• Welterweight

Brook rejected Bradley, eyes Hatton

Dan Rafael
September 25, 2012
Kell Brook turned down the chance to face Timothy Bradley © Getty Images

British welterweight Kell Brook has rejected the opportunity to fight Timothy Bradley for his world title, the fighter and his team have confirmed.

Bradley had hoped to fight a rematch with Manny Pacquiao this winter after beating the Filipino early in the year, but Pacquiao instead opted for a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8.

Bradley's promoters, Top Rank, then made an offer to Brook for a bout, although American broadcasters HBO had not fully signed off on having him as the opponent. Nevertheless, Brook and promoter Eddie Hearn turned down the offer, worth around $500,000.

Brook already has a fight in his hometown of Sheffield against Hector Saldivia scheduled for October 20, a fight Brook is a heavy favourite to win. The fight is a title eliminator that will give the winner a mandatory shot at titlist Randall Bailey (or Devon Alexander, should Alexander defeat Bailey on October 20 on Showtime).

"The Bradley fight was put in front of me, but I believe the mandatory position in the IBF is the right move," Brook said. "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.

"I would love that to be in Sheffield, too, and I know Eddie would do his best to get it here as it would be an amazing event."

Hearn added: "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."

While Brook could fight for Bradley now, as a mandatory challenger he is guaranteed at least 25 per cent of the money under a potential purse bid and would not have to give up options or a rematch clause.

Besides his own upcoming fight, Brook (28-0, 18 KOs) plans to pay close attention to the return of former junior welterweight champion and welterweight titlist Ricky Hatton, who is coming out of retirement in November.

Brook, 26, would love a showdown with Hatton.

"When I fought his brother Matthew you could see that the Hatton name still means a lot in boxing and we would fill a big stadium fighting for a world title," Brook said.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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