Kell Brook will have to win two more fights if he's to receive a shot at the IBF welterweight title. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Most assumed that Kell Brook's July 7 fight with American Carson Jones would lead to a shot at the IBF welterweight title, but that's not the case. The sanctioning body has ruled that the winner must face Hector Saldivia of Argentina in a final eliminator before receiving a title shot.
Brook (27-0, 18 KO) has been angling at a shot at the IBF belt for a while. The vacant title was won by Randall Bailey on Saturday night, and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn said he would inquire about a title shot with Bailey's promoter Lou DiBella. But the IBF isn't going to allow that straight off, as the Brook-Jones fight will be for the No. 2 spot, with a final eliminator coming after.
Saldivia (41-2, 32 KO) has won eight in a row, all in Argentina against limited foes. The last time he had a major opportunity, it was a WBA eliminator against Said Ouali on the Mayweather-Mosley card. Saldivia did great out of the gate, flooring Ouali, but then was put down twice and stopped before the first round could end.
Saldivia doesn't, by my estimation, really deserve to be in an eliminator, but then Bailey didn't really "deserve" the title shot in many ways, and look where we are now. Saldivia can punch, but his chin is a question. Still, if he wants to fight like seen above, who am I to argue with seeing him again?
As for Jones (34-8-2, 24 KO), he shouldn't be counted out on July 7 at all. He's a step up from Matthew Hatton for sure, and if Brook can dominate on that night, he'll really be proving something. Carson's become a solid contender, better than his pro record, sort of like Gabriel Rosado, who has clawed into contention at 154 pounds. It's a fight I'm really looking forward to seeing play out.