By Dave Spencer / Fightnews Canada
The negotiation period has begun for the vacant IBF cruiserweight championship between #1 ranked Steve Cunningham and #3 Troy Ross but don’t expect anything to be decided before at least Monday according to Yvon Michel, promoter for Ross. “We received a letter from the IBF on Tuesday,” stated Michel who has until April 23rd to consummate a deal before the fight goes to purse bid. Currently the promoter of Cunningham is Don King but that contract is due to expire on March 28th according to Michel. It is widely believed that Cunningham is expected to sign with Main Events who were willing to step in to promote Cunningham’s scheduled bout against Matt Godfrey that eventually fell through.
Michel was optimistic that a deal could be reached but doesn’t want to wade into the murky waters until it becomes perfectly clear of who will be representing Cunningham who stands at 22-2 (11KO) with both losses coming by way of split decision. Ross who won the last installment of the popular Contender series has been relatively quiet since the show rapped up with a pair of victories since, last fighting in December in Montreal. “He’s been eager to fight,” said Michel, “But we were hopeful that an elimination fight would come and we had to make ourselves available otherwise we would miss out. We put him on hold and it finally paid off, not just for an elimination but for a championship. We’re extremely happy and glad that Troy will be getting his chance.”