Kell Brook-Vyacheslav Senchenko set
Welterweight contender Kell Brook won't be taking on the "big name" that Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn had been promising he would face next, instead being lined up Friday to fight former titlist Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Brook will face Senchenko in a scheduled 12-round bout on Oct. 26 (on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom) at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, Brook's hometown. Senchenko (33-1, 22 KOs), 36, of Ukraine, made three successful defenses of his title before losing it by ninth-round cut-induced knockout to Paulie Malignaggi in Ukraine in April 2012. In his next fight, Senchenko went to England and stopped Ricky Hatton with a body shot in the ninth round, sending him back into retirement.
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Hatton, the former junior welterweight world champion and a former welterweight titleholder, is one of the most popular fighters in British history and was coming out of a 2½-year retirement to face Senchenko.
Now Brook (30-0, 20 KOs), 27, can gain a measure of revenge for his countryman.
"It's a tough task, but I'm very excited," Brook said. "Anyone who stops Ricky Hatton is a dangerous fighter and one that I will take very seriously, so I can't wait to get in there and train very hard to put on a good show for my fans in Sheffield. He's been a world champion, been there and done it, so he will be out to prove that he's worthy of another crack at being on top of the world.
"I really get up for it when I box in Sheffield. It'll be packed to the rafters and they are really passionate fans, so I can't wait to be back in my arena, in a big fight that will take me closer to a world title shot. I'm on the doorstep of a world title, and I'm ready to show I have what it takes to win it."
Brook was supposed to challenge welterweight titlist Devon Alexander on May 18 in Atlantic City, N.J., but the fight was called off when Brook suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. The fight had been postponed two previous times because of an injury to each of them.
Brook returned from the foot injury July 13 and stopped American Carson Jones in the eighth round of their rematch. Last July, Jones lost a majority decision to Brook in what was the toughest fight of Brook's career.
Hearn had boasted of matching Brook with a big name, and in recent weeks one prominent name that circulated through the boxing industry was faded former champion Shane Mosley. Former lightweight titlist Julio Diaz was also offered the fight but turned it down, according to Golden Boy Promotions.
Hearn said Senchenko was the right opponent for Brook, who is close to a world title fight.
"I'm delighted to make this fight and feel it's the perfect fight for Kell at this time," Hearn said. "It's without a doubt his sternest test yet, and Senchenko brings credibility as a former world titleholder and mass appeal [in England] after his KO win over Ricky Hatton. We are going to put on a special show in Sheffield, and the atmosphere will be electric."