Kell Brook appeared to have a fight in place with Diego Chaves on Oct. 24, but a more prolific opponent may have emerged to put the bout in jeopardy. According to a report by the Daily Mail, Brook may step into the ring with American Timothy Bradley in a unification bout for their welterweight championships.
The two sides have begun negotiating the terms of a potential fight, which would see Brook put his IBF title up against Bradley’s WBO title. As Brook tries to secure a fight with Bradley, his promoter, Eddie Hearn, had what he described as a “good meeting” with Bradley promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
"Kell wants to fight Bradley," Hearn told the Daily Mail.
"There are plenty of names available but we would like to fight Bradley. Of course we would like to fight Amir Khan but, outside of that fight, this is the best one for us.”
With Floyd Mayweather set to face Andre Berto on Sept. 12 and Manny Pacquiao still recovering from shoulder surgery, Bradley might be the most viable option for Brook. Bradley has just one loss on his record and is among the most visible welterweights in the world, having fought some of the biggest names in the talent-rich division. The 31-year-old fought Pacquiao twice, and defeated Juan Manuel Marquez, Ruslan Provodnikov, Lamont Peterson and Devon Alexander among others. The Southern California native last fought on June 27, narrowly avoiding a late-round defeat to Jessie Vargas to claim Mayweather’s vacated title.
Brook remains undefeated, winning his May 30 fight over Frankie Gavin to improve his career record to 35-0. There had been heightened anticipation that Brook and Khan would meet in 2015 in an all-England megafight. But Khan turned down a fight with Brook in the first half of 2015 and has turned his attention to a possible bout with Pacquiao in 2016.
“I am still hopeful that fight fans will see Khan and Brook fight each other next year but for now, with Khan wanting to fight Manny Pacquiao, Bradley looks like it would be a top fight for Kell,” Hearn said.
Brook is still holding discussions with Chaves and others, in case a fight with Bradley fails to materialize. His representatives were reportedly in talks with Provodnikov, though neither Provodnikov nor Chaves is as formidable as Bradley.
Both Chaves and Provodnikov fought Bradley, and to poor results. Bradley earned a tight unanimous-decision victory over Provodnikov in 2013. Bradley and Chaves fought to a controversial draw in December, with most experts believing Bradley had clearly won.
It’s possible for Brook to fight either Chaves or Provodnikov in October, followed by a bout with Bradley in the first half of 2016.
"The Bradley fight is a fight that requires a huge amount of money to bring him over [from America] so it's a fight that needs a little more planning to make sure that both Bradley and Kell Brook can get the pay days they need," Hearn told iFL TV.
Brook won the IBF title last year against Shawn Porter, successfully defending it twice since then.