The big boys aren’t the only ones getting marching orders. The IBF has ordered a final eliminator between Wales’ Jay Harris and California’s Ricardo Sandoval for a crack at the flyweight title, which Moruti Mthalane has held since 2018.
You’ll recall Harris (18-1, 9 KO), the #6 contender, from last February’s terrific scrap with Julio Cesar Martinez. Though he ultimately came up short and had to take a knee from the body shot, he’s the only man among Martinez’s last 12 opponents to last the distance. He returned to the win column in October with a wide decision over Marcel Braithwaite.
The 22-year-old Sandoval (18-1, 13 KO) hasn’t tasted defeat since his fifth pro fight back in 2016. Though he’s got a nice finishing percentage, Harris represents a massive step up in competition.
Mthalane himself, meanwhile, was last seen retiring veteran Akira Yaegashi in December of 2019. He was slated to return this past December against Jayson Mama, bu issues with the COVID safety protocols canceled it at the last minute.