iFL TV caught up with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn on the final lead-in to a bumper bill in Leeds this Saturday night, topped by British and European featherweight champion Josh Warrington.
They covered a range of topics before eventually turning to the announcement made earlier this week when we found out Hearn’s IBF World welterweight champion Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KO’s) will be defending his belt against the big punching Diego Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KO’s) on October 24th in Sheffield, England.
Chaves’ name will not bear much significance to those outside of the boxing world, but he is a durable, rugged guy who has no qualms about fighting outside of the rules as when he was disqualified against Brandon Rios last August.
Chaves has been in with high-level opponents in three of his last four fights and Hearn explained why he represents a very tough challenge for Brook.
“People that have watched Chaves against Bradley, against Thurman, against Rios, they know it’s a proper fight and it is a proper fight. I’m sorry but if you don’t think Kell Brook against Diego Chaves is a proper fight then you don’t know shit about boxing, because this is one tough hombre.”
“He gave Tim Bradley a great fight. I thought he lost the Bradley fight but it was close. He was beating Rios in their fight, got disqualified I think in the ninth round because he decided to start nuttin’ [head-butting] him and using his elbows. And he gave Keith Thurman all he could handle.”
That is pertinent and accurate information. If an observer is restricted to merely glancing over Chaves’s record you see he has won just one of his last four fights, and those were the only bouts he’s had against good American fighters; hardly championship winning form.
But he smashed Tim Bradley’s face to pieces even if he didn’t deserve a share of that decision last December, and he looked en route to a sure win before his disqualification against Rios, a fight where both men repeatedly fouled. He was overcome by Thurman’s skill and power before Thurman was a champion, but he was the first man to seriously have a go at ‘One-Time’ and just came up short.
He is a very strong fighter and a definite step up in class for Brook in compared to his recent opponents. Hearn went so far as to say;
“I believe this is the toughest fight of his career.”
Hearn was reminded that Brook has already been in with Shawn Porter, but he stuck to his guns. A bold statement.
Hearn was chasing Tim Bradley and Brandon Rios to fly over to face Brook in the UK, but this will serve as a decent enough alternative. The only thing he lacks is name recognition but the Matchroom machine has nearly two months to get the word out that Chaves is the first serious threat to Brook’s title.