Kell Brook and promoter Eddie Hearn are hoping to move up into the bigger names with the Sheffield star's next fight, after Brook demolished Matthew Hatton to put a firm end to his run with domestic-level competition in the UK.
On Ringside, Hearn offered Marcos Maidana, Shane Mosley, and Paulie Malignaggi as possible opponents:
"Maidana would be a dream fight. There's certain issues but he still holds the WBA light-welterweight title despite his loss at welterweight to Devon Alexander. All those kind of names - Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Sugar Shane Mosley - they're the names you want to bring out."
This is another one of those times when you realize that "moving up" means "taking the safe route" in a promoter's world.
Let's start with Maidana, who just lost badly to Devon Alexander. That's important because Maidana lost so badly, in fact, that he admitted that the 147-pound division is simply not for him and that he'll be returning to 140. So what Eddie Hearn has done here is take Maidana, who wasn't even competitive at 147, and told the public that he'd be a "dream fight." They want to fight a guy who just proved to himself, not just pundits and jackasses on blogs, that he can't fight at 147.
Then there's Mosley, who is 40 years old and hasn't looked good in three years. Mosley is facing Canelo Alvarez on May 5. If he loses as expected, maybe a trip to the UK to face Brook will make sense to him. But will it really be any major step up for Brook? You'd like to think so because he's Shane Mosley, but he's really not Shane Mosley anymore. It's a question of how far gone from his better days Shane is, since even worn out I do think he's better than most of the guys Brook has beaten, but even still, they're kind of hoping to face another guy who will probably be coming off of a loss, and would then be 0-3-1 in his last four.
Malignaggi could, in theory, make some sense. If Paulie defeats Vyacheslav Senchenko on April 29, he would hold the WBA welterweight title, which would mean a title shot for Brook. Paulie's about out of chances on U.S. soil, as interest has declined since his ugly loss to Amir Khan in May 2010, which was not just a loss but, it seems, the final evidence that Malignaggi can't really compete on those top-level stages, as he faced similar one-sided beatings against Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton in previous opportunities.
But Paulie is well-known in the UK because of his fights with Hatton and Khan, and as a titlist (again, if he can win) he would be back in the game at 147. He's not really a welterweight and I honestly do consider him a legitimate underdog against Senchenko, because Paulie didn't look very good last year in in wins over Jose Miguel Cotto and Orlando Lora. But if he does win, then a fight with Brook adds up.