KELL BROOK will have domestic rival Amir Khan on his mind when he returns to the ring for the first time since his Bramall Lane heartbreak at the Sheffield Arena in March.
Brook lost his IBF welterweight title to American Errol Spence last year and has now moved up in weight to face his former sparring partner Sergei Rabchenko.
A prospective big-money bout with Khan moved closer earlier this month when the former Olympic silver medallist – who has not fought since May 2016 – signed terms with Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
And Brook admitted the news had spurred him to shrug off the memories of his painful defeat to Spence and target making a big impression at 154lb – culminating in a win over his long-time rival.
Brook said: “I’m excited about 2018 – another character is with Matchroom now and we shouldn’t really be talking about other opponents, but the guy (Khan) is there and hopefully we can make that fight.
“The new weight division is going to be a big factor because I am not draining myself down to welterweight. There are not many fights left in me so I want to keep as active as possible this year and keep healthy and keep my weight down.”
Hearn admitted he is looking at making a bout between Brook and Khan two fights down the line, with the latter due to make his comeback in Liverpool in April but both having plenty to prove after recent activity – or lack of – which has seen their respective stars slightly wane.
Hearn said: “I’m excited to see Kell back in the ring. To lose his world title in front of his home fans was a bitter pill to swallow and it has taken him a while to get the bit back between his teeth.
“With the addition to the Matchroom stable of Amir Khan, I’ve seen a switch even in the last week or so. He’s got that hunger back, he’s got that look in his eye and if he’s got that buzz then he is going to be very difficult to beat especially at 154lbs.”
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