Kell Brook will head off on holiday today, safe in the knowledge that when he gets back his team will have started work on his challenge for the world title or laid the foundations for an all-British showdown with Amir Khan.
Brook extended his perfect career to 29-0 with a third-round stoppage of Hector Saldivia in Sheffield on Saturday night, barely breaking sweat as he made what should have been the hardest fight of his career – an IBF welterweight final eliminator – look like one of the easiest.
He is now the next cab off the rank to fight the newly-crowned Devon Alexander, the American who took the belt from Randall Bailey in the early hours of yesterday morning, although there is some suggestion he may opt to vacate the title without defending it. Brook has first choice either way, but with a growing clamour for a domestic scrap with Khan, other options may be pursued instead with promoter Eddie Hearn, while keen to stress the importance of the world title, already mulling over the options of how and where to stage a showdown with Khan.
“We could do a stadium fight in April, or we could go to the Manchester Evening News Arena,” said the Matchroom boss, who during his press conference read out an e-mail from Sheffield United, offering to stage a show at their Bramall Lane ground.
Hearn also believes Khan, who is rebuilding his career following a high-profile spilt from Freddie Roach and the loss of his light-welterweight world titles, would no longer be able to dominate negotiations with his man.
“His next fight is against a lightweight who can’t punch (Carlos Molina),” Hearn said. “What is Amir Khan going to do? You’re talking about a fight which would be box office, that would fill a stadium and pay both fighters in excess of £2million. Where else is he going to get that kind of money?
“Amir will want to fight on his terms, but that’s not the case now. We’re filling stadiums, breaking viewing figures on Sky and the terms would have to be 50-50 and if they can’t get their heads around that, it’s not going to happen.
“If we win the world title and then fight him, he’s not going to take 70-30. I know what his people are about, they are nice people and they love the pound note.”
Such was the condition of Brook’s new-look physique, honed in order to avoid the fatigue which nearly tripped him up against Carson Jones in July, the 26-year-old admitted afterwards he felt only a “monster” could have beaten him.
A brutal 12-week training camp whipped him into shape, while he also revealed he and his trainer Dominic Ingle had done something they had never done before by watching footage of his opponent.
“Me and Dom looked at the fight for the first time,” he said. “I never look at tapes as people always fight differently when they get in the ring, but for this I did everything. I had everything down to a tee.”
It took Brook until the 28th second of the third to finish things off, a venomous left jab flooring Saldivia for the second time on the night, with the 28-year-old having already walked on to a right uppercut in the opener.
“It was important for me not to rush things after that early shot,” Brook said.
If Hearn decides to take the IBF route he believes a fight with Alexander would command a pay-per-view audience on Sky, the first on the network since David Haye’s loss to Vitali Klitschko last summer, but whether that comes sooner or later, he believes his man is on the right road.
“He has had six fights with us in 15 months and I now believe you have seen him at 80 per cent,” Hearn said. “I have not seen him hit with this much power before and there are all kinds of possibilities for us. We could even go to America.”