Britain’s Kell Brook will be making the first defense of his IBF World Welterweight title when he faces Ionut Dan Ion in a 12 round bout at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield this Saturday. Brook is a perfect (33-0) and is coming off a strong performance as an underdog against Shawn Porter that saw him take the American’s title last August. Heading into the fight with Ion, Brook is heavily favored at (-1500), with the return on Ion at (+1000). The over/under for the bout is established at 9 1/2, with the over paying (-125) and the under (-105). Coming off his August win, Brook was one of the hot names in the welterweight division. There was talk of a big money all-British showdown with Amir Khan for the December timeframe, but Brook was stabbed in the leg while on vacation and Khan fought Devon Alexander in December while Brook recovered. Brook should be able to defeat Ion, and he will certainly be looking for the big money and big-attention fight afterwards. Khan is waiting in the wings coming off his win in December, and Brook has started to utter the name Floyd Mayweather Jr. Though Brook deserves a fight at home for his first defense, he is going to need a bigger fight in 2015 if he is going to break the glass ceiling and become a superstar. He appears to have the talent to do so, as the Brits don’t call him “The Special One” for nothing. As expected, four other matches from the Matchroom Boxing promotions card are getting odds at the books, however Brook-Ion is the only bout with an over/under. In a Middleweight 12-rounder with the IBF International title on the line, undefeated 24 year old Adam Etches (18-0) faces veteran Sergey Khomitsky (29-11-3). Etches is favored at (-475) with the comeback on Khomitsky at (+325). Khomitsky at 40 is still a good measuring stick, as he has faced veterans such as Ryan Rhodes, Martin Murray (twice) and Robert Steiglitz, all of whom are where Etches ultimately wants to be. The vacant European Super Bantamweight title is on the line in a 12-round bout between undefeated up and comers Gavin McDonnell (12-0-2) and Oleksandr Yegorov (13-0-1). The popular McDonnell is favored (-1500) over Yegorov, who returns at (+700). Both men have similar ages and records, but McDonnell has been fighting for British and regional titles for several years now, and that experience is expected to pay off for him in this one. In a 10-rounder, popular Frankie Gavin (21-1) continues to get ring time in as he faces Serbian Bogdan Mitic. Mitic is (20-6) overall, and he is coming in a massive (+4000) underdog to Gavin, who is returning at ( -16000). Gavin is putting in the work since losing his first career fight back in August of 2014, as he has already gone (2-0) in the time since, and he is already booked to fight on May 9th as well. Undefeated (13-0) Khalid Yafai is the biggest favorite of the night at the books, as he is returning (-20000) in his Flyweight fight with Cristofer Rosales, who comes back at (+5000). Rosales comes from Nicaragua, where he has not lost a fight since August of 2013 and sports and (8-0) record since then.
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