England's Kell Brook is one win away from a mandatory shot at welterweight titleholder Randall Bailey (or Devon Alexander, if Alexander wins the title from Bailey next month).
All that stands between Brook and the opportunity is Argentina's Hector Saldivia, whom he will meet in a final eliminator on Oct. 20 at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield -- Brook's hometown.
Saldivia isn't much to write home about. Frankly, he's a step down from Carson Jones, the tough fringe contender whom Brook (25-0, 18 KOs) went to war with in a semifinal eliminator on July 7 in Sheffield. Brook escaped with a majority decision in a very tough fight.
"I proved I have massive heart against Carson," Brook said. "I said after the fight that there needs to be an improvement, and on Oct. 20 my fans are going to see me at my very best."
Said Eddie Hearn, Brook's promoter: "It was always our goal to secure a mandatory position, and now we are just one fight away from making that happen."
Saldivia (41-2, 32 KOs) has been stopped in both of his losses. I was quite unimpressed when I was at his first-round knockout loss to Said Ouali in Las Vegas in May 2010, when they met on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Shane Mosley undercard. Saldivia came into the fight with a big reputation but got destroyed, albeit in an exciting shootout.