Jay Harris and Ricardo Sandoval have waited six weeks longer than expected for this moment.
The pair of flyweight contenders both easily made weight for their IBF title eliminator, which takes place Friday evening at Bolton Whites Hotel in Bolton, England. Wales' Harris weighed 111.7 pounds, while California's Sandoval checked in at a near-career lightest 111 1/4 pounds for their scheduled 12-round main event that will air live on ESPN+ and IFL TV.
The winner will become the mandatory challenger to recently crowned IBF flyweight titlist Sunny Edwards (16-0, 4KOs), who unseated long-reigning titlist Moruti Mthalane in a 12-round unanimous decision win April 30 at York Hall in Bethnal Green.
Harris-Sandoval was previously due to take place two weeks after Edwards' career-best performance, only for their planned May 14 bout to suffer an untimely postponement. Both sides quickly agreed to a rescheduled date of June 25.
Harris (18-1, 9KOs) remains a perennial Top 10 contender, seeing his stock rise even in his lone career defeat.
The 30-year old Welshman offered a brave showing in a 12-round unanimous decision loss to Mexico City's Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1, 13KOs) in their WBC flyweight title fight last February in Frisco, Texas. Harris has since rebounded with a 10-round unanimous decision win over Marcel Braithwaite last October in South Kirkby, England.
Sandoval (18-1, 13KOs) carries a 14-fight win streak into his first career fight outside of North America. The 22-year-old from Rialto, California has also stopped his last five opponents, including a seventh-round stoppage of Philippines Raymond Tabugon last February at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
In the evening's chief support, former bantamweight titlist Paul Butler (32-2, 15KOs) weighed 117 3/4 pounds for his scheduled 10-round regional title fight versus late substitute Willibaldo Garcia (12-4-1, 6KOs), who weighed 117 1/4 pounds.
Butler is angling to become a two-time bantamweight titlist, though met with a slight detour. He was originally due to face fellow former titlist Joseph Agbeko in a title eliminator, only for Agbeko to have to withdraw due to his travel visa not arriving in time. Garcia accepted the fight on short notice, fighting outside of Mexico for the first time as a pro.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox