By Keith Idec
Most questions understandably were directed toward Errol Spence Jr. during a 40-minute conference call Thursday that featured Spence and Leonard Bundu.
The hard-hitting Spence is an unbeaten, hard-hitting, rising welterweight star with an Olympic pedigree.
Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) has just one defeat on his professional record – a lopsided unanimous-decision defeat to WBA world welterweight champion Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) in December 2014. Still, Spence’s 41-year-old opponent will get a shot to pull off an enormous upset two weeks from Sunday largely because he was a top-15 contender available to face Spence in their IBF elimination match August 21 in Brooklyn.
Spence is listed as a 100-1 favorite by several Internet sports books.
Nevertheless, Bundu, Sierra Leone native who resides in Italy, feels as though he hasn’t been properly respected as he and Spence (20-0, 17 KOs) move closer to their scheduled 12-round fight inside Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk (NBC; 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT). He has not been knocked out during his 11-year pro career, and Spence acknowledged Bundu’s boxing ability during the aforementioned conference call.
“What I’m gonna say is don’t overlook me,” Bundu said. “Don’t overlook me, all of you. I think I’m getting more respect from Errol than the rest of you. So don’t overlook me, and you might be in for a big surprise August 21st.”
The Spence-Bundu winner will earn the No. 1 position in the IBF’s welterweight rankings and a shot at its 147-pound title, currently owned by England’s Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.