By Gregory Stangrit
Newly crowned IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence (22-0, 19 KOs) will soon have a mandatory challenger - if everything comes together.
It became known to BoxingScene.com/Allboxing.ru that the sanctioning body has ordered a final eliminator between 24-year-old Russian welterweight Konstantin Ponomarev (#4 IBF) and Mexico's Carlos Ocampo (#3 IBF).
The two boxers were given until June 19 to reach an agreement or the IBF will order a purse bid.
Ponomarev, who is trained by veteran coach Abel Sanchez, was in action last month when he won a unanimous decision over Ed Paredes.
Last year, Ponomarev picked up decision wins over Silverio Ortiz and Brad Solomon. Ponomarev first came on the scene in 2015, when he shocked undefeated Canadian prospect Mikael Zewski with unanimous decision win.
Last year, he was actually ordered to fight Spence in a final IBF eliminator, but his handlers took a pass on the fight. Spence instead fought
Leonard Bundu and knocked him out cold last August.
Ocampo (21-0, 12 KOs) was last in action back in January, when he won a unanimous decision over Daniel Echeverria. Ocampo, who is handled by Zanfer Promotions, has never fought outside of Mexico and his competition is shaky.
For Ponomarev, the fight with Ocampo is certainly a lot more winnable on paper, in comparison to last year's order to face Spence.
Spence captured the title last month, when he traveled over to Sheffield to stop Kell Brook in eleven rounds before a crowd of 27,000 at Bramall Lane. Many insiders believe Spence could very well be the best fighter in the division.
Before making a mandatory defense, Spence will be allowed a voluntary defense. BoxingScene.com's Keith Idec reported earlier today that Spence could return on a date in September, as the headliner of a FOX televised card.
Gregory Stangrit covers boxing for Allboxing.ru