Konstantin Ponomarev has been forced to withdraw from an IBF eliminator against the talented Errol Spence Jr. and will be replaced by Italian former world title challenger Leonard Bundu.
The IBF confirmed to WBN on Wednesday the news that promoters for both fighters were on board for the contest, with the winner of that bout set to be the number one contender for belt holder Kell Brook.
A unification for Brook versus WBO champion Jessie Vargas is on the verge of being finalized for Sheffield in late summer, meaning the eventual victor of Spence v Bundu will be in line to fight for two titles, potentially in early 2017.
Spence, 26, has ripped through the division without much problem since turning pro in 2012 and has halted 17 of his 20 wins early. A recent win over Chris Algieri cemented initial thoughts that Spence was a certain future world title holder and only Bundu now stands in his way of getting the chance.
At 41, Bundu’s best years are firmly behind him, although ‘The Lion’ did reclaim the European belt last time out and has only lost to current WBA champion Keith Thurman throughout his entire career.
More details on the contest are expected to emerge in the coming days and weeks, whilst Spence is likely to gain home advantage and head into the fight as an overwhelming favorite to prevail.