Can Sheffield Arena date be the first step towards another Kell Brook world title?

Kell Brook training - picture by Lawrence Lustig
Kell Brook training - picture by Lawrence Lustig
Share this article

Kell Brook enters the New Year with the challenge of becoming a two-weight world champion.

The Sheffield man loves big time boxing.

He wants to dominate the light middleweight division in a way he did as IBF world title holder.

However Brook finds it hard to “get up” for so-called ordinary fights.

So his comeback in March, against an opponent who hasn’t exactly been on fire for the last 18 months, has to excite him.

Brook faces Siarhei Rabchanka at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, March 3.

The son of South Yorkshire and the Belarussian have things in common, they are both 31 and have similar if not identical records including two losses on their sheets.

But that last fact masks a telling difference.

Brook suffered serious facial injuries against world class fighters in Errol Spence Jr and middleweight Gennady Golovkin, in his last high profile outings.

Rabchanka’s last two scraps have been against unknown opponents you wouldn’t have expected to have troubled him in the slightest.

He stopped Siarhei Krapshyla in two rounds of a scheduled six rounder in September - Krapshyla entering the ring with a won four lost 18 record. It was Rabchanka’s only fight of 2017.

In December of the previous year, he got in with another fighter with a mixed record, Robizoni Omsarashvili, dismissing him in a single round.

These were intended to be comeback fights after Rabchanka lost what could have been a big break for him - he was stopped by American Tony Harrison in July 2016. If he’d have won, he could have gone on to dispute the IBF light middleweight championship with Jarret Hurd, as Harrison did, although he lost.

Hurd has defended that IBF title once - and could eventually be a target for Brook...who could then carve himself a place in history again.

And that prospect should be enough to give Brook all the stimulation he needs at Sheffield Arena in March.