Sheffield’s Brook turned down huge pay day

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KELL Brook has revealed he turned down an opportunity to fight WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley.

Brook has amassed a perfect 28-0 record, with 18 knockouts, since turning professional and his next bout against Hector Saldivia at Sheffield Arena next month is a final eliminator to become the mandatory challenger for the IBF welterweight crown.

Yet the 26-year-old Greonside man was given a torrid time against rugged veteran Carson Jones in his last bout before sealing a majority verdict and Brook hinted he wants to win a world title before stepping in against the dangerous Bradley - who controversially beat former multi-weight champion Manny Pacquiao in June via a split decision.

“The Bradley fight was put in front of me but I believe the mandatory position in the IBF is the right move,” said Brook.

“Promoter 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 (Bradley’s promoter) 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.”

Brook also admitted he will be keeping a close eye on Ricky Hatton’s return to the ring, believing a possible showdown between the two would be exciting for British boxing.

And the encounter would have added spice given the South Yorkshireman beat Hatton’s brother Matthew in March.

“I will be watching Ricky Hatton’s comeback with great interest as a fight against him next year would be an absolute blockbuster for British boxing,” said Brook.

“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.”