Sheffield’s Kell Brook awaits US challenge

Kell Brook (right) in action against Alvaro Robles
Kell Brook (right) in action against Alvaro Robles

Kell Brook will know on Saturday which man stands between him and a world title.

The Sheffield welterweight has been hovering around a global title opportunity for what seems an age, only to be frustrated by injury.

Sam Sheedy and Liam Cameron, after a sparring session

Sam Sheedy and Liam Cameron, after a sparring session

But now he is mandated to face the winner of Saturday’s Shawn Porter v Paul Malignaggi IBF title showdown in Washington.

Porter, who beat Devon Alexander in December, is the favourite and the popularly held view is that if he wins Brook would have to travel to America for his big chance. But if Malignaggi - who fought in England in 2008 - wins, it is deemed more likely he would travel to the UK.

Porter or Malignaggi have to take on Brook within 90 days of their match-up, so that could happen in July.

Meanwhile, Sam Sheedy believes his former gym mate Wayne Reed won’t be able to get the better of Liam Cameron when the two lock horns in a Sheffield derby next month. Sheedy, a Sheffield Boxing centre southpaw, sparred for the first time with Cameron this week and says both men got a great deal out of the experience.

“Wayne is a southpaw; that’s why Liam wanted to spar with me” said Sheedy. “We did six rounds and it went well, it was competitive. For me it was great to have that extra nervous energy of sparring with somebody from outside of our gym. It is more of a challenge than against people I spar with all the time.

“Liam is in training for Wayne, while I have been burning the candle at both ends recently, but it was good and I’d definitely spar with him again. Wayne is tough but if I had to pick a winner I’d say Liam will box his head off.”

Unbeaten Sheedy, 25, (13 wins) hopes to be back in action at Doncaster Racecourse, on June 20. He could be making his first defence of his Central Area light middleweight title, which he won in November 2012.

He KO’d Jason Ball in the first round that night, and has had six victories since then, including wins over Adam Jones, whom he believes is very underrated.

“I went to step up in the sport, of course” said Sheedy. “Maybe I will fight for an international title, if a domestic one cannot be arranged.”

The Reed v Cameron battle is at the Octagon, Sheffield on May 10. Reed was beaten by Rocky Fielding in an English super middle contest last year.

*Canadian Eric Martel Bahoeli believes his Commonwealth title fight in Sheffield with Lucas Browne will open the door to the big time.

The heavyweights clash at the Ponds Forge Arena on a week on Saturday, with the winner likely to surge up the world rankings.

Bahoeli, 32, accepts he will be a huge underdog come fight night, but says he needs to cause an upset in order to progress his career.

“For me, it is a great opportunity because I don’t have a promoter and I have worked very hard for this title,” he said.

“I have trained harder than ever for this fight, it has been in mind every day and it can change my career. “I work and boxing is not my only thing, but for this fight I have just done boxing training thanks to a good sponsor and I feel ready.

“I think winning will put me in the shop window and help get me more fights against other top heavyweights.”

Bahoeli is no stranger to the UK, having completed come over earlier in the year to spar Liverpool’s 2008 Olympic bronze medallist David Price.

It was an experience that he feels will help give him an edge over Browne.

“It was in January and I wasn’t in the best shape, but David was a good guy and a good boxer. He hit very hard and I think it was the perfect start to training for me.

“My fitness has greatly improved since, I’ve worked very hard in the gym and I’m ready to go 12 rounds.”