by Andrew Morgan
Kell Brook (26-0, 18 KOs) will continue to build toward a world title shot by settling some local scores when he steps into the ring with Matthew Hatton (42-5-2, 16 KOs) on March 17 at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Brook has been touted as one of the UKs brightest hopes for the future for some time, but with some questioning whether his progess has stalled, 2012 could be the year that he earns a shot at a world title. That is on hold, however, whilst he first settles the question of who is the best welterweight in Britain.
“We’ve been looking at fights here and in the US but this is the one that gives me the buzz. I know I’m comfortably the best welterweight in Britain and I’m going to put in a devastating performance on March 17 to show the world just that.” Brook told Sky Sports.
Hatton meanwhile stayed in his brothers long shadow whilst learning his trade but his recent fights, including a decision loss to Golden Boy’s Golden Boy Saul Alvarez at light middle, have put him firmly on the map at his more natural 147 pounds. A step up in weight was no barrier to Hatton and suggests that he may be able to cope with Brook’s perceived advantage in power.
He added, “I’ve boxed class opposition in big arenas all over the world so experience will play a part in this fight. Fighting Kell in Sheffield isn’t something that’s going to keep me awake and it’s only an hour down the road so I’ll have good support there on the night. It has irritated me a little bit that people regard Kell as the number one in Britain – I’ve been European champion and was undefeated at that level, it’s like being told you are not even the best at school even though you are the best in Europe!”
Whilst Floyd Mayweather has been using modern social media to call out Pacquiao, some good old fashioned voice mails may have helped create the fight, with Hatton acknowledging that he had laid down some challenges to Brook over the Christmas period whilst drinking with Ryan Rhodes and Curtis Woodhouse, some of Brook’s Sheffield boxing friends. All has been good-natured, but the Motorpoint Arena should see a different atmosphere between the two in what will be one of the biggest fights that Sheffield has seen for a number of years. The 9,000 capacity arena will generate a fight that will capture the British public’s attention, but may also have a wider audience casting an eye on which of the two will step up later in 2012. Both had their last fights in the US but would surely love a world title shot on home soil. March 17 should determine which of them gets their wish first.
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