The long awaited IBF welterweight world title fight, between champion Kell Brook and challenger Errol Spence Jr, looks set to take place at the end of May. With the purse bids meant to take place today, both camps asked the IBO for a week’s extension as a deal was close, which was granted by the governing body. Brooks promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports “We’ve asked for a week’s extension from the IBF because I feel we’re very close to making a deal.”
Brook hasn’t fought at 147 lbs for over a year, and has been out injured since losing his undefeated record against middleweight king Gennady Golovkin in September last year. Brook suffered a fractured eye socket in the fight, but refused to give and was down to trainer Brendan Ingle to throw in the towel to stop his man suffering a career threatening injury. Yet in defeat, the boxing world outside the UK now knew the name, Kell Brook. In the months since the GGG fight, the nation has been calling for Brook to fight Amir Khan, in what would be one of the biggest and most anticipated fights in UK history. Despite frantic negotiations, it seems the UK fans aren’t going to have the chance to see Brook and Khan meet in the ring. Khan high demands of a 70/30 split are the stumbling block for the fight, with world champion Brook wanting 50/50. Many now believing Khan is just looking for a reason not to take the fight, as after being brutally knocked out by Canelo Alvarez in his last fight, if Khan was to lose to his bitter rival Brook then it’s hard to see where he would go next.
Brook can’t overlook Spence, as the American boast an impressive record. After losing in the quarter-finals at London 2012, Spence turned pro and has quickly risen up the welterweight ranks. Spence became mandatory to the IBF title after stopping Chris Algieri in five rounds last August, Spence has an unblemished record 21-0 with 18 knockouts. This will be a huge test for both fighters, and Brook’s first proper test at 147 since beating Shawn Porter to win the title. We hope the fight will be announced by the end of the week; Hearn hinted that the fight would be at the end of May. Which side of the pond still is unclear, as venues both here in the UK and Vegas and New York are being looked at. This would be the last time we see Brook at 147, as it’s widely expected that he will move up to 154 regardless of whether he wins or loses to Spence. Unless after this fight the Khan fight can be resurrected, then Brook has said he will stay at 147.