As Amir Khan looks towards an alternative opponent in the United States, UK rival Kell Brook is left mulling over whether to switch from 147 pounds to super-welterweight.
It’s no secret Brook has been tight at the limit for some time now, and promoter Eddie Hearn has made it clear that without Khan, ‘The Special One’ needs to head north to mix it at 154 pounds.
According to Betway, Brook will stay at welterweight to defend his world title against Errol Spence Jr. after previously stating he would never give up his world championship outside of the ring.
Betway’s Alan Alger said: “Kell Brook has got to make a call on whether he stays at 147 or steps up to light-middleweight. At the moment, the odds strongly suggest he’ll be defending his IBF welterweight belt against Errol Spence Jr.
“Mandatory challenger Spence Jr. is 2/5 to be the Sheffield fighter’s next opponent, while a big-money British bout with Amir Khan comes next at 4/1. Initial talks with Manny Pacquiao’s team seem to have gone flat, with his next fight already scheduled, and the Pilipino is 16/1 to be Brook’s next fight.
“It seems a step up to 154 is still a fight or two away, with the likes of Miguel Cotto and Erislandy Lara distant 16/1 shots to face Brook next.”
Any decision to stay at 147 could put Brook in a vulnerable position against a tough, undefeated challenger like Spence, plus there’s always the shame of losing his belt on the scales to consider.
WBN looks below at some of the likely options open to Brook for a late spring return:
Cedric Vitu – The Frenchman is currently European champion and holds a high world rating so could be the key to another world title shot for Brook.
Kermit Cintron – A former world champion who has mixed it at the top level at both 147 and 154, Cintron would be a good option at a catchweight of around 150 pounds to ease Brook in.
Diego Chaves – The pair were due to meet in 2015 until the bout collapsed and the Argentine would be a consideration, again at a catchweight.
Austin Trout – A solid operator at 154 pounds and a good yardstick for Brook to be compared to the current champions.
Cornelius Bundrage – A former two-time world champion and looking for one more big chance on the main stage.
Jermall Charlo – Heading straight into a world title shot against Charlo looks a big punt, but with the ambition Brook possesses – who knows?
Errol Spence – The Spence fight would be solely down to pride for Brook, whilst the general consensus is that it’s the right time to move up.
Betway Boxing – Kell Brook next fight:
Errol Spence Jr. 2/5
Amir Khan 4/1
Manny Pacquiao 16/1
Miguel Cotto 16/1
Erislandy Lara 16/1
Jermall Charlo 16/1
Demetrius Andrade 16/1