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Brook refuses to look past Saldivia
The names of Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan will not be on the mind of Kell Brook on Saturday night, but the Sheffield fighter knows they will be watching with interest as he takes on Hector Saldivia in an IBF welterweight world title eliminator.
Both Hatton, making his comeback after retirement, and Khan, looking to rebuild his reputation after losing his own light-welterweight belts in July, have been cited as possible opponents for the unbeaten Brook.
But the 26-year-old is not looking that far ahead, preferring to concentrate on the job in hand, and he said: "I don't think about those two at all but there is me, Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton and some mega-fights out there. Hector Saldivia is on my radar and I am fighting him on Saturday and that's all that is on my mind."
Brook is heading to the Motorpoint Arena for what will be his sixth fight out of Hearn's Matchroom stable, and his third bout in a row at the Steel City's main arena.
It is a far cry from his first appearance under Hearn, which came at Hillsborough Leisure Centre against Lovemore Ndou in June last year.
Since then he has taken to the ring at Ponds Forge and also in Atlantic City when he saw off Luiz Galarza on the undercard to Khan's controversial loss to Lamont Peterson.
"I've come over some hurdles and learned along the way," Brook added. "I have boxed into America and now I am coming to the finished article and am ready to explode."
His new-look physique gives a nod to that. He has been put through a rigorous 12-week training programme designed to leave no stone unturned after his close shave against Carson Jones in July.
"I'm in the best shape I have ever been in. It's the best I have ever felt and the easiest I have made the weight. I'm feeling strong and I can't wait for Saturday night," Brook said. "You never stop learning and I have taken my body to places it's never been before. It's been crying in pain, not wanting to be there but it's had to go there because that's what I have been told to do."
The winner of Saturday night's duel will then await news from Brooklyn where Devon Alexander will meet the current belt holder, Randall Bailey, with the two winners likely to meet in the spring.