Kell Brook insists he had no hesitation in running straight towards a showdown with the most feared puncher on the planet, Gennady Golovkin.
The Sheffield fighter will jump up two weight divisions in a bid to rob undefeated knockout specialist Golovkin of his four middleweight world titles at London’s O2 Arena on September 10.
Many big name boxers have been accused of avoiding Golovkin – known as GGG – including greats such as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather.
But IBF welterweight champion Brook says he jumped at the chance to finally face a big name opponent.
“You get fighters who say they want to fight the best but they don’t step up to the plate,” he said.
“Eddie Hearn [promoter] put this fight to me on Thursday and I said yes straight away.
“Everyone is running away from GGG - I’m running towards him.
“I want these big fights and like Sugar Ray Robinson did, I’m jumping up to middleweight to become a two weight world champion.”
The jump in limits between welterweight and middleweight is 13lbs but Brook has long been big for his weight class so is unlikely to be fazed by moving up.
What would likely faze any fighter is Golovkin’s record, built using vicious punching power which has seen him end 32 of his 35 fights early. The Kazakhstan fighter has not been taken the distance in any fight in the last eight years.
Golovkin’s fearsome reputation is certainly part of the reason he has yet to face the big name opponent, despite holding the IBF, WBA, WBC and IBO middleweight titles. His lack of a marquee-name opponent has denied him an opportunity to officially become the world’s top pound for pound fighter – a status which many bestow upon him regardless.
In being unable to land a truly blockbuster bout, the 34-year-old has something in common with Brook, who is still being called upon to prove himself to be a great world champion.
Brook had looked all set to face WBO welterweight king Jessie Vargas in a unification bout at Bramall Lane in early September with the American reported to have signed a $1.7m contract for the fight.
Negotiations stalled, it seemed Brook’s wait for a big bout would have to go on and led to further accusations he was dodging tough opponents himself.
But then came Friday’s announcement, which shocked the boxing world and ensured any such accusations could never be leveled at Brook again.
Promoter Hearn revealed the fight was made in a matter of 24 hours after negotiations for a bout between Golovkin and Chris Eubank Jnr reached a standstill.
Golovkin had agreed terms for a pay-per-view contest with Eubank Jnr whose camp, according to Hearn, suddenly made demands which the promoter was unwilling to meet.
Hearn mentioned the vacancy for an opponent for Golovkin and Brook instantly threw his own name in the hat. The fight was signed and announced within a day.
“I cannot tell you how excited I am for this mega fight,” Hearn said. “Right here you have the number one welterweight in the world against the number one middleweight in the world – 36-0 v 35-0, two of the best on the planet.”