Boxing Free Agent Talk: Fernando Montiel and Kell Brook Declare Freedom

Are rights to Fernando Montiel available in the U.S. or Mexico? He says one of the two is open. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

With the promotional wars all over boxing these days, it seems like fighter free agency is becoming more and more of newsworthy issue, and a couple of notable names are declaring that their current deals have expired.

Let's start with Fernando Montiel. It's not clear whether the expired contract he's talking about is his deal with Top Rank or his deal with Zanfer in Mexico. If it's Top Rank, he'll have some options for sure. But it's quite likely he means his Zanfer deal, and is looking for a new Mexican promoter to co-promote him down there. If that's the case, not as much is up in the air as far as what he could or would do. There are other promoters, but in Mexico he'd get basically the same fights.

But the more intriguing subject is Kell Brook, the UK welterweight prospect/contender. Brook says his deal with Frank Warren has expired, and that he's going to talk to Warren and other promoters. He's also making no secret that he's a bit frustrated with his career at the moment. His 2010 was pretty disappointing and he's got nothing set for 2011, and hasn't fought this year either. Simply put, Brook is about to turn 25 and is no further along than he was three years ago when he first won the British title. He's the clear class of the domestic scene at welterweight, and would be able to pretty easily dominate European level, too, is my guess.

Brook sounds interested in a possible fight with Mike Jones, which could make him attractive to America's big two -- either Top Rank could want him to help set that up, or Golden Boy could jump in and try to make a deal so that Top Rank basically cannot make that fight. Golden Boy has the edge in picking up UK fighters, as they promote Amir Khan, work closely with Hatton Promotions, and are co-promoters of David Haye, as well. Even if Brook looked at Hatton as a possible next promoter, he'd then be connected with Golden Boy and still be able to fight in the UK frequently instead of possibly making an all-or-nothing move to the States.

My guess is that Warren will make a good pitch to keep Brook in his stable, but there just might be too much offered elsewhere for Brook to pass up. This could turn into something pretty notable.

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