50 Cent to celebrate 39th as promoter

How will boxing promoter/rap star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson celebrate his 39th birthday?

By promoting a July 2 fight card headlined by a junior lightweight world title elimination bout between Mark Davis and Michael Farenas, of course.

Jackson, whose birthday is July 6, is promoting his birthday bash card for the second year on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights," although this year's show is on a special Wednesday night edition of the series. The card will take place at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

In the co-feature, former featherweight titleholder Billy Dib will move up in weight to junior lightweight and face former featherweight title challenger Alberto Garza in a scheduled 10-round bout.

"I'm thrilled to return to Foxwoods Resort Casino, celebrating my birthday yet again with ESPN 'Friday Night Fights,'" Jackson said in announcing the card on Thursday.

"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."

Davis (18-0, 5 KOs), 27, of Cleveland, will face Farenas (38-4-4, 30 KOs), 29, of the Philippines, in an elimination contest that will give the winner a mandatory shot at the winner of the July 10 rematch between 130-pound titleholder Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy.

Davis, a former amateur standout, will be facing his most notable opponent so far in his pro career.

In 2012, Farenas had two title bouts, a third-round technical draw with junior lightweight world titleholder Takashi Uchiyama in Japan followed by a unanimous decision loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa in an interim junior lightweight title bout in Las Vegas. Since the loss to Gamboa, Farenas has won four fights in a row, all by knockout inside two rounds.

Dib (36-3, 21 KOs), 28, of Australia, lost his featherweight world title by split decision to Evgeny Gradovich in a grueling fight at Foxwoods in March 2013. After winning his next fight, Dib met Gradovich in a rematch in November in Macau and was knocked out in the ninth round of a one-sided fight.

Dib thought about retirement in the wake of that loss before electing to continue his career at a heavier weight.

Garza (26-7-1, 21 KOs), 28, of Mexico, is 1-2 in his last three bouts, including a fourth-round knockout loss challenging featherweight titleholder Nicholas Walters in November in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In his most recent fight, Garza lost a unanimous 12-round decision to blue chip Puerto Rican prospect Jose Pedraza in March in Puerto Rico.