Kell Brook has to command the respect of the top fighters, not only in his own welterweight division – but in the divisions above, according to former gym-mate Johnny Nelson.
As ‘The Special One’ prepares to return to the ring for the first time since arch-rival Amir Khan announced a move up to middleweight to challenge WBC champion Canelo Alvarez, Nelson says Brook has to make a statement against mandatory opponent Kevin Bizier.
“Amir Khan stole the headlines, and because of this Kell Brook has to shine,” Nelson told Fraser Dainton of Sky Sports at the media workout day for Brook’s defence against Kevin Bizier this weekend.
“Kell doesn’t have to just win, he has to win in style and then start saying; ‘I want heads, I want names.’ – Someone where the public will think he’s getting respect.”
Asked by Dainton what kind of names Brook should be looked at, Nelson replied: “The big names in the division like Keith Thurman know all about Brook, but if Kell has to move up, and I’d even consider fighting someone like (Miguel) Cotto.
“He needs to look for names. Someone who the people know and fighters who have still got fight in them. He needs overall respect,” he added.
The Yorkshireman is lining up a massive fight in the summer, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, although Keith Thurman is out of the equation due to his commitment to fighting ex-Brook opponent Shawn Porter in late spring.
Newly-crowned WBO title holder Jessie Vargas could well be a target should Brook stay in his own division, whilst Cotto is known to be looking to drop back down a few pounds on June 18 after campaigning at middleweight himself for the past two years.
Cotto may well be a target for Vargas also, whilst Danny Garica would be a massive unification for Brook if both sides could agree a deal. Up at 154, Brook can look at maybe facing Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez after ‘JMM’ spent time in the UK with Matchroom last year, plus Erislandy Lara would be an eye-catching foe to consider.
Should all else fail, battles with Adrien Broner or Terence Crawford would appeal further down the weights list, although Brook first has to deal with Bizier in supreme fashion at Sheffield Arena on Saturday night before any imminent name-dropping can begin.