Jay Harris has been chomping on the bit to return to the title stage after a robust displaying in his lone look at that degree.
An avenue has been supplied for that second probability.
The highly-regarded flyweight contender from Swansea, Wales has been ordered by the Worldwide Boxing Federation (IBF) to enter talks with California’s Ricardo Sandoval for a last eliminator bout. The ruling got here down on Tuesday, offering a good window to work out phrases earlier than being topic to a handbag bid listening to,
“Be suggested that #5 Ricardo Sandoval and #6 Jay Harris are the [two] highest ranked obtainable contenders within the IBF flyweight division and have indicated, in writing, a willingness to take part on this eliminator,” Carlos Ortiz Jr., championships chairman of the IBF said in a letter submitted to representatives for each boxers, a replica of which has been obtained by BoxingScene.com. “In an effort to find out who the necessary challenger shall be, the IBF is ordering an elimination bout between Ricardo Sandoval and Jay Harris for the primary place.
“Negotiations ought to be concluded by February 26, 2021.”
Harris is represented by MTK World, whereas Sandoval works with Golden Boy Promotions.
The winner for the combat will turn out to be the necessary challenger to long-reigning flyweight titlist Moruti Mthalane (39-2, 26KOs), who shall be free to make a voluntary protection within the interim.
It’s been simpler mentioned than executed for the 38-year previous from South Africa, who hasn’t fought since a ninth spherical knockout of Akira Yaegashi. A deliberate title protection versus Jayson Mama—scheduled for final December—fell by way of attributable to an incapability by the native promoter to offer proof of funds, leaving Mthalane greater than a 12 months out of the ring at current time.
Sandoval (18-1, 13KOs) has received his final 14 begins, although he has not fought in additional than a 12 months. The 22-year previous from Rialto, California has significantly improved since coming into a working relationship with Golden Boy Promotions in 2017, having been frequently featured on the corporate’s prospect-based reveals. The final such look got here in a ninth spherical knockout of Raymond Tabugon final February at Fantasy Springs On line casino in Indio, California.
Harris (18-1, 9KOs) was aggressive in his WBC title bid versus Julio Cesar Martinez, dropping a 12-round resolution final February simply previous to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 30-year previous Welshman earned the title combat on the heels of a breakout marketing campaign in 2019. Harris scored a dominant factors win over former title challenger Angel Moreno earlier than sending Belfast’s Paddy Barnes into retirement, scoring a 4th spherical knockout within the hometown of the three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic Bronze medalist of their Nov. 2019 conflict.
Following his lone profession defeat to Martinez, Harris returned from the pandemic to soundly outpoint Marcel Braithwaite over 10 rounds final October in South Kirkby, England. The win left the top-rated flyweight contender eager for extra, with Tuesday’s information alongside the strains of what he had in thoughts.
“Increase,” exclaimed Harris on social media upon listening to the information. “Mandated for a last eliminator. [L]et’s get this executed.”
His group can have till Friday to do exactly that.
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox