Kell Brook and Timothy Bradley nearing a deal for unification fight

The IBF boss from Sheffield will agree to put up his crown alongside Bradley’s WBO belt for a huge welterweight showdown, writes Craig Birch.

Brook insists a venue or date has yet to be set but ‘Special K’ is open to travelling to the United States to face Bradley, who is a big draw in his home country.

He was equally fearless when he become a global force, unseating reigning IBF titlist Shawn Porter by majority points decision in California 15 months ago.

The 29-year-old also wants to make a name for himself in America and prove to their public that he’s a better fighter than fellow Englishman and hated rival Amir Khan.

He was talking from the Holiday Inn Queensway, as the feature attraction of an evening promoted by Darren Ashmore on Saturday night.

Tyson Fury became England’s 11th reigning world champion that very same evening, with a stunning upset to outpoint heavyweight ruler Wladimir Klitschko in Germany.

Brook was in Birmingham for the first time since he boxed at the Genting Arena in 2010, defending his British title against Michael Jennings having already won a Lonsdale belt.

He told the Express & Star: “I’ve had quite a few fights now and picked up a world title on the way. My career is on the up and up and I’m very pleased with where I am.

“I’m an undefeated world champion and I want to be out there fighting the best in the welterweight division. That’s how I’ll prove I’m the best.

“When I tell people what I’m going to do, I always back it up. I think we are very close to making the Bradley fight and I’m excited.

“I need this, something will get me more recognition and that means an opponent that will get the fans really talking about me.

“I don’t mind where it is, I’d prefer it to be over here but I could get up for a trip to Las Vegas as well. It’s a Catch 22 situation. Where does he want to get beat?”

With Bradley lined up, it looks as if a planned title defence against Diego Chaves has been put on the backburner.

They were due to meet on October 24, the original date for Fury versus Klitschko. Brook hurt his rib in training, while Klitschko tore his left calf.

Brook’s withdrawal from taking on Chaves – who drew with Bradley in his last contest – prompted former WBA world champion Brandon Rios to label him ‘a coward.’

But Rios, who saw a match with Brook scrapped earlier this year, has since slipped down the pecking order after he was stopped in nine by Bradley for the WBO strap.

Brook’s promoters Matchroom are still keen on making a fight with Khan, who turned the chance of a Battle of Britain blockbuster this past May.

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