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Kell Brook to square off with familiar face as he announces comeback at 154 pounds

Kell Brook will make his comeback at light-middleweight after defeat to Errol Spence.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

FORMER IBF WORLD welterweight champion Kell Brook will make his debut at light-middleweight on 3 March.

The 31-year-old Sheffield native will face a man familiar to British shores at the FlyDSA Arena in his hometown, with Belarussian Sergey Rabchenko providing the opposition for Brook’s comeback.

Also 31, former European champion Rabchenko [29-2, 22KOs] was previously promoted and trained by Ricky Hatton, and stopped Brook’s old stablemate Ryan Rhodes in Manchester back in 2012. He has fought on UK soul six times.

Brook has lost two consecutive fights, albeit to two pound-for-pound operators in Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence; the former saw Brook inexplicably make the 13-pound leap to middleweight, while the latter took place back down at 147 pounds.

Versus Golovkin, Brook was mildly competitive in a scrap most perceived to be a massacre on paper, but had his orbital bone shattered and had the towel thrown while absorbing punishment on his feet.

An exhilarating contest with future superstar Spence at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane saw Brook more than hold his own – and perhaps even edge proceedings – until Spence broke the Brit’s other eye socket in the seventh round. ‘Special K’ eventually submitted in the penultimate stanza, opting to protect his eye over survive a fight which, at that juncture, had slipped away from him.

Having openly struggled to make the 147-pound limit for some time, Brook will return to fight at what many consider his natural fight weight of 154.

“I can’t wait to get back in there and it’s going to be special returning to the arena,” said Brook.

The Spence defeat cut deep and it took me some time to come to terms with it but now I’m back with a new challenge at super-welterweight [light-middleweight].

“I believe I will be stronger and better than ever in the division and my focus now is on becoming a two-weight, two-time world champion.

“This is a dangerous fight for my return but I want to jump straight back in at world level and I think our styles will gel for an electric fight. I’m already deep in camp and I can’t wait to feel the atmosphere again in my hometown on March 3.”

Brook-Rabchenko will be broadcast live on Sky Sports on 3 March.

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