British bantamweight contender Jamie McDonnell will meet South African Vusi Malinga in a final IBF eliminator at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, on October 20.
McDonnell, the British, European and Commonwealth holder, faces the experienced Malinga (20-4-1, 12 knockouts) on the undercard of countryman Kell Brook’s welterweight clash with Argentine Hector David Saldiva.
And should he emerge triumphant, the 26-year-old from Doncaster can expect a shot at either Mexico’s IBF holder Leo Santa Cruz, who beat Malinga last time out to win the vacant belt, or American Eric Morel.
Cruz and Morel, ranked No. 7 and No. 5, respectively, in THE RING’s 118-pound ratings, are scheduled to fight in Las Vegas, September 15.
“It’s the next progressive step in my career, having cleaned up domestically and in Europe,” said McDonnell (19-2-1, 8 KOs), on an 11-fight winning streak. “It’s a big step but one I will take and then go on to become world champion.”
Hearn is equally bullish at having added another talented Yorkshire boxer to the Matchroom books and predicts a big future for McDonnell.
“I’ve long been an admirer of Jamie. I think he has the ability, popularity and image to go a long way in the game — and we look forward to working with Dennis Hobson and Jamie to help him get there,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
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