Back Brook to Blitz Saldivia
Kell Brook faces Hector Saldivia in Sheffield on Saturday and our Derek Bilton expects him to impress the home fans.
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Kell Brook has vowed to retire from boxing should he come up short against Argentina's Hector Saldivia this weekend.
The Sheffield man is on the cusp of a mega-money domestic showdown with Amir Khan in 2013 and knows defeat against little known South American Saldivia is simply not an option.
Speaking to The Daily Star this week, Brook said: "If I can't get rid of guys like Saldivia, I don't deserve to be at this level. That is why I am saying I will pack up if I don't beat him."
Brook has won 28 pro fights on the spin and knows a win in Sheffield on Saturday will also bag him an IBF world title shot and keep him on track for that superfight with Khan down the line.
No pressure then. However, the layers fancy Brook won't be retraining for a career as a plasterer or door-to-door salesman any time soon, with 'The Special One' chalked up as a red hot 1/10 favourite for the win.
Saldivia has an impressive 41-2 (32) record and at 28 he will certainly be ambitious and hungry for the win in the Steel City. As his record suggests he can punch and he has been taunting Brook ahead of this fight knowing that it could be his ticket to boxing's top table.
Argentine fighters are notoriously rugged and many reckon Brook could be dragged into the trenches this weekend, just like he was in his last fight against Carson Jones.
However the word its that Brook has trained like a spartan for this and no stone has been left unturned in his camp. If he brings his 'A Game' I don't see Saldivia (who will never be mistaken for Carlos Monzon) living with him.
If you look a little more closely at his record Team Brook will take heart from the fact that the Argentine has been bombed out before.
Back in 2007 Jorge Daniel Miranda stopped him inside five sessions for the WBO Latino welterweight crown and in May 2010 Said Ouali iced him in a round in a WBA title eliminator.
And if you are looking at form lines it might be worth considering that Jones stopped Ouali in Las Vegas last year, suggesting that Brook is a rightful jolly for this one.
Brook has been earmarked for stardom in the last few years and Sky in particular have got right behind him since he left Frank Warren for Matchroom.
An exciting, personable talent with KO power in both fists, there is precious little not to like about Brook, and a fight against Khan would be a huge hit at the box-office next year.
After a recent appearance together on Ringside proved, there is no love lost between the duo but first Brook must negate a path past Saldivia.
This he should do barring an absolute disaster, and I fancy him to get the job done at some point before halfway. Brook has won plenty of fights early (he has four stoppage wins in round one) and if he can jump on Saldivia 20/1 about a win inside three minutes could look huge when the dust settles.