Photo: Marco Chiesa
By Marco Bratusch
IBF #6 welterweight Leonard “The Lion” Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) is eager to prove himself on Sunday afternoon against IBF #2 Errol “The Truth” Spence jr. (20-0, 17 KOs). The fight, set to take place at the new Ford Amphiteater in Coney Island, NY, is an elimination bout to determine the new IBF mandatory challenger in the welterweight division. Bundu-Spence will top a PBC card promoted by DiBella Entertainment. NBC will broadcast the fight live in the USA starting at 5PM ET/ 2PM PT. BoxNation will show the contest in the UK as well as Sportitalia TV in Italy.
For the Italian fighter, born in Sierra Leone, this will be his third fight on USA soil after his loss on points to Keith Thurman in December 2014 and the following comeback fight against Mexican Pablo Munguia in Seattle last year.
“I feel really good,” Bundu told Fightnews.com®, “after my first loss I went through a short period of discouragement for a while, then I’ve found my pleasure in training soon again. I know Spence is a young talent and a very accurate puncher but I think he will have to be cautious against me.
“I’ve seen he’s now fighting more on his front foot at close quarters, looking for the KO. It would suit me well as I also love fighting and countering, provide a good clash for the fans. We’ve had a very good training camp, divided between my conditioning training in Cisterna and the technical and sparring part in Florence during last month. There we used a quick Swiss southpaw, Ricardo Silva, a worthy sparring partner that my promoter Mario Loreni provided. I’ll land in New York City on Monday evening, so I’ll have plenty of time to acclimate and overcome the 6-hours of jet lag. I’m looking forward to a very good performance.”
Long-time trainer Alessandro Boncinelli, owner of the Accademia Pugilistica Fiorentina (Bundu’s gym in Florence), gives his thought on the contest:
“I can see Spence as a little ‘tank,’ although he’s also really accurate punching from the inside. This young southpaw has very good offensive skills even though I still want to see how good his defense is. We studied a couple of tactics that can work out well going into this fight, but of course I don’t want to reveal them now.
“For this fight I wanted Leonard to have a very hard training camp because, you know, when you’re in your early forties you can’t overlook anything. Leonard did a very good job, running many miles, doing uphill sprints, working at high-intensity at the heavy bag and showing me good recover from those works. I couldn’t ask him more in training. Now he must do the right things even into the ring. I expect a very hard but entertaining fight.”