Sheffield boxing: Kell Brook's opponent finally confirmed for Arena date next month
Kell BrookÂ returns to the ring in front of his'people' at Sheffield Arena on December 8 againstÂ Michael Zerafa, promoters Matchroom have confirmed.
The Dore warrior must get past Australia's Zefara if he is to secure a long-awaited British battle with former two-weight world champion Amir Khan in 2019.
Zerafa, 26,Â a former Commonwealth super-welterweight Champion and has secured 14 of his 25 wins via knockout. He has lost just two of his 27 professional fights and insists he will thrive off the underdog status, say the promoters.
'I'm delighted to be back at Sheffield Arena in front of my people,' said Brook. Â
'The Special One is back and all of my focus and attention is on getting myself ready to put on a spectacular performance for my loyal fans.
'I want to close the year in special fashion and set up some blockbuster fights in 2019 '“ I was ringside for Amir Khan's last fight, so let's see if he'll be there on December 8, or will he be too shook for Brook?
'This is the biggest opportunity of Zerafa's career and he will be coming over here to take my scalp but there's levels in this game and I need to put him away to get the big fights that I desire.
'Meticulous work, dedication, preparation and focus have gone into this camp and I will continue to grin until fight week.'
Zerafa responded: 'I thrive from being the underdog and I believe that Kell Brook's team have made the mistake of overlooking me.
'I'm a completely different fighter to the man that lost to Peter Quillin and on December 8 I will prove that.
'I've already dreamt of beating Kell and replayed the fight over and over in my head. I was born for greatness and December 8 is the beginning of my rise to the top of the sport.
'Kell is a true warrior and a great champion but he's been in some tough fights and put a lot of miles on the clock. I see a ship with a lot of holes and too many holes leads to a sunken ship.
'He's been in there with the best, but I believe I belong in the same ring as those fighters. On December 8 there will be a huge upset and I will make a lot of people eat their words.'