After Floyd Mayweather, Kell Brook (31-0, 21 KOs) may be the best welterweight in the world– not signed to either Golden Boy or Top Rank. This independence from the “big two” has been both a blessing and an obstacle for the UK talent.
With no shortcuts available to him in a Golden Boy/Top Rank-run division, Brook had to take a slower road to the top. Relying on the alphabet rankings organizations, Brook eventually became top contender for the IBF belt before an injury forced him to withdraw from a scheduled title bout with then-champ Devon Alexander.
While waiting for another date for his title shot, Brook saw Shawn Porter upset Alexander for the belt and, most recently, face the news that Porter vs. Paulie Malignaggi for the title is practically a done deal for this spring.
Fortunately for Brook, though, the IBF has demanded that the winner of Porter-Malignaggi face Brook within ninety days. If Porter vs. Malignaggi doesn’t get made, Porter must go straight ahead and face Brook.
By IBF edict, Porter and Malignaggi must take place by April 19 with Brook vs. the winner happening no later than July 19. So, until then, Brook looks to stay sharp with a tune-up or two.
This Saturday, the 27-year-old Brook will face the very definition of a tune-up opponent in Mexico’s Alvaro Robles (17-2, 15 KOs).
Robles comes straight from the Mexicali club scene and has been flattened on the two occasions he has stepped up his level of opposition– suffering a knockout loss to Jorge Silva in eight rounds in 2011 and a TKO 8 defeat against Antonio Pitalua in 2012.
Brook, who will be the heavy favorite for this bout at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, most recently beat Vyacheslav Senchenko via TKO 4 last October and boasts a resume featuring names such as Carson Jones, Matthew Hatton, Michael Jennings, Rafal Jackiewicz, and Lovemore Ndou.