JAMIE McDonnell is set to fight on Kell Brook’s undercard in a world title eliminator.
The Star can reveal that the 26-year-old and his management team are close to securing an IBF bantamweight final eliminator fight with South African Vusi Malinga, who has already twice challenged unsuccessfully for a world title.
McDonnell would offer chief support to Brook as he himself fights in a IBF final eliminator against Argentine Hector Saldivia at the Motorpoint Arena on October 20.
Frank Maloney, McDonnell’s promoter, no longer has any Sky television dates and it is believed that McDonnell will be on a one fight deal as his ticket sales will help make an extra vocal support as the region’s two elite boxers take their last steps towards world title shots.
McDonnell has only fought once this year in what was a routine defence of his European title against Ivan Pozo - a title he has since vacated.
Malinga, aged 32 and a southpaw, has won 20 contests, lost four and drawn one. His last fight was in June of this year when he lost to current IBF champion Leo Santa Cruz in California.
Should McDonnell beat Malinga he would be in pole position to challenge the unbeaten Mexican Santa Cruz for the title or the experienced Puerto Rican Eric Morel, who Santa Cruz defends against in Las Vegas on September 15.