Matchroom Boxing has put together a strong card for the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on July 7, as a pair of European title rematches highlight the undercard of the show headlined by Kell Brook and Carson Jones in the main event.
Brook (27-0, 18 KO) will be facing the determined and streaking American Jones (34-8-2, 24 KO), who has gone from respected sparring partner to legitimate contender in the welterweight division. Though the 26-year-old Brit will be favored and rightly so, the 25-year-old Jones shouldn't be looked at as a pushover, and is probably a stronger opponent than Matthew Hatton was on March 17. Brook shut out Hatton over 12 rounds.
Oklahoma City's Jones has won eight straight, all by stoppage, since a split decision loss in 2010. His best win came in September of last year, when he demolished Said Ouali over seven rounds on the Mayweather vs Ortiz undercard.
The European and British lightweight titles will be contested when Gavin Rees (36-1-1, 17 KO) faces Derry Mathews (30-6-1, 16 KO). Rees holds the European title, and Mathews recently picked up the British title with an upset win over Anthony Crolla in a back-and-forth battle on April 21. Though his stoppage win over Crolla was disputed by some, it was a career-saving win for Mathews without question, and has him back in the mix at 135 on the Euro level.
The two met last October, with the fight ending in a technical draw after a clash of heads left Mathews with a broken nose.
Also featured on the card will be a rematch for the European middleweight title, as Kerry Hope looks to prove his upset win over Grzegorz Proksa was no fluke. Hope shocked fans and media alike when he upset the flashy Pole on the Brook-Hatton undercard.
Proksa (27-1, 20 KO) fought what could charitably be described as a tune-up fight on Thursday in Budapest, stopping a two-fight novice in the third round of a fight set for four, the kind of fight that really shouldn't be sanctioned by anyone, but occasionally is anyway. Hope (17-3, 1 KO) himself has mostly been a four- and six-round fighter in his career, and one gets the feeling that his win over Proksa was probably a career highlight he'll never match. But he wasn't supposed to be competitive the first time, either, and there he was, raising the belt at the end.
Also scheduled as of now is English welterweight titleholder and former British champ Lee Purdy (17-3-1, 10 KO) against Chris Johnson (16-3, 8 KO). Prospects Ryan Aston (6-0, 2 KO) and Scott Cardle (2-0) are also slated for action.