By Jake Donovan
The night of October 24 could prove to be one of the biggest in the history of British boxing.
At the very least, it will serve as a loaded night of action for Sky Sports Box Office. A split site telecast will feature Tyson Fury's challenge of World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko from Germany, and Kell Brook's welterweight title defense as he faces Diego Chaves at home in Sheffield, England.
The latter bout marks Brook's third title defense - and overall fight - since returning from wounds suffered during a knife attack while on holiday a year ago in Tenerife. The traumatic experience came less than a month after his title win over Shawn Porter in the United States, with his reign put on hold until he was able to return to the ring in March.
Two knockout wins have followed, stopping mandatory contender Jo Jo Dan at home in Sheffield in his first fight back. Two months later, Brook scored a one-sided 6th round knockout of Frankie Gavin in London.
Several challenges were sought for the intended homecoming for Brook (35-0, 24KOs) before settling on Chaves, a rugged brawler from Argentina.
"I’m going to be all guns blazing back in Sheffield. It’s going to be a great doubleheader," Brook said of his fight being paired up with the aforementioned heavyweight championship. "It’s going to be an entertaining fight. Two great fighters, I’m going to be defending the title and bringing the fireworks like I always do, standing in there going to war with Diego Chaves."
The title opportunity comes for Chaves (23-2-1, 19KOs) despite going just 1-2-1 in his past four fights. A 10th round knockout loss to Keith Thurman was admirable, but he's looked less-than-stellar in a 9th round disqualification loss to Brandon Rios last August and a 12-round draw with Tim Bradley in December.
The loss to Rios came under bizarre circumstances; Chaves was unable to leave Argentina due to his visa status not being cleared up until the Wednesday of fight week. Jet lag coupled with a poor mesh of styles led to an ugly, foul-filled clash with Rios before being tossed by referee Vic Drakulich, who was widely criticized for his inability to control the foulfest.
Chaves found himself in a far more entertaining affair with Bradley, despite the bout failing to produce a winner. Bradley would eventually receive another title shot, outboxing Jessie Vargas to claim a vacant welterweight title in June.
The natural course of progression suggested an opportunity for Chaves to receive his own title shot, with Brook expecting the visiting challenger to be at his absolute best.
"He comes out ready to fight. He doesn’t run away, he stands there ready to fight," Brook insists. "Fans will be witnessing blood, sweat and tears in this fight."
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com
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