Brook rejected Bradley, eyes Hatton
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