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Deal for Brook-Rios getting closer, but work still to be done

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Kell Brook and Brandon Rios are getting closer to a summer showdown in England. Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- A deal for welterweight contender Brandon Rios to go to England to challenge titleholder Kell Brook on Sept. 12 is inching closer.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, Rios’ promoter, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti and HBO Sports vice president Peter Nelson spent part of Friday night at Arum’s house in Beverly Hills going over details of the American television deal for the bout.

“We’re a few dollars apart,” Arum told ESPN.com. “I think we’ll get it done.”

Moretti has been dealing with Brook promoter Eddie Hearn on their end of the deal, and he said it is also close, though not as close as the HBO part of the pact. Moretti said besides having to agree on the money -- he said they’re not far apart -- they still have to work out the language of Brook’s rematch clause, in the event Rios pulls the upset.

If the fight is finalized, HBO would televise Brook-Rios live in the United States in the afternoon, so it would not conflict with Floyd Mayweather’s proposed Showtime PPV event (opponent to be determined) to take place hours later.

Moretti said Top Rank is also exploring a possible Rios fight with Russian brawler and former junior welterweight titleholder Ruslan Provodnikov for this fall. Moretti said he has been up front with Hearn about keeping Rios’ options open.

Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Oxnard, California, is coming off a one-sided, third-round thrashing of the ill-prepared Mike Alvarado in their January rubber match in Alvarado's hometown of Denver. Brook (35-0, 24 KOs), 29, has made two title defenses, including a one-sided, sixth-round knockout of countryman Frankie Gavin on May 30.