MASHANTUCKET, Conn. - Rapper/promoter Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson returns to the Nutmeg State to celebrate his birthday as his company, SMS Promotions, presents a special edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights on Wednesday night, July 2, at Grand Theater in Fox Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The 12-round main event matches undefeated junior lightweight Mark "Too Sharp" Davis (18-0, 5 KOs) against Filipino knockout specialist Michael "Hammer Fist" Farenas (38-4-4, 30 KOs) in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) title eliminator. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for winner of the upcoming title match between IBF 130-pound champion Argenis Mendez and challenger Rances Barthelemy.
"I'm thrilled to return to Foxwoods Resort Casino, celebrating my birthday yet again with ESPN Friday Night Fights," commented 50 Cent. "Last year was such a success I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do it again and deliver an amazing night of boxing. All of the fighters on the card bring strength, power, endurance and agility to the sport. It's a night you won't want to miss."
"We are delighted to be welcoming back 50 and his SMS Promotions for another stellar night of fights on ESPN." added Monique L. Sebastian, Executive Director of Entertainment, Foxwoods Resort Casino. "We couldn't think of a better way to kick off the holiday weekend."
The 27-year-old Davis, fighting out of Cleveland, had more than 200 amateur bouts, highlighted by his gold medal winning performance at the 2005 U.S. National Championships.
Farenas is a battle-tested veteran from the Philippines who has never been stopped in 47 professional fights. He lost a 12-round decision to another SMS fighter, Yuriorkis Gamboa, in 2012 for the interim World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight title, after he fought WBA super featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama to a draw in Japan.
In the 10-round ESPN FNF co-feature, former IBF featherweight champion Billy "The Kid" Dib (36-3, 21 KOs) moves up in weight to face former WBA featherweight title challenger Alberto "Kichis" Garza (26-7-1, 21 KOs), of Mexico City, with world junior lightweight implications at stake.
Dib, fighting out of Sydney, Australia, returns to Foxwoods where 14 months ago, also during ESPN FNF, he lost his IBF title to Evgeny Gradovich by way of a 12-round split decision.
Last November, Garza lost his only world title fight to WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters by fourth-round technical knockout. Garza is a former WBC Silver and WBC Continental Americas featherweight title holder.
Scheduled to fight opponents to be determined in four-round bouts are three of SMS Promotions' top prospects: lightweights Luis Olivares, Jr. (7-0, 5 KOs), Glendale, Arizona; Donte Strayhorn (5-1, 1 KO), Cincinnati, Ohio; Ryan "Blue Chip" Martin (5-0, 3 KOs), Chattanooga, Tennessee.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Tickets are priced at $100.00, $75.00 and $45.00 and will soon go on sale online at www.foxwoods.com, calling Foxwoods' box office at (800) 200-2882, or in person at Foxwoods' box office. Tickets will also be available to purchase through any Ticketmaster outlet and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Doors at Grand Theater in Fox Tower will open at 6 p.m. ET. The first bout will start at 7 p.m. ET with ESPN FNF airing live between 9-11 p.m. ET.
Tags: Billy Dib , Michael Farenas , Luis Olivares , Ryan Martin