Despite the months of utter frustration and forced rehabilitation that sadly followed his harrowing knife attack back in August, “The Special One” Kell Brook showed no signs of ring rust in his much-anticipated homecoming battle with Jo Jo Dan on Saturday night.
The reigning IBF king never missed a step, putting on a spectacular performance as he dismantled the brave challenge of the willing Jo Jo Dan.
Now that the long-awaited homecoming is a thing of the past, talk has swiftly turned to whom the Sheffield favorite will face next, and with a Welterweight division full of lucrative names, the 28-year-old Brit is more than ready to face the best.
“I’m back. Who does everyone want me to fight? Do they want me to fight Khan? Marquez? Brandon Rios? Bring them on. I’m the world champion.,” said a confident Brook, who was speaking to Sky Sports after his win.
Understandably, an all-British dust up with former two-weight world champion Amir Khan is a gigantic matchup that already has the juices flowing in the UK fight scene.
However, it would seem that even though Brook is extremely keen on the bout, Khan believes he is further up that hypothetical food chain and merits a mega money tussle with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao or even Miguel Cotto.
In spite of those obstacles, Khan vs Brook is most definitely a possibility because money talks in the fight game and this bout would undoubtedly sell out any soccer stadium in the UK.
After Saturday’s spellbinding win, Brook had this message to Khan “If you are watching, come on get in the ring with me. I know you are delicate around the whiskers, I’ll take you out!” Hopefully Khan can oblige the elated pride of Sheffield, setting up the long awaited mammoth encounter.
The possibility of happening: Inevitable if both continue winning.
Juan Manuel Marquez
Even before Brook’s victory on Saturday night, the rumour mill had been circulating profusely about the likelihood of a UK summer clash with the Mexican Legend. The undefeated star has spoken at length about his desire to face such a high profile name like Marquez if the much talked about Khan Fight fails to come to fruition.
However, “Dinamita” has been pondering retirement in recent times; therefore, a fight with Brook could be his lowest priority as he chases the final big money bouts in his astonishing career.
Possibility of happening: If negotiations fail with Khan, then it’s definitely a worthwhile option for both.
Photo by Ed Mulholland/Golden Boy Promotions
The rapid-rising “One Time” is fast becoming one of the most talked about fighters in Boxing’s largely rewarding weight class. After impressively outpointing Robert Guerrero, Thurman is no longer just a promising prospect; he is now fair game for all the big names, including Brook.
There has been speculation that the 28-year-old Brook is negotiating a partnership with Boxing management guru Al Haymon, which could mean that this mouth watering scrap could be even closer than we think.
Then again, with the clear risk posed by each fighter to the other’s respective undefeated record, will Brook or Thurman enthusiastically search for a potential battle? I’m not so sure.
Possibility of happening: If the rumors are correct concerning Haymon, then Thurman vs. Brook is certainly not impossible to make, but still a long shot.
Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank
Subsequent to his blitzing of recurring dance partner Mike Alvarado, “Bam Bam” is undeniably back in the Welterweight mix and now has his sights firmly set on a 147lb belt holder.
A Rios matchup would indeed be a winnable fight for Brook if he chooses to use his superior boxing nous, which would predictably see him box rings around the crude Rios. The fact that Brook has openly mentioned a impending bout with the relentless Oxnard fighter suggests that this shootout genuinely has legs.
Possibility of happening: Maybe not this summer, but somewhere down the line.
The Haitian-born Berto recently bounced back to his winning ways with the notable win against Josesito Lopez last week, re-establishing the forgotten former champion back into the ever-growing pool of title challengers.
After returning from a long layoff, Berto now believes he is ready for another shot at world honours. With the 28-year-old Brit holding the IBF belt, Berto would be more than interested in a very intriguing tussle.
Still, it is doubtful whether Brook would actively search for a fight with the former WBC Welterweight champ as he searches for the more illustrious names. Just like Thurman though, if there is any truth in the Brook-Haymon collaboration, then Berto is truly a viable option for the undefeated champion.
Possibility of happening: Not very likely. Brook will be perhaps looking at bigger fish, but it is still an interesting contest nonetheless.
Previously, the St. Louis native was just weeks away from squaring off against Brook a few years back, but after countless injuries to both fighters, they were left with no option but to go their separate ways.
Even if Alexander has slid down the Welterweight pecking order somewhat, as a former Amir Khan opponent, Brook could attempt to make a statement by bettering his nemesis’ result.
Obviously due to the fact that their first fight never materialized, the former foes would still have some unfinished business to attend to and the winner would certainly propel further up the 147lb ladder.
Possibility of happening: Not likely. Maybe a backup option at best.
Another Khan opponent who has unexpectedly grown from strength to strength since being outpointed by the Bolton native back in 2010. Maidana is still very much in title contention despite his two defeats to undefeated pound for pound King Floyd Mayweather who he came so close to defeating first time around. Yet with the obvious danger that surrounds El Chino, a fight between him and Brook maybe too much of a risk for reigning IBF champion.
Possibility of happening: Not likely due to the monumental risk he possesses.
One can clearly see there are countless opportunities for a now fully fit Kell Brook, and you could even add both Floyd Mayweather’s and Manny Pacquiao’s names to that ever-increasing list after their colossal showdown comes to a head on May 2nd.
Realistically though, Brook would not be the frontrunner for a probable shot against the two biggest names in the sport. On the other hand if he continues winning, then a late 2015 or early 2016 fight cannot be ruled out.
Nevertheless, the man from the renowned Wincobank Gym in Sheffield is quite literally just happy to be around after experiencing such a treacherous time when he was left for dead in Tenerife.
Saturday night’s awesome victory proves that Brook has no lasting damage from his long layoff, which makes the aforementioned fights more than just lip service. Albeit, the fight everyone is dying to see is the foray with Amir Khan, hopefully if Brook pledges his allegiance to Al Haymon then that might be the ignition that spurs both fighters to finally settle their differences in the ring.
If not, there are many names itching to face off against Brook because with the sought after IBF strap around his waist, the reigning champion must now know that he too has an ever growing target aimed directly at his back.
Header photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images