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Kell Brook to face Jo Jo Dan and defend his IBF welterweight title
By Andrew Scott Sunday, 25 January 2015 11:00
Kell Brook is set to defend his IBF welterweight title when he faces Jo Jo Dan in his first defence against the fighter, in a clash that online bookmakers believe should be very intense.
Brook was able to clinch the belt after beating Shawn Porter on points in August, and the fighter will return to the ring at home in Sheffield, when he faces the Romanian fighter in a mandatory battle on the 28th of March in a showdown that gets underway at the Motorpoint Arena.
The 28-year-old’s career was doubtful after he had a very serious injury to the leg when he was a victim of a machete attack, but he was quickly able to recover and will look to face his division’s most important fighters.
For 2015, a domestic clash against Amir Khan is right at the top of his list, while Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are also holding titles in this class, and online bookmakers would certainly not mind seeing Brook face the biggest names in the sport.
“It will be emotional, after winning the world title last year but then a few weeks later having an horrific knife attack,” said Brook.
“I was wondering if I would walk again, never mind fight, but now I am feeling fit.
“I am getting the mandatory out of the way. I am after those massive fights – you all know the names – later in the summer, but I have to get this one out of the way first, and he is a tough customer.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “It is going to be emotional for Kell and a lot of us
“The highs and lows of last year were incredible. August 16th in Carson, that wonderful victory over Shawn Porter, who many were making out to be the Hulk Hogan of the division.
“Kell did a job on him, wrestled the world title from him and brought it back to the UK. I remember coming here to Sheffield, we were at the City Hall, and the public came out to welcome him back as their champion.
“He then went on holiday and a few days later I got a call to say he had been stabbed. I remember reading reports on Twitter that he might lose his life, that he was on a life support machine.
“I flew out and the doctor told him ‘you might not be able to walk properly again’. At that stage, you think the career is over. He had just won a world title in probably the most lucrative division in world boxing and now it’s gone.
“He deserves a lot of credit for coming back, for the rehabilitation, for getting himself in great shape, and now he has got a chance to walk out in front of a wonderful sell-out crowd at Sheffield Arena.
“I can’t wait to see him do so, he is a great fighter.
“Jo Jo Dan is also a great fighter and the No 1 ranked fighter in the division , in Kell Brook’s governing body.
“We must get that mandatory out the way. He is due a mandatory defence and, if he gets this done, it unlocks the door to all those big fights in the summer.