By Jake Donovan, photos by Ryan Greene
With a title shot waiting in the wings, Errol Spence Jr. and Leonard Bundu left nothing to chance for their upcoming final elimination bout.
Both boxers tipped the scales at a fighting-ready 146.2 lbs. ahead of their NBC-televised welterweight battle this Sunday at Ford Ampitheater in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York.
Spence (20-0, 17KOs) has quickly emerge as the standout talent from the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's boxing team, already considered a top contender in a forever-loaded welterweight division. The 26-year old from Desoto, Texas has also becoming the darling of free-to-air NBC, with this bout marking his 5th appearance on its prime network or cable affiliate NBC Sports Network, all coming within his past six starts.
The undefeated welterweight most recently turned heads with a one-sided 5th round stoppage of former 140 lb. titlist Chris Algieri this past April at Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. Sunday's bout will mark his second straight bout in this corner of the world, which has allowed Spence to connect with the New York fan base while also perform in front of family members who still live in Long Island, where he was born before relocating to Texas as a child.
Bundu (33-1-2, 12KOs) marks the most experience opponent to date for Spence. The 41-year old from Italy by way of Sierra Leone has won two straight following the lone loss of his career. Unfortunately, that very defeat is the one fight that resonates with most stateside fans, his U.S. debut resulting d a 12-round decision to Keith Thurman in Dec. '14.
Getting to that point, Bundu had claimed career-best wins over Lee Purdy and Frankie Gavin, both of which took place in England. Sunday will mark his fifth road trip within his past six bouts.