Khan now on Brook’s ‘hitlist’ as the prospect of title fight grows

Kell Brook has drawn up a three-man hitlist as he looks to move into boxing superstardom following his emphatic win over Vyacheslav Senchenko.

Great Britain's Kell Brook knocks down Ukraine's Vyacheslav Senchenko for the first time in their IBF World Welterweight Eliminator Contest at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield. (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
Great Britain's Kell Brook knocks down Ukraine's Vyacheslav Senchenko for the first time in their IBF World Welterweight Eliminator Contest at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield. (Nick Potts/PA Wire)

The unbeaten Sheffield welterweight is eager to square off with either domestic rival Amir Khan, IBF world champion Devon Alexander or American star Adrien Broner in the next six months.

Brook, who has been on the verge of a world title shot for the last year, underlined his credentials with a fourth-round stoppage of Ricky Hatton’s conqueror Senchenko in Sheffield on Saturday night.

Now he wants to finally nail down a shot at Alexander at the fourth time of asking following three postponed match-ups due to injuries.

However, the Yorkshireman would be equally happy with lucrative, high-profile showdowns with long-standing rival Khan or up-and-coming Broner.

“I’ve arrived,” said Brook after demolishing former world champion Senchenko.

“I want Broner. I want Khan. I want the massive fights. I don’t want to leave boxing without being in with the top guys in my division.

“I’m excited about all the possible opponents.

“We have history with Devon. The Khan talk has been going on a while and this new kid, Broner, who talks trash and pretends to be something he isn’t; he can also get it.”

Brook is happy to take on any of the three after treading water for the last year and knows his win over Senchenko – who knocked out Hatton when they met a year ago – will boost his profile on the world scene.

“It has to be my best win,” he said.

“He’s a former world champion with a great pedigree. No-one has done that to him. I think I made a statement here. I’m a force to be reckoned with.

“I want to be in those big fights. After that performance I belong at the top level. I am happy now and injury free.

“I’ve had some bad times and I hated boxing with my injuries. I couldn’t train. The opportunity was there and (because of injury) I was heartbroken. I’m on to another chapter now though and I’ve come back with a bang.”

Hatton, whose comeback was ended when Senchenko’s body shot convinced him he could not compete at the top level any more, spoke with Brook in the build-up to the fight.

“I’m better than ever,” Brook said. “I haven’t had a chance to speak to Ricky after the fight but we had a gameplan and I listened to what he said before the fight.

“He was one of my idols and I’ve got a lot of time for him and I did what we planned on doing.

“The fans will love that. I got revenge on the guy who beat Hatton last time round. I’m happy all round. It was a great statement and revenge all rolled into one.”

On the undercard, Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua continued his professional apprenticeship with a destructive second-round stoppage win over journeyman Paul Butlin.

The Londoner beat Emanuele Leo comfortably with a first-round stoppage earlier this month and was obviously expected to make it two wins from two against Melton Mowbray’s Butlin.

He did that in style, dominating the first round before forcing the technical knockout by putting Butlin down in the second and prompting the referee to end it.

Butlin’s record of 14 wins and 19 defeats showed he was no serious threat but he did represent a decent test of Joshua’s credentials at this early stage of his career.

Joshua, in superb shape, dictated matters from the first bell, pumping out his powerful jab.

As the opening round wore on he unloading a wider variety of shots to head and body, blasting in the right hand and firing hooks and hurtful uppercuts.

Butlin tried closing the distance down but was punished almost at will by the big rookie.

Joshua then stepped things up emphatically in the second and the round was less than a minute old when the inevitable end arrived.

An audibly thudding left-right combination sent Butlin crashing to the canvas, his left eyebrow badly bloodied and his senses scrambled.

To his credit, Butlin got to his feet unsteadily but when Joshua took his time and continued the assault – landing a lovely left to the body – the Leicestershire man’s corner threw the towel in as referee Howard Foster waved it off.

“When you go in there you think there are a few things you could do better but I’m still improving and still learning.

“The key is to relax and box and move, wait for openings.

“I’ve got a few weeks to work on a few things before I fight again.”

n Veteran Bernard Hopkins kept hold of his IBF light-heavyweight crown with a unanimous points victory over Karo Murat.

The 48-year-old came into his own in the heart of the fight to take the contest 119-108, 119-108 and 117-110 on the judges’ scorecards in Atlantic City.

Murat, who lost to Great Britain’s Nathan Cleverly back in 2010, was penalised in the seventh for hitting after the break and also earned a string of warnings.

But it was the seventh in which Hopkins truly imposed himself, and by the eighth Murat was visibly hurt.

The German showed his resilience in the later rounds, but roared on by a supportive Atlantic City crowd, Hopkins was a comfortable winner.