STEVE CUNNINGHAM has won 28 professional fights, is a two-time IBF cruiserweight world champion and only 2 months ago defended his USBA heavyweight belt.

The Philadelphia boxer's daughter won a much bigger battle yesterday.

Kennedy Cunningham, 9, who since birth has had a rare congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, had a successful heart transplant yesterday at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Kennedy's story has garnered national attention since it was shared on the NBC Sports Network's telecast of Cunningham's April victory over Amir Mansour at the Liacouras Center. In the months after that fight, a fundraiser was organized to help the family temporarily relocate to Pittsburgh, where the hospital had listed Kennedy for a new heart.

"We are so happy to share that early this morning our daughter Kennedy received the gift of life," Steve Cunningham and his wife, Livvy, said in a statement released by the boxer's promoter, Main Events.

"She received her new heart and is doing very well. This day is so very special to us and the promise of a better and longer life for our daughter trumps any victory boxing could ever give us. This is the ultimate championship right here.

"We would like to thank everyone for their continued prayers and support. And most importantly we send our sincere condolences to the donor family that through their extraordinary selflessness made this day possible for our daughter. We are forever grateful!"

On Twitter: @jakemkaplan