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Errol Spence Jr. to fight Leonard Bundu with title shot at stake

Welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr., who is one win from a shot at a world title, can earn it in his next fight.

Spence, the 2015 ESPN.com prospect of the year and a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will face Italy's Leonard Bundu in a world title eliminator on Aug. 21 at the new Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, New York.

The Premier Boxing Champions bout, made official Tuesday, will air as a Sunday afternoon special on NBC immediately after the network's coverage of the gold-medal game in Olympic men's basketball.

The Spence-Budu winner will earn a mandatory world title bout against England's Kell Brook, who first will challenge unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin on Sept. 10. Win or lose that bout, Brook will still have his welterweight belt, but there's a chance he will relinquish it regardless of the outcome, leaving the Spence-Budu winner to compete for a possible vacant title.

"This is another great opportunity for me to gain exposure on NBC," Spence said. "A lot of people will be watching because of the Olympics that may not have known my name before. As an Olympian, headlining a major event four years after my Olympic run is exciting."

Spence is aiming to become the second member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic boxing team to win a world title after Rau'shee Warren won a bantamweight belt on June 18.

Spence will be the heavy favorite against former European welterweight champion Bundu, 41, of Italy, who has won two fights in a row against lesser opponents since losing a shutout decision to Keith Thurman in an interim world title bout in December 2014 in Las Vegas.

"Bundu is an older fighter, but he's tough and has a lot of experience," Spence said. "He fought well against Keith Thurman. Thurman outboxed him but couldn't knock him out. I think I can make a big statement in the division if I can stop him, as I did with Chris Algieri."

The 26-year-old Spence (20-0, 17 KOs), of Dallas suburb DeSoto, Texas, turned in a sensational performance on April 16 when he blitzed former junior welterweight titlist Algieri in a fifth-round knockout on NBC in prime time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) said he believes his experience will carry the day against an opponent 15 years younger than he is.

"I am going to use my experience to my advantage on Aug. 21," Bundu said. "When I fought Thurman, I ended up being overcautious, but that will not be the case this time. I know it's now or never for me, and I won't let this chance slip away. Spence will come forward, but that will work to my advantage because I love fighting on the inside. I'm going to show Spence a few things that he hasn't seen before."

The fight will be the first at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, a 5,000-seat covered open-air venue that opened earlier this month.

"It is exciting to have rising star Errol Spence headlining the [venue's] inaugural boxing event," promoter Lou DiBella said. "Spence is one of the most gifted young fighters in all of boxing and is on track to be a world champion."