For those still waiting on an announcement regarding IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook’s next defence of his title – that is set to take place on October 24th in his Sheffield backyard, then the wait will come to an end this Wednesday, when an announcement is to be made live on Sky Sports News in the UK.
Brook was last seen destroying over-matched countryman Frankie Gavin inside 6 rounds back in May, and was almost set to face American brawler Brandon Rios, until the fight fell apart over contractual minutiae – including money and a rematch clause – yet Rios is now set to fight in November in California and is (sadly) firmly out of the picture.
Fans are keen to see Brook take a proven step up in class, moving on from the career best victory over the previously undefeated Shawn Porter in California a year ago that captured him his title.
After sustaining a nasty leg injury after being involved in a Machete attack on holiday following the Porter victory, Brook was given a pass by fans on his steam rolling of mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan in February and the Frankie Gavin mis-match in May.
The pressure is now on promoter Eddie Hearn to deliver a solid name to the UK that will capture the attention of the fans, rather than leave them underwhelmed, as has happened already with possible rumoured opponents such as 2nd tier fighters like Leonard Bundu and Chris Van Heerden, although thankfully, they have now been ruled out.
The favourite to land the shot is Argentina’s fringe contender Diego Chaves (23-2-1, 19ko), who hasn’t boxed this year after holding Tim Bradley to a controversial draw last December. Before that, he got himself disqualified in a foul fest against Brandon Rios. He was also beaten up and knocked out by current (WBA) reg champion Keith Thurman a little over two years ago, and is the level of fighter – Porter aside – Brook is yet to elevate from despite his obvious talents.
While it may well prove to be an entertaining and intriguing enough fight stylistically, Chaves is hardly a name, for the casual fans especially, to get excited about. It will also do nothing to elevate Brook in the mind of bitter rival Amir Khan, who is ridiculously refusing to fight “The Special One” until the champion fights a “big enough name” – this despite the massive appeal for that fight in the UK and Amir chasing down the likes of Chris Algieri whilst he ran after – and was ignored – by Floyd Mayweather.
The lack of Chaves being a draw for broadcaster Sky Sports is likely also to be saved by the Wladimir Klitschko v Tyson Fury fight in Dusseldorf, Germany the same night, as the broadcasting giant have picked up the TV rights for the heavyweight clash, and will surely be looking to televise the two cards as a TV split on their Box Office platform.
The plan thereafter, according to Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn, is to send Brook out again for another fight in December, fighting “4 defences in a year after a horrifying injury” as he wrote on twitter earlier.
Therefore, reading between the lines, the message would be not to get your hopes too high in terms of elite level opposition!!!