Kell Brook will force Amir Khan to wait for title shot

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Before Kell Brook had even left the ring with the IBF Welterweight Champion’s belt around his waist attention had already turned to Amir Khan.

Brook shocked many a boxing fan to beat the big punching Shawn Porter to a majority decision win in California over the weekend and talk has already turned to a domestic superfight.

There is no love lost between The Special One and King Khan, with trash talking commonplace between the two in recent years.

The bookies have priced Khan as favourite in the ‘Kell Brook next opponent’ market and Ladbrokes is of the same opinion, making the Bolton fighter the 2/1 jolly.

While there is little doubt that the fight will take place at some stage, there could be better value in some of the other fighters on the supposed shortlist.

With an unblemished 33-fight record and having been forced to wait for his own title shot – Brook saw numerous bouts with previous champion Devon Alexander fall through – the undefeated 28-year-old is likely to be reluctant to offer Khan a direct route to a title shot.

Brook holds all the cards now and knowing that Khan represents a dangerous challenge, the Sheffield man could opt for a homecoming bout that doesn’t involve the former WBA and IBF Light Welterweight champ.

Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is next in the betting at 4/1 and could earn his shot after impressing on the Brook-Porter undercard at the StubHub Arena in California.

The 25-year-old forced Julio Diaz into a third round retirement to retain the Interim WBA Welterweight strap, but the American does not feature in the top 10 of the IBF rankings and therefore could miss out.

If rankings are to be the deciding factor then the value could lie in Leonardo Bundi at 12/1.

The Italian is ranked at number three by the IBF and despite a recent loss to Frankie Gavin, had the Brit down in the sixth with a thunderous body shot.

A Porter rematch is available at 6/1, while a long-awaited Alexander bout can be backed at 5/1.

There are plenty of options for Brook then, but the advice – for both the fighter and punters –  is to ignore Khan for the time being.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.