Welterweight contender Kell Brook says that he was offered a fight with WBO champion Timothy Bradley for later this year, but instead chose to stay the course and schedule an IBF title eliminator. Brook will face Argentina's Hector Saldivia on October 20 in Sheffield, England, for a future shot at the IBF belt.
"The Bradley fight was put in front of me but I believe the mandatory position in the IBF is the right move. [Promoter] Eddie [Hearn] has worked hard to get me into this position and providing I beat Saldivia, I’ll be fighting for a World title at the start of 2013 and it will be on my terms."
Brook (28-0, 18 KO) is coming off of a bit of a scary win over Carson Jones on July 7, and if he defeats Saldivia (41-2, 32 KO) as expected in October, his next fight theoretically would be against the winner of the Randall Bailey-Devon Alexander fight, which is also set for October 20 as part of Golden Boy and Showtime's big card at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Hearn says that the offer to face Bradley came last month:
"Top Rank contacted me in August and made us an offer for the Bradley fight. It was a nice ego boost for Kell to be offered a fight of such magnitude but we begun this journey with a goal of becoming a mandatory challenger and now we are just one win away."
It's not really a bad stance -- obviously they would like to talk this up as some noble pursuit, or doing things The Right Way or what have you, but truth is, Kell Brook did not look ready for a fighter on Timothy Bradley's level last time out, and at 26, there's no tremendous rush to get him there, either. If he's ready late next year, or early 2014, for that sort of fight, then that's just fine. And the Alexander-Bailey winner would be a step shy of that, too, I believe.
Brook has things he can work on and improve upon, basically, and a fight with someone like Saldivia does make more sense, big picture-wise (as Tony Soprano would say), than a fight with Bradley right now.
Do you think that Brook and Hearn made the right call, or should they have jumped at the opportunity to face Bradley for a world title right now?