Amir Khan-hunting Kell Brook closes in on Sheffield Arena date

Kell Brook knocks down Jo Jo Dan during the IBF World Welterweight Championship bout at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield.
Kell Brook knocks down Jo Jo Dan during the IBF World Welterweight Championship bout at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield.
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Kell Brook could be defending his world title in front of his adoring Sheffield Arena fans on or around March 26.

The Star has been told that plans are being put in place for the IBF welterweight ruler to take on Canadian challenger Kevin Bizier at his home stadium in late March.

With the resident Sheffield Steelers ice hockey team playing their last home league game of the season on March 19, it leaves a big Saturday date open the following weekend.

Steelers will be involved in the Play Offs at that time - but will almost certainly have to work around Brook in their schedule.

An agreement to stage the Brook defence at the Arena was part of the negotiations that headed off the need for IBF sanctioned purse bids, which had been scheduled on Tuesday.

Quebec-born Bizier, aged 31, was declared the mandatory challenger after stopping Chicago-based African Fredrick Lawson in 10 rounds in a title eliminator in November. Bizier has a won 25 lost two record and has a 63% knock out rate.

Brook’s camp won’t be terrified.

Bizier’s two defeats in November 2013 and December the following year were to Jo Jo Dan, the Romanian southpaw who Brook had on the canvas four times before striding over him to a fourth round win 10 months ago.

Bizier Bizier has won two consecutive fights since then.

But the 29-year-old son of Sheffield is keen to get back in the ring - his previously-planned fight against Diego Chaves was cancelled after he sustained a rib injury in sparring - and he tweeted: “News coming this week..I need to do some damage!”

The champion will be aware that Bizier represents a banana skin - he has to get that out of the way before he can make his way to the summer Battle of Britain clash with domestic nemesis Amir Khan.

Khan may want a tune-up fight - but then details of his next move are few and far between and his camp has yet to cement a deal with Brook’s promoters.

The Sheffield camp have been more keen, recently, to discuss the Khan battle than the Bizier fight.

Brook says he is eager to “test out Khan’s whiskers” and promises an “exciting explosive fight” - if it can be made. “It is going to be like Hagler-Hearns” he said.

His trainer Dom Ingle added: “It is going to be the biggest fight of the Summer and at the end of it I am sure Kell is going to come out on top and Amir Khan is going to be a distant memory on boxing fans lips.”

Brook, Ingle and ‘Birley bomber’ Adam Etches have been training in Fuerteventura. They have been competitively mountain-biking around the island, and that has “broken the monotony of training” said Ingle.