Kell Brook is back — but he will have to wait until the end of the year for a lucrative Battle of Brtiain with Amir Khan.
The former IBF welterweight champion stepped up a division to batter Sergey Rabchenko into submission in the second round of his comeback fight in Sheffield on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Yorkshireman returned in style after suffering two punishing defeats which threatened to finish a career which had previously seen him look invincible with 37 straight victories.
First he stepped up two divisions to middleweight to tackle Gennady Golovkin but ran into a brick wall and was stopped in the fifth round when his corner threw in the towel to save him from further pain.
Brook’s right eye socket was fractured and he required surgery but returned to the ring to fight teak-tough New Yorker Errol Spence Jr only to sustain another shocking injury.
This time it was his right eye socket which was smashed and the “Special One” was forced to undergo further surgery to put everything right.
It has to be said that Minsk mauler Rabchencko, a former European champion, is not top quality so it is best not to get over excited by Broom’s victory, however spectacular it was.
And despite saying after his vIctory that he wants to put the light-middleweight scene on notice, it is unlikely he will fight any of the top guys at 154lb until next year.
Promoter Eddie Hearn has already said Brook will have a slight step up when he returns to action in the summer, paving the way for that battle with Khan if he beats Canadia Phil Lo Greco in his own comeback fight in April.
“Forget about the weight, I want Khan,” Brook said after his triumph. “I think it would be harder to get him signed than a world title fight. I think everyone wants to see that fight. We are both promoted by the same man so why can’t we make that fight happen now?”
Texan Jermell Charlo, the WBC champion, has revealed he would love to fight Brook and is prepared to travel to England if his part of the deal is financially viable.
The red flag is that Charlo is trained by Derrick James, who was the mastermind behind Spence taking Brook’s IBF welterweight title.
Brook would like to eventually gain revenge on Spence at light-middle but the American is not keen unless a world title is at stake.
Meanwhile, Charlo told Sky Sports after retaining his crown on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder victory over Luis Ortiz on Saturday: “I am top tier, I am the top dog at 154lbs but I also know some of the other killers in the weight class want a piece of Kell Brook.
“I run those belts and I have defended against my mandatories twice now so me fighting Kell Brook is a decision me and my team would have to make.
“We would definitely try to get Kell Brook over to America, but if the money is right, the champ can always travel, go over to the UK and get the win we will deserve.”