Boxing: Hearns aims to keep unbeaten Brook focused

Grenoside boxer Kell Brook warming up for world title
Grenoside boxer Kell Brook warming up for world title
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Promoter Eddie Hearn wants Kell Brook to return to ring action on Merseyside on March 15.

The 27-year-old puncher is the mandatory challenger for Shawn Porter’s IBF world title.

But Hearn, Brook’s promoter, would prefer the fighter to have a warm-up bout before putting him up against Porter, who defeated Devon Alexander at the end of last year. Due to injuries and bad luck, Brook only fought twice in 2013.

Hearn said: “I want Kell to fight again. We are looking at him fighting on March 15 at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

“With the Porter fight [coming up], we are not going to take a really big, difficult fight but, at the same time, Kell has got to keep motivated, train and go through camp properly. He has got to stay professional in his preparation for that [Porter] fight.”

Former Sheffield great Johnny Nelson has echoed Hearn’s sentiments. He believes this is the “most crucial stage” of Brook’s career and that he needs an opponent who will push him.

“It is no good going in with a complete push-over, that’s for sure, and while it would be great to see him [Brook] in with a big name in the welterweight division, that is just asking for it,” said Nelson, now a TV pundit. “He needs someone who has been there but whose threat has gone, maybe past his best.”

Nelson reckons Brook’s management team should consider a match up with Lee Purdy.

“That would be a good one,” Nelson said. “It would keep him busy, it will keep him in the forefront of people’s minds and it would be great for British boxing.”

But he added: “This has to be Kell’s year and if it doesn’t happen in 2014, you can forget it [becoming world champion], I’m afraid. I think even Kell will know that.”