Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook finally has a long-awaited date with destiny on August 9 when he takes on Shawn Porter for the IBF welterweight title, World Boxing News reports.
The 28-year-old’s victory over Vyacheslav Senchenko in October 2013 confirmed his status as number one contender to Devon Alexander, a fight which previously failed to materialise three times.
Alexander’s subsequent defeat to Porter delayed proceedings as the new champion sought after a mandatory challenger in the shape of Paulie Malignaggi, who was viciously dispatched inside four rounds in April.
The IBF insisted his next bout had to be against Brook and so the Englishman will travel to New York in two months’ time, though a venue is yet to be announced.
It serves as a blow to ‘Special K’ as promoter Eddie Hearn was hopeful of staging the bout in Brook’s home city of Sheffield, but he will now have to fight outside of Europe for only the second time.
Brook’s world title shot is certainly a long time coming. A list compiled by Alex Morris (@KTCboxing) shows 31 British fighters have had world title shots since he first became WBO mandatory on September 18 2010. Brian Rose’s proposed challenge to Demetrius Andrade next weekend will make it 32.
Three frustrating pull-outs against Alexander later - two due to injury himself and one injury to his opponent - he now has the chance to fulfil a lifetime dream and entice fellow Brit Amir Khan into a huge domestic dust-up.
Brook has made it no secret he struggled to cope mentally during the injury spell which side-lined him for nine months. Instead of appearing under the bright lights for a world title, he was forced to take a rematch against former foe Carson Jones, who he scraped past a year earlier.
He had to endure watching Matchroom stablemate Lee Purdy unsuccessfully challenge Alexander for the title instead, Purdy being outclassed and pulled out after eight rounds.
Power-puncher Porter represents a huge step-up in class for Brook. The champion beat Alexander easily but somewhat unexpectedly back in 2013, but enhanced his reputation with a stunning fourth-round victory over Malignaggi.
Almost two months after the bout, Malignaggi admitted to still having waves of concussion as a result of the knockout.
Porter is renowned for his fearsome inside punching and will be well aware that Brook was briefly shaken by Senchenko before the Ukrainian was knocked out.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York could be a leading contender to host the event, the scene of Porter’s title-winning challenge. More details should be forthcoming ahead of the clash.
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