Cornelius 'K9' Bundrage will face Ishe Smith in an IBF junior middleweight title defense, while Khabib Allakhverdiev will defend his WBA junior weltereweight title on the Devon Alexander-Kell Brook undercard, which has yet to be finalized, but is expected to land on February 23 or March 2, on Showtime.
From The RING:
"It will be a tripleheader on Showtime featuring Devon Alexander and Kell Brook and Bundrage vs. Ishe Smith," said Schaefer. "And there will be a third world title fight which I can not disclose yet because we're in the process of finalizing it. It will be Khabib defending his title."
Bundrage (32-4, 19 KO) won his title from Cory Spinks in August 2010, and has made just two defenses since then, against Sechew Powell and Spinks in a pointless rematch. The title had been in Don King's stable for a while, centered around Spinks mostly, but when Bundrage left King and signed with Golden Boy earlier this year, that put a thankful end to that.
Smith (24-5, 11 KO) and Bundrage have a lot in common. They're both quality fighters without sparkling records, but guys who have survived in the sport and generally come out with their hands raised, even if they haven't been given the sort of opportunities others have. Bundrage turns 40 in April and Smith is 34, and now they're with companies that can get things done, with "K9" signed to Golden Boy and Smith part of Floyd Mayweather's group. This will be Smith's first world title shot.
Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KO) beat Joan Guzman for the vacant WBO 140 pound belt on November 30, winning a deserved eight-round technical decision.