By Carlos Boogs
As BoxingScene.com reported a few days ago, IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (35-0, 24KOs) will likely be forced to make a mandatory title defense in his upcoming return in early 2016.
Brook's last mandatory defense was made when he knocked out Jo Jo Dan in four rounds on March 28th in Sheffield. He then made a voluntary defense in May with a sixth round TKO of Frankie Gavin.
Last month Brook had been set to make a defense against Diego Chaves. The champion withdrew with a rib injury,
Brook's current mandatory challenger is Canadian contender Kevin Bizier (25-2, 17KOs).
Dan won a close twelve round split decision over Bizier in December 2014 to earn the shot at Brook. It was the second time Bizier lost a close split decision to Dan.
Bizier earned another opportunity at the IBF belt with last month's upset stoppage of unbeaten Fredrick Lawson, who was dropped and suffered a broken jaw in defeat.
Brook's promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, confirms that the IBF is leaning on them to face Bizier and because of that a fight with Chaves is likely going to fall on the backburner. The silver lining in all of this is a possible UK super-fight with Amir Khan (31-3, 19KOs) at Wembley in the summer.
Hearn told Sky Sports: "The IBF have ordered us to fight Bizier. We had an agreement to fight Chaves but if the fight's not for the IBF world title then the agreement is void.
"We're pushing forward for the Amir Khan fight and we expect it to happen at the end of May or early June. In the meantime, if we have to deal with the mandatory then it's likely we'll travel to America to do it because it's more appealing there than here.
"Bizier has lost to Jo Jo Dan. He's a decent fighter but it's not the easiest to sell and we need to prepare for the Khan fight, which is what we're heading towards. It's all feet to the pedal on that - especially after him saying he hasn't got the Manny Pacquiao fight and will fight Kell Brook.
"We're speaking to their team and I believe the fight will happen. It's the biggest fight out there for both of them. It's common sense and I believe common sense will prevail."