Shefield boxing: Kell Brook - from frying pan into the fire

Kell Brook at middleweight, in September against Gennady Golovkin

Kell Brook at middleweight, in September against Gennady Golovkin

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Ryan Rhodes is surprised Kell Brook seems destined to take the most difficult course possible - staying at welterweight and facing Errol Spence.

The Sheffield world champion has stated that he wants to defend his precious IBF belt at 147lbs rather than going up to light middleweight.

City boxing fans are hoping Brook will fight the 26-year-old unbeaten American at Bramall Lane, in the Spring.

But Rhodes said: “I was surprised when Kell said he wanted to stay at welterweight.

“I thought he would be more suited to go up and that he might struggle too much to get down to welter, especially after a taste of not having to kill himself last time (fighting Gennady Golovkin, in September, at middleweight, 160lbs.)

“There are easier fights for Kell at light middleweight too.

“Maybe it would be worth it (campaigning at 147) if he was fighting Amir Khan, but obviously it’s down to Kell, he knows what is best.”

Rhodes, a former light middleweight himself, is a fan of Spence (21 wins 18 knockouts): “I have always rated him very highly. Out of all of the fights there would be available for Kell at welterweight, that is probably the toughest one.

“Spence is fast, athletic, has great movement and great boxing skills.

“He looks the full package. I have watched him come through and each time I see him he gets better and now he has worked himself into the position as mandatory challenger to Kell.

“Kell can knock anybody out on his day but this is a tough fight...in my view the most dangerous one out there for Kell. But what a fight! It is a mouth-watering prospect.”

Meanwhile, Trainer Rhodes parted company recently with 33-year-old Gleadless light heavyweight Chris Dutton, whom he did not want to rush into high-risk fights after just three professional bouts.

“We wanted different things and to go down different paths” said Rhodes.

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