By Edward Chaykovsky
Undefeated Olympian Errol Spence (21-0, 18 KOs) has no problem traveling over to the UK for his mandatory showdown with IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, according to Spence's head trainer Derrick James.
Brook's promoter, Eddie Hearn, has placed his focus on making a deal with Spence and ongoing negotiations to fight Amir Khan had broken down over the financial terms.
But Hearn openly admits that he would rather have Brook drop the title and move up to the junior middleweight limit of 154-pounds - as Brook strains his body to get down to the welterweight limit.
There is a purse bid scheduled for February 7th. Because of the 75-25 split in Brook's favor, Hearn is confident of gaining the home court advantage and bringing Spence over to the UK - which is fine with the challenger.
According to Hearn, there is a 70-80% chance that Spence will be the next fight for Brook - who as of this past weekend remained firm on the idea of following through with his mandatory defense. A meeting between Hearn and Brook is scheduled for tomorrow, when a final decision will be made.
"That's good to hear (about the chance of a Spence-Brook fight) but he hasn't really got a choice," James exclusively told Sky Sports. "We've heard about that fight [Khan], but we're not concerned with that because Eddie Hearn does say a lot of different things.
"Kell Brook wanted to fight Khan and be champion, but if he wants to stay champion, he's got to fight Errol. We're happy about it. We've worked a long time to get where we are and the outcome has made us happy. I can tell you, it's going to be a pretty good fight. We're expecting it to happen in the next three or four months and fighting in the UK is not a problem at all."
James watched Brook's last fight, but he wasn't overly impressed with what he saw. Brook moved up to by two divisions, to middleweight, to challenge WBA, IBO, IBF, WBC world champion Gennady Golovkin and was stopped in the fifth round. Brook started off very well, but faded due to a fractured orbital bone that came about in the second or third round.
James expects his boxer to shine in the contest, despite Brook appearing to be a step up in class when compared to the competition that Spence has faced thus far.
"On paper it might look like a big step up for Errol, but so far I have only watched one of his [Brook] fights against Triple G, and he looked a pretty good fighter but he certainly ain't phenomenal," James added.
"It just so happens that [Spence] is the No 1 in the IBF and it's not so much about the fighters, it's about the belt. If it was someone else, we would be talking about someone else. We've got nothing against Kell Brook, Kell Brook's just got something he wants to get. I think he's a good fighter, but I wasn't super impressed, thinking 'oh my god, he's amazing'.
"He's earned everything he's got, but he is going to need to go in there and do what he does best, because Errol is going to do what he does best, and what he needs to become a champion."