Bika-Mendy winner to face Bute

Super middleweights Sakio Bika and Jean Paul Mendy will meet in a title eliminator July 31 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz lightweight championship rematch, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com on Wednesday night.

The winner of Bika-Mendy will earn a mandatory shot against 168-pound titleholder Lucian Bute.

The addition of Bika-Mendy is another notable bout on one of the most loaded cards in recent years.

In previously announced undercard bouts, Daniel Jacobs meets Dmitry Pirog for a vacant middleweight belt, Joel Casamayor faces Robert Guerrero in a junior welterweight bout between former titleholders from smaller weight classes and former two-division titlist Jorge Linares faces perennial contender Rocky Juarez in a lightweight match. The Marquez-Diaz main event is a rematch of the 2009 fight of the year, which Marquez won via ninth-round knockout in a bloody slugfest.

"This is truly a 'Fight Freak' card for the ages," Schaefer said. "We are going all out to make July 31 a night to remember for boxing and sports fans. The addition of Bika versus Mendy is another all-action fight which supplements a card which I consider to be one of the best top to bottom boxing events in the past few years."

Schaefer said Bika-Mendy will take place just before the HBO PPV telecast begins but that highlights of the bout would air during the broadcast. However, he said is working on having the fight, along with another undercard match featuring blue-chip junior welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez, shown live as a free preview in the hour preceding the start of the pay-per-view telecast.

"We're trying now to secure the free window from the PPV channels," Schaefer said. "Looking good."

Golden Boy won the rights to Bika-Mendy in a purse bid last month with the only offer, $30,000. Bika, a native of Cameroon living in Australia, is entitled to 60 percent ($18,000) and Mendy 40 percent ($12,000), although Golden Boy, Bika's promoter, likely will supplement his purse.

The fight will be the first for Bika (28-3-2, 19 KOs) in almost exactly one year. He hasn't fought since scoring a first-round knockout of Nestor Casanova in Australia last July 30.

Bika, 31, is best known for knocking out Jaidon Codrington in the eighth round to win the 2007 tournament on "The Contender" reality series. In his last bout before joining "The Contender" cast, Bika lost a decision to Bute in Montreal in a title elimination bout and Bute went on to win the belt.

Mendy (28-0-1, 16 KOs), 36, of France, is coming off a ninth-round knockout of Josival Lima Teixeira in March.

Also on the undercard, 22-year-old English super middleweight prospect George Groves, who is in the camp of heavyweight titlist David Haye, makes his American debut against Mexico's Alfredo Contreras (11-7-1, 5 KOs) and Golden Boy heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell (17-0-1, 11 KOs), of Brandywine, Md., takes a step up in competition against Philadelphia banger Derek Bryant (20-5-1, 17 KOs).

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.