Errol Spence Jr becomes Kell Brook's mandatory challenger after stopping Leonard Bundu
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 22/08/16 9:13am
Errol Spence Jr called for a future fight with Kell Brook after earning a shot at the IBF welterweight belt with an explosive knockout win over Leonard Bundu.
The American halted his Italian opponent with a big uppercut in the sixth round to become mandatory challenger for Brook, who remains the IBF champion despite his decision to step up to middleweight to challenge Gennady Golovkin on September 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Brook will still retain the belt, even if he fails to defeat Golovkin, and a fight with Spence Jr could take place early next year.
Spence Jr gradually gained the measure of Bundu in the opening rounds of their final eliminator, but had found his range by the fourth and the former European champion returned to his corner with a swelling over his right eye.
By the sixth, Spence Jr was starting to show off his spiteful punches, and referee Johnny Callas questionably ruled a slip as Bundu wilted to the canvas, although there would be no argument about the fight ending knockdown.
With Bundu backing to the ropes, Spence Jr unloaded a jolting uppercut that sent his opponent crumpling to the canvas and Callas waved off the fight.
"I definitely want my shot at Kell Brook and his title," said Spence Jr. "I want him next. If he vacates or gets stripped then I'll fight for his vacant title. I've paid my dues."
"Once I was able to catch his rhythm and figure him out, I knew I had him. I knew he was very tough, but he never hurt me. He was switching and jumping in and out and it took me a little bit to adjust."
The 41-year-old Bundu had never previously been stopped and his only other defeat was a points loss to current WBA champion Keith Thurman.
"He certainly lived up to the hype," said Bundu. "Errol was more precise than Keith Thurman. Errol threw more punches and was fresh in every round."