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Ring of Fire: Possible Pavlik Opponent, Kirkland and Ronny Rios Added to Khan vs Judah Card

Kelly Pavlik's mediocre performance in May might have him taking a side step in August. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Kelly Pavlik's mediocre performance in May might have him taking a side step in August. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Darryl Cunningham Is Possible for Pavlik

Rick Reeno reports that 36-year-old Detroit club fighter Darryl Cunningham (23-2, 10 KO) could be the man in line to fight former middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik on August 6. Pavlik will fight in Youngstown, Ohio, with Showtime televising as a "special" ShoBox.

Cunningham currently has tentative dates set for Saturday against Donnie Davis (8-23, 6 KO) in Flint, Mich., and on August 26 against Dante Craig (18-9-1, 13 KO) in Detroit. To let you know just how "club fighter" we're talking, Craig was this week inserted into a fight with Anthony Dirrell (21-0, 18 KO) for that Flint show on Saturday.

I'd honestly be pretty let down if this is who they line up to face Pavlik, because this is merely a sideways step from Alfonso Lopez in May. It would either speak to Team Pavlik's reluctance to step up before fighting Lucian Bute this fall, as is the heavy rumor, or to Top Rank's lack of faith in Pavlik after a rocky win over Lopez on the Pacquiao vs Mosley card. It's true that Cunningham hasn't lost since 2007, and is on a 16-fight win streak, but almost all of those were six-round fights and every one of them was in Michigan, where it's pretty easy to build a record nowadays.

James Kirkland, Ronny Rios Back on Khan vs Judah Show

Dan Rafael reports that James Kirkland will be back on July 23 as part of the Amir Khan vs Zab Judah show in Las Vegas, and Frankie Espinoza says that his fighter Ronny Rios will also be fighting on the show. Neither has an opponent yet.

Kirkland (28-1, 25 KO) fought last Friday in Texas on Solo Boxeo Tecate and walked through Dennis Sharpe in the first round. He looked in better shape and has Ann Wolfe back at his side, but time will still have to tell where he's headed. Rios (14-0, 6 KO) is a 21-year-old super featherweight prospect who hasn't had a big step up yet, and will be fighting for the second time this year. Both fighters are decent late additions for those attending the card live, after the Peterson vs Cayo and Julio vs Smith fights were canceled.

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