Middleweight warrior Gennady Golovkin has shocked the boxing world by signing up for a surprise world title defence against British welterweight Kell Brook, just days after Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn announced the Kazakh was ready to sign a fight agreement with Chris Eubank Jr.
And questions have been raised about Eubank Jr's willingness to fight the WBC, WBA and IBF World champion, with Hearn having played a major role in helping Brook to secure the box office fight, which will take place at the O2 Arena on September 10.
The 34-year-old was prepared to make a world title defence against 26-year-old fighter, Eubank Jr. However, on Wednesday, Golovkin questioned the Brighton fighter's desire to agree the fight, writing on his Twitter page: "Everything is agreed from our side. Now waiting for @ChrisEubankJr, who all of a sudden has lost his pen..."
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Eubank Jr called out Golovkin, after making a successful first defence of his British middleweight title against Tom Doran, at the O2 Arena last month. But while negotiations initially seemed positive, Eubank Jr failed to get a deal finalised.
Golovkin will now face IBF World title holder, Brook, at the Greenwich venue, while the Sheffield fighter will not put his belt on the line, and will instead, move up two weight classes for the world title fight, to the 160 lbs division.
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Brook (36-0-KO25) is expected to see his unblemished record dismantled against Golovkin (35-0-KO32), as many expect the middleweight world champion to maintain his unbeaten record.
But Hearn has been quick to praise the Brit's bravery in agreeing a fight with the middleweight division's most ruthless fighter.
"I cannot tell you how excited I am for this mega fight. I couldn't be happier for Kell." Hearn told Sky Sports.
"We have pushed for that big name for a long time with many reluctant to step into the ring with him and now this is the ultimate challenge, the biggest fight of 2016."
Brook will be well aware of the fate of fellow welterweight, and bitter rival, Amir Khan - having been brutally knocked out in the sixth round by Saul Alvarez - after moving up two weight divisions for the fight earlier this year. But the 30-year-old is feeling confident he has the qualities to pull of a shock in the capital.
Best of the best
"This is the fight and the moment I have been waiting for for some time," Brook admitted.
"We've tried and tried to lure the best to come and fight me and now we've got the best of the best - the No 1 fighter in the world is coming to the UK.
"When this fight got offered to me I accepted within minutes and I can't wait. Everyone knows I'm a huge welterweight and I know I will carry my speed and accuracy and even more power through the weights.
"This is the ultimate fight, one of the biggest international fights the country has seen in many years - you have seen some huge names run from GGG but I'm running to him. I'm a 'Special' fighter and I will show the world on September 10."
Big drama show
Golovkin's manager had previously questioned whether Eubank Jr would backtrack on his desire to fight the Kazakh, saying: "It's time to find out whether Eubank Jr and Eubank Sr are only able to talk or if they're able to back up their words by signing the contract."
But having shown a willingness to travel to the UK to put his world title belts on the line against Eubank Jr, Golovkin is now looking forward to the challenge of facing another British fighter, instead, in London, saying: "I'm very excited to be fighting in front of the great British boxing fans and promise another 'Big Drama Show' against Kell Brook."
Brook has made three routine defences of his welterweight belt in the past 16 months, but will now head into new and untested territory, for a bout against one of the middleweight greats.
Does Kell Brook possess the quality to defeat Gennady Golovkin? Have your say in the comment box below.
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