Sheffield’s Kell Brook lands date with destiny

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UNBEATEN Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook is ready to fulfil a childhood dream having finally secured his world title shot against IBF champion Devon Alexander in the new year.

The 26-year-old Sheffield fighter will take on the American in Las Vegas on January 19 after promoter Eddie Hearn negotiated with Alexander’s team.

Brook (29-0, 19 KOs) has gradually manoeuvred himself into the mandatory challenger position with a series of solid wins over the last 18 months and gets his reward when he takes on decent but unspectacular champion Alexander, 25.

The Grenoside man said: “We’re finally there. This is what I’ve dreamed of since I was nine years old - fighting for the world title.

“I’m so passionate and hungry for this world title. Nothing’s going to stop me. I can’t wait to get in that ring, in America, and get that world title.

“Fighting for the belt in America is going to make it a lot more special. I could have had it my own way, in Sheffield for example, but to be honest I don’t think he would have come over here.

“So I’m going to go over there, to his country, and capture a world title. Imagine that, when I’m stood in that ring, being crowned world champion after beating him in his own backyard after I’ve dreamed of it for all these years, hearing the words ‘and the new ...!’”

Brook added: “I don’t mind it being in America. I’ve agreed to fight him in his own country and, whether it was Vegas or New York, it’s all going to be nice fun and games for me when I get in there and do what I’m going to do - take him out.”

St Louis native Alexander, whose record reads 24-1 with 13 early wins, beat Randall Bailey in October to win the IBF crown.

It is understood that the MGM Grand hotel and casino is the likeliest venue for the bout.

The Grand is the third largest hotel in the world - the perfect place for Brook to cement his place among boxing’s greats.

But it turned out to be a professional graveyard for another Sheffield boxer.

Naseem Hamed lost his unbeaten record to Marco Antonio Barrera there in April 2001.

It pretty much signalled the end of his career.

That won’t dent Brook’s confidence, although he is aware of the nature and scale of a challenge against a man used to boxing in big American venues.

Alexander is a southpaw, and he will be anxious to try to win over the American public in this fight - some viewers say he is boring.