Welterweight champion Kell Brook has admitted there are opponents he would rather face than mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier.
Brook is obliged to face Bizier at the Sheffield Arena on Mar. 26, though, and insisted he is not looking beyond the fight despite talks to match him with British rival Amir Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) at Wembley Stadium on Jun. 4.
“I would rather it be against someone else but I’ve not trained my whole life just to give the belt away, so I need to fight him, it is what it is,” Brook told ESPN.
“After the knife injury, I had to face my mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan and then fought Frankie Gavin quickly on the spin but then I got injured again, had to pull out of fighting Diego Chaves and the mandatory has come around again.
“But I want to be fighting the bigger names. It’s a bonus it’s in front of the home fans and I don’t have to travel too far. I just want to get it out the way, do a job on him, and then move on to a massive fight in the summer.”
Unbeaten Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) will face Canadian Bizier (25-2, 17 KOs), 31, in front of his hometown fans in his third defence of the belt he won by out-pointing Shawn Porter in America in August 2014.
A rib injury meant the 29-year-old had to pull out of facing Argentine Chaves eight days before the bout was scheduled to take place in October and he hopes to face bigger names this year, such as Bolton’s former world light-welterweight champion Khan or Americans Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) and Keith Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs).
Bradley defends the WBO belt against Filipino Manny Pacquiao on Apr. 9 while Thurman holds the WBA version of the world title. But, it’s a fight against Khan that Brook craves more than any other.
“I think there are more exciting fights out there for me after this one than Chaves, but I feel for him [Chaves] because I got injured and then I’ve had to do the mandatory instead of reschedule it,” Brook said.
“You know that the fight everyone wants is against Khan, or the likes of Tim Bradley, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. These are the type of fighters I want to fight. I’ve not been in good company opponents-wise and I want to jump on them this year.
“Khan has got nowhere else to go. He was waiting and waiting for Floyd Mayweather, didn’t get it, then he waited for Pacquiao, and never got it. The fight against me is there to be made, it’s the biggest fight out there for him, and he’s got nowhere to hide now.
“The biggest fight out there for the fans is for me and Khan to fight each other. [Promoter] Eddie Hearn has said it looks good but I’ve heard it before and until a contract is signed I won’t get excited about it.
“I’ve heard Jun. 4 but I’ve got to take care of Bizier first. I’m hearing very positive things about matching me and Khan and it will be massive.
“Bizier is a tough customer. He had a great win in his last fight and he’s big at the weight. Anything can happen in boxing and I’m training for the best Bizier.
“This year is going to be the breakthrough year for me. I want to be fighting in Vegas by end of year. I like fighting in the UK for my UK fans but it’s every fighter’s dream to fight at the likes of Madison Square Garden or the MGM Grand.
“Fighting in Vegas is on the bucket list.”
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