Kell Brook will not be rushed towards a world title shot, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, who insists patience is the name of the game for the undefeated British welterweight contender.
Brook (27-0, 13 knockouts) faces American Carson Jones on Saturday, in his home city of Sheffield, Yorkshire, in the first of two eliminators for the IBF belt, currently held by Randall Bailey. Should he see off the threat of Jones (34-8-2, 24 KOs), Brook, 26, is due to meet Argentine Hector Saldivia in a final eliminator.
All of which is okay by Hearn as he slowly but surely masterminds Brook, No. 4 in THE RING’s 147-pound ratings, towards the summit. In fact, he is adamant they would not have it any other way.
“I know everybody wants Kell Brook to go and fight Floyd Mayweather tomorrow but the guy is 26 years of age. There is no tearing rush, “said Hearn. “I want to make sure we’re in a position this year to fight for a world title, but what is so important to us is that Kell Brook becomes a mandatory challenger for a world title.
“We’re not prepared to take two or three fight options for small money, in return for a voluntary shot. We want to work our way into a mandatory position. So if that takes an extra fight or an extra two months, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. “
Hearn is actually tipping Devon Alexander to be IBF holder by the time Brook makes it that far – and is targeting a pre-Christmas date for that challenge.
“I hear Devon Alexander is going to fight Randall Bailey at the beginning of September. So that’s fine,” he said. “We’ll take the winner, but we’ll take them as a mandatory, so there are no ties, so we don’t have to take a ridiculous purse – and meaning we can go and win the world title and then effectively we’re a free agent.
“It’s so difficult to manufacture a world title shot, particularly in this division. That’s why we want to become a mandatory. It’s a big fight anyway. I expect Alexander to beat Bailey, so Brook v Alexander, probably some time in December, is going to be a huge fight.
“Kell’s got to beat Saldivia first. He’s got to beat Carson Jones even before that. But we’re confident of winning both.”
Brook is promising to silence mouthy Jones, 25, after the USBA holder from Oklahoma insulted his Yorkshire background
“’I don’t like the kid. I can’t wait to knock you out. You’ve been beaten before whereas I don’t think I’ve even lost a round, “said Brook at a press conference in Sheffield, Tuesday. “’You sure aren’t going to touch me. You’re going to get smoked!”
After a unanimous decision against countryman Matthew Hatton last time out, Brook concedes that a far more clinical, classy display this weekend is imperative.
“It’s such a high-class division that you have to do something special to get noticed. I know that I have to get rid of this guy in style on Saturday night and, believe me, I will,” he said. I coasted through the Hatton fight. This time I want to move through the gears and really hurt him.”
Jones, though, is on an eight-fight winning roll and appeared unconcerned by Brook’s message of intent. Indeed, he responded with a warning of his own.
“’This guy has never been in with anybody as bad as I am,” Jones said. “Look at me, I feel sorry for you on Saturday.”