Kell Brook, aka ‘The Special One,’ battles Hector David Saldivia in a final eliminator for the IBF welterweight crown on Saturday night at Sheffield Arena. Armchair fans can follow the punches live on Sky Sports 1 from 8.00pm.
Undefeated local lad Brook (pictured) looked to have done enough to secure a shot at the title when getting the nod in a majority decision over American Carson Jones in July. But the powers that be have placed another obstacle in his way, which most expect him to come through.
An interesting side bet to Saturday’s clash is that insiders expect Brook to face fallen champion, and fellow Brit, Amir Khan, if the 26-year-old continues to impress.
A professional since 2004, Brook has racked up a record of 28 wins, 18 inside the distance, against no losses and has made light work of the best Britain has to offer along the way. Established domestic names such as Kevin McIntyre, Michael Lomax and Michael Jennings all failed to hear the final bell, while “Magic” Matthew Hatton was outpointed by a comfortable margin back in March.
Fans of Brook will find their favourite no bigger than the 1/12 being served up by Betfred, while a draw has been written off at 40/1 (SkyBet). That means, if you are a follower of the odds, it’s time to work out how he will win, rather than if.
Each of Kell’s last two fights have gone the distance, as well as three of his last five. A points win can be backed at 4/1 (Stan James), while those who fancy a 19th career stoppage will enjoy 4/9 (Betfred).
Casual fans would be forgiven for knowing very little about Argentinian Hector David Saldivia but the visitor has a CV to prove he belongs at the top level of boxing. A veteran of over eight years, ‘El Tigre’ ducks between the ropes with a proud record of 41 wins against just two defeats. He is riding the crest of an eight fight unbeaten run and is confident of upsetting the locals and their less experienced man.
Each of his negative results have come by way of KO/TKO, although with his last two going the scheduled distance, this one should go long into the night. Saldivia has an earth shattering 74% KO average and with Brook’s chin yet to be fully tested, the 12/1 (SkyBet) about a knockout upset may be worth a small punt, while an away win on points is 28/1, also with SkyBet.
Make no mistake about it, Brook has been given a real challenge here and I feel that odds compilers have been rather harsh on Hector. He has been in the game a long time, has destructive power, and will come to win. Having said that, I do think Brook has real class and if he uses his boxing abilities, he will pick the 28-year-old off with the jab. Brook will have success with combination punching, as he did against the durable Hatton, and should bank the majority of early and middle rounds to pull clear on the scorecards.
- So the advised angle on this fight, and our tip, is to bet on Brook to win on points @ 4/1 with Stan James.