By Jake Donovan
Kell Brook attempts the second defense of his welterweight belt as he faces countryman Frankie Gavin atop a loaded bill Saturday evening at O2 Arena in London, England.
The bout headlines a Pay-Per-View telecast distributed through Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
It was barely nine months ago when Brook (34-0, 23KOs) was dealt with the reality of not being able to fight again. A vacation in Tenerife last summer nearly turned fatal when Brook became the victim of a knife attack.
The incident left Brook hobbled and on the mend as he recovered from severe stab wounds. It was hardly the celebration he had in mind following a career-best victory over Shawn Porter to claim a welterweight belt last August.
A triumphant ring return was enjoyed this past March, with Brook scoring a 4th round knockout of mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan at home in Sheffield. The idea behind racing to the mandatory was to get it out of the way and purse bigger fights, namely a domestic showdown with Khan.
The bout failed to materialize, with the two fighting on back-to-back nights on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
Khan registered a decision win over Chris Algieri in a spirited affair Friday evening in Brooklyn, New York. He is now on the short list of candidates to land the role of the last ever opponent in the storied career of Floyd Mayweather, who claims that September 12 will mark his final fight.
Brook intends to do everything in his power to plead his case for such a fight. Standing in his way is Gavin (22-1, 13KOs), a rugged southpaw who—while a longshot to win—has every intention of ruining everyone's plans.
The 29-year old challenger from Birmingham (UK) comes in riding a three-fight win streak since the lone loss of his career, a split decision to Leonard Bundu last August.
Will Brook preserve his unbeaten record and remain in step in the welterweight sweepstakes? Or will Gavin pull off the major upset and throw the division for a loop?
Read on to see how the staff at BoxingScene.com believes tonight's action plays out.
BOXINGSCENE.COM STAFF PREDICTIONS: KELL BROOK vs. FRANKIE GAVIN
Ryan Burton (Brook TKO5): Brook TKO5 Brook dominates another opponent as he looks to secure a big name opponent.
Jake Donovan (Brook TKO6): Gavin will offer a brave account of himself but is in way over his head. Brook delivers a message with strong performance while on the hunt for bigger game (Mayweather, Pacquiao, Khan) in boxing's most lucrative division.
Takahiro Onaga (Brook KO4): This bout has mismatch written all over it and Gavin has nothing to threaten Brook.
Cliff Rold (Brook KO): This should be another rout for Brook at home.
Victor Salazar (Brook mid-rds TKO): Kell Brook is just a better fighter than Frankie Gavin and will prove to be too much stopping him in the mid rounds.
Reynaldo Sanchez (Brook late TKO): Kell Brook is in the mix of possible contenders for Mayweather Jr. So this fight means a lot to him and his team. Frankie Gavin has been in the shadow of Khan and Brook for a long time, and this is the opportunity to shine. Brook by TKO in the championship rounds.
Alexey Sukachev (Brook UD): Gavin showed his limits, while losing to Bundu. Brook is way better, and 2007 Chicago champion doesn't pack a punch to have a KO chance here. Either an easy night or a late stoppage for the 2nd best welterweight in the world.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox