Kell Brook will defend his IBF welterweight title against Jo Jo Dan on Saturday night, and a win will give him the freedom of challenging any big name in the division.
Brook vs Dan fight time and live stream: Preview of the IBF title clash in Sheffield.
Brook vs Dan weigh-in: (Video) Pair go head-to-head prior to fight night.
Brook aiming for bigger things than Khan: Mayweather and Pacquiao could become options.
After defeating Shawn Porter in California last year to claim the belt, Brook went through a troubling time out of the ring following the knife attack which left him hospitalised on holiday in Spain.
While the initial fears were over his life as opposed to just his career, the 28-year-old has fortunately made a full recovery and is ready for a dream night in front of his home fans in Sheffield.
The strategy is clear for Brook in that he will hope to get his mandatory defence out the way against Dan, which will open the door to significant fights for the rest of 2015.
His bout on Saturday is being shown live on Sky Sports in the UK, but arguably more importantly, it is also being aired by Showtime in the USA where Brook needs to continue to build his profile.
‘Special K’ is fully aware of the fact that he can’t afford to slip-up on Saturday night, as the prizes dangling in front of him are significantly bigger and could pit him against the best in the world.
While a fight with a Juan Manuel Marquez or Keith Thurman may be required this summer in order to get him to the top level, it is becoming a prominent conversation in boxing circles that Brook should be aiming for a unification fight with either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.
Provided that the Sheffield-born fighter comes through on Saturday night, there will only be two world champions in the welterweight division come May 3, and that could be the incentive needed for a huge showdown between the pair.
According to Sky Sports’ Johnny Nelson, Brook went out to Mayweather’s gym and watched him spar last year, and trainer Dominic Ingle declined an offer to be seated on the front row.
The story goes that Mayweather spotted Brook and put on a show, but both Brook and Ingle got up and walked out the gym after just three rounds which left the American stunned as the mind games started.
As long as there are no lasting effects from his leg injury, Brook should come through on Saturday night and he will want to do it in style.
A domestic showdown with Amir Khan appears to be losing its momentum, and Khan is unlikely to get the fight that he craves with Mayweather as ultimately he is too dangerous for his own good in that match-up.
As a result, Brook becomes an intriguing option later in the year as both Mayweather and Pacquiao will fancy their chances against him. However, as he showed against Porter, it would be foolish to write off his chances as he looks set to show exactly why he is regarded as special in the coming months.