Kell Brook has revealed he was close to taking a fight with WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley but chose to take the mandatory route with the IBF.
Brook takes on Hector Saldivia for the mandatory position for the IBF welterweight title in Betfair’s ‘This Is It’ at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on October 20 live on Sky Sports, a route the Sheffield star and his promoter Eddie Hearn decided was the right move for the 25 year olds career.
Brook came through a gut check against Carson Jones in his last outing at the Motorpoint Arena in July, and he believes the mandatory route could lead to a mega fight in 2013 against the returning Ricky Hatton.
“The Bradley fight was put in front of me but I believe the mandatory position in the IBF is the right move,” said Brook, who is back in Sheffield after a two week training camp in Spain. “Eddie has worked hard to get me into this position and providing I beat Saldivia, I’ll be fighting for a World title at the start of 2013 and it will be on my terms.
“I would love that to be in Sheffield too and I know Eddie would do his best to get it here as it would be an amazing event. I will also be watching Ricky Hatton’s comeback with great interest as a fight against him next year would be an absolute blockbuster for British boxing.
“When I fought his brother Matthew you could see that the Hatton name still means a lot in boxing and we would fill a big stadium fighting for a World title.”
Hearn added: “Top Rank contacted me in August and made us an offer for the Bradley fight. It was a nice ego boost for Kell to be offered a fight of such magnitude but we begun this journey with a goal of becoming a mandatory challenger and now we are just one win away.”
Brook’s clash with Saldivia tops a great Sheffield bill with Jamie McDonnell facing Vusi Malinga in an IBF bantamweight World title final eliminator and Kenny Anderson taking on Robin Reid for the vacant British super middleweight title.
Tickets for Betfair’s ‘This Is It’ are on sale now priced at £30, £40, £60 and £100 from the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield box office on 0114 256 5656 and at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.
VIP packages priced £150 are exclusively available from Matchroom Sport at www.matchroomboxing.com and 01277 359900.