy Cunningham at today’s press conference:
“This is the second fight in a row that has been cancelled on me. I want to show my skills and my ability on SHOWTIME. I found out on Wednesday (that Jones was not flying as scheduled to St. Louis). It was legitimate health problems, so my heart goes out to him. But I need to fight. My heart goes out to Jones. I give him the benefit of the doubt and I wish him a speedy recovery so he can get back to his career.
“As for me, that IBF title has my name on it. All the cruiserweight belts have my name on them. I’ve been waiting. I just need the opportunity. There are a lot of colorful characters in this division from all over the world and the fans want to see us fight for legitimate titles. When you are a unified champ, you have to step up. Money does not matter. If this fight was for $5 or $20, and on SHOWTIME, I’d be right there to fight.
“I feel that I am ready and my time is now, but I am a man of God and he has his own plan. It will happen when the time is right, but I am frustrated.
“I have the spirit, heart and mind of a champion and that is what boxing needs. I hope someone steps up, because I am ready. I will give a great show.”