February deadline for Sheffield champion Kell Brook

Gennady Golovkin (centre) and Kell Brook during the WBC, IBF and IBO World Middleweight title bout at The O2 Arena,

Gennady Golovkin (centre) and Kell Brook during the WBC, IBF and IBO World Middleweight title bout at The O2 Arena,

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Kell Brook has until February 24 to make up his mind about whether to defend his IBF world welterweight title, or pursue other belts at light middleweight.

The 30-year-old Sheffield star would soon have been pressed to launch negotiations for a fight against his number one mandatory challenger Errol Spence Jr in early 2017.

But Brook’s broken eye socket - suffered during his five-round defeat to Gennady Golvkin in London in September means he won’t be ready for any early action.

IBF Chairman Lindsey E. Tucker said to RingTV.com: “Kell Brook asked for and was granted a sixty day Medical Extension. Once that is over, we will order him to start negotiations with mandatory challenger Errol Spence.

“The Medical Extension gives the Champion 60 days past his mandatory due date. His mandatory due day was December 26, 2016.”

The expected move gives Brook plenty of time to ponder his options on where his career goes from here.

Trainer Dominic Ingle will doubtless play a key role in the decision-making process.

A contest with unbeaten southpaw Spence - a 26 year old American with 21 consecutive wins -would be a superb spectacle on either side of the pond.

It seems more likely though that Brook will campaign at 154lb - it will suit his body and potentially get him fights with the likes of Saul Alvarez or Miguel Cotto.