After he stepped up seamlessly to the Super-Welterweight division against Sergey Rabchenko, Kell Brook put to bed many demons. Granted, this was not a top level opponent but he did carry a world ranking, allowed Brook to shake off some ring rust and look spectacular in the process.
The WBC Champion has already noticed Brook and made some comments recently on social media, to which Eddie Hearn responded. Despite that early communication between the camps I doubt it will happen any time soon. The risk against reward is not seemingly an attractive proposition. Post- fight, Eddie avoided a direct question about whether Jermell Charlo was a realistic option next. For him to say that Kell is the only big name at 154 lbs is at best laughable, at worst downright disrespectful. He claimed that Brook would be a 2 weight world champion this year but then hyped a potential fight against the next name on this list.
Likelihood: Highly unlikely – Very little chance Brook would be thrown into a high risk, fairly low reward situation so early into his comeback. Charlo is a skilled boxer with good power who has little name value to the casual fan. Has Errol Spence Jr II written all over it.
Is this 2013? Is this 2014? Is this…. you get the picture! This one has been mooted for as long as anyone cares to remember. That doesn’t mean that it has lost all its value but the optimum moment for this has long passed. The fact that Brook clearly still craves his long-time verbal sparring partner sends very mixed messages about the intentions of his comeback.
One line seems to be that it was impossible for Brook to safely make the welterweight limit and he’s now back at 154 lbs, set on world domination and becoming world champion in a second weight-class. The other is that he is bigger and stronger here but could still make 147 for Amir Khan. Probably not for a Spence rematch, but definitely for Amir Khan and all of that grudge match PPV money. The world champions at super-welterweight are not to be underestimated so Brook needs to make his mind up.
Likelihood: Unlikely – Even if this domestic dust up does occur, it’s unlikely that it would happen next unless Eddie secures a stadium deal to boost the coffers.
Liam Smith / Sadam Ali
Sadam Ali upset the applecart by defeating Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto as he bowed out of the sport. Ali was supposed to provide decent opposition but ultimately lose to Cotto before he waltzed off into the sunset. Ali failed to read the script and deservedly secured the WBO Super-Welterweight title in the process. He is widely considered to be the weakest champion so that would tempt Team Brook, which would make a mockery of him not facing one of the other champions. Ali carries no name value either, but nowhere near as much of a risk as Charlo, Hurd or Lara.
Ali does have an opponent lined up however, in the form of WBO mandatory challenger Liam Smith. Smith has been linked to Brook in the past but the Hearn-Warren divide makes that unlikely to ever happen.
Likelihood Possible (Ali) Smith (Unlikely) – If Ali wins, it would be more likely but Eddie Hearn would have to negotiate with the WBO rather than his preferred WBA, or IBF, which seemingly rules out this particular matchup. Welcome to the bizarre world of boxing in 2018, where promoters have favourite world titles.
Not a name that would feature too highly on any fan polls, however one that you imagine would be near the top of Matchroom’s list. Birmingham’s Eggington sees himself in a similar position to Brook, albeit at a level below. Eggington was recently outboxed by then European Welterweight Champion Mohamed Mimoune, so made the decision to move up in weight. Granted, Eggington has always been a tall welterweight but by moving up he may negate a lot of the advantages he had further down the scales.
He is yet to make his bow at the higher weight, but this one would be an easy one to make for Hearn with both men being signed to Matchroom. It would depend on his plans for both men and just how he views Eggington long term.
Likelihood: Likely – Largely depends on whether Eddie Hearn can persuade his Dad to allow him to send Eggington to the wolves. Brook would be a heavy favourite and would gain little from this one but stranger things have happened.
Probably the least known name on the list, unless you follow golf. Garcia holds the ‘honour’ of being the WBC Silver Champion, which means he is ranked near the top of their rankings. I always thought the Silver champ was basically their number one contender but Garcia is actually ranked at number 4 on the list. Given that Rabchenko was number 5, it would make sense for Brook to cement his new ranking with a bout against the Spaniard.
Garcia is unbeaten in 26 contests, which would give Hearn some promotional ammunition and would allow Brook to work towards an eventual WBC title shot, if that is indeed the end goal.
Likelihood: Likely – Garcia carries the right blend of promotability (Hearn could sell this as another step in the right direction) and relatively low risk (never having boxed outside of his native Spain).