Brook can steal the show
Our tipster Simon Crawford believes Kell Brook will put on a show and stop Vyasheslav Senchenko on Saturday night.
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Sheffield's Kell Brook would appear to have the perfect opportunity to underline his world title credentials when he takes on Ukrainian Vyasheslav Senchenko in his home city on Saturday night.
Victory for Brook is likely to hand him an IBF world title showdown, potentially with Devon Alexander, who he was due to face on three occasions before injuries to both men derailed his shot at the champion.
Senchenko, 36, will be no walkover, though, and is preparing to fight in Britain for the first time since beating Ricky Hatton in his ill-fated comeback fight last November.
He brings with him an impressive record of (34-1 23KOs), but apart from his win over Hatton his previous fights have virtually all been in his own country and it is therefore hard to gauge the quality of opposition he has faced.
Even that win over Hatton can be questioned.
In his prime the 'Hitman' was one of the best in the world but on that emotional night in Manchester when he made an ill-fated return to the ring Hatton was well below the high standards he had previously set himself.
Senchenko's one defeat came at the hands of colourful character Paulie Malignaggi in April 2012 when the clash was halted in the ninth round due to a cut so you there is not too much for Brook to fear.
However, Brook was given some anxious moments when he faced Carson Jones in July 2012, scraping his way to a majority points decision.
But last time out, against the same opponent, 27-year-old Brook (30-0 20KOs) showed his critics he was back his best with an eighth-round stoppage and he appears to be in the right frame of mind to face Senchenko.
"He's going to know that he's in with an animal after the first round. He's going to know that I mean serious business. When he feels my presence he's going to know that he's in with a monster," said Brook at Thursday's press conference.
"This is getting broadcast out to America so I want to make a statement and I'm going to make a statement.
"Beating Senchenko in style shows where I am, on the top table with the elite fighters out there. I'm looking to do a number on him."
I believe Brook will simply have too much power for Senchenko. He has the ability to throw punches from the most unorthodox of angles and packs a punch with both hands.
Hatton found Senchenko a relatively easy target in the early stages of their fight and I think that once Brook finds his range and wears his 36-year-old opponent down, I can see an impressive stoppage win on the cards.
The Sheffield man is a heavy favourite with the layers, with the 1/7 being offered by Sky Bet and Ladbrokes the best you will get with Stan James as skinny as 1/16.
The same company offers the best price of 7/1 on a Senchenko win so nothing of interest there.
Betway's 4/5 is the best you'll get on a Brook stoppage so to try and find some value I'm looking to the round group betting market where I will take the 7/2 being offered by Sky Bet on the Yorkshireman to win between rounds 5-8.
Later on Saturday evening, in Atlantic City, the evergreen Bernard Hopkins defends his IBF light-heavyweight title against Karo Murat at the age of 48.
Hopkins (53-6-2 32KOs) is talking about a megafight with Floyd Mayweather next year - if he can get past Murat - and your mind boggles at just how much that showdown would be worth.
He might be 48 but Hopkins is still a master craftsman and uses all of his experience to simply outfox his opponents and his last win inside the distance was against Oscar de la Hoya back in 2004.
German Murat, 30, should not have the skills to produce the win that you would suspect would be enough to persuade Hopkins to hang up his gloves.
His record is decent, 25-1-1 with 15KOs, and that one loss came at the hands of Welshman Nathan Cleverly who stopped him in 10 rounds.
The best price you'll get on a Hopkins win is a general 1/6, with Murat a widely available best of 11/2.
It all points to a Hopkins points win for me but the best price on offer for that is 3/10 with Bet365 and William Hill so I'll be happy just to watch this one and hope Hopkins wins as I would love to see him share the ring with Mayweather.