England’s Kell “Special” Brook (33-0, 22 KO) became the IBF welterweight (147) champion last night by defeating Shawn “Showtime” Porter (24-1-1, 15 KO) by majority decision. Brook’s first championship fight was a success, but can he hold on to the belt? Not if the fighters below have anything to say about it. KEITH THURMAN (23-0, 21 KO)
Thurman is on the cusp of fighting for a belt, and has already expressed his interest in sharing a ring with Brook. One Time is a real threat to Kell’s belt, and is unlikely to get the shot over more established names in the division. Thurman is known for his power, but has shown some solid boxing ability in recent fights. In other words, Keith is not a one-trick pony and could take Brook’s belt back to America. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ (56-7-1, 40 KO)
Marquez is naturally much smaller than Brook, but has the skill to make up for it. That being said, this is a winnable fight for the Brit at this stage of JMM’s career, and a nice name to add to his resume. Marquez has fought on numerous pay per view cards as the B-side and the A-side, and brings some cash to the table for Brook. TIM BRADLEY (31-1, 12 KO)
Tim suffered his first official career loss against Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) in his last fight, but put up a decent effort. Bradley has a good resume and has built a name for himself over the last few years. A win over “Desert Storm” could propel Brook to new heights and set up big money fights for the new champion. AMIR KHAN (29-3, 19 KO)
Brook-Khan in England would be a massive fight between the two best British welterweights in the world. This fight really sells itself and would no doubt do big numbers in the UK as well as the rest of the world. The two have been sharing harsh words for years, and both are eager to prove who truly deserves to be called “the best welterweight in Britain”. Khan has dismissed a Brook fight for the last few years, claiming Brook would not bring enough to the table. Now that Brook is a titlist, let us see if “King” changes his tune. MANNY PACQUIAO
Pacquiao may be on the decline physically, but he is still one of the cash cows in boxing. He has rebounded from his KO6 against Juan Manuel Marquez to easily beat Brandon Rios (32-2-1, 23 KO) and Tim Bradley in their rematch. Manny is a superstar, and a win over him would really raise Brook’s profile in the boxing world. Pacquiao still has quite a bit left as a fighter, and would provide an excellent test for Kell Brook. Since Manny holds the WBO strap, this would be a unification fight as well. FLOYD MAYWEATHER, JR. (46-0, 26 KO)
THE biggest name in the sport of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., fights in the same division as Kell Brook. He holds the WBA and WBC titles, and is the lineal champion of the division. Mayweather brings more money and more exposure to the table than any other opponent can. Brook taking Floyd’s “0” would put the Englishman in the history Brooks. A Mayweather fight may not be as far off as one may think, as Floyd has expressed his desire to fight in the UK in the past. The winner of a potential Brook-Khan fight would be the perfect opponent to fight in England. Beating the living legend is much easier said than done, but Kell has age on his side. “Money” is now 37, while Kell turned 28 on the night of Floyd’s last fight. This is the fight every boxer dreams of getting, and that dream may come true for Brook in the near future. Did we miss anyone? Disagree with any names on our list? Let us know.