Kell Brook to face Carson Jones

Rising British welterweight contender Kell Brook, who is closing in on a world title opportunity, will face American Carson Jones on July 7 at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, Brook's hometown, promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport announced Thursday.

The winner of the bout will be in prime position to challenge the winner of the fight between Mike Jones and Randall Bailey, who meet for a vacant world title on June 9 in Las Vegas on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. pay-per-view undercard.

"Kell is in one of the toughest divisions and to maneuver a world title shot isn't easy," Hearn said. "Victory against Carson will put us in line for a shot at the Jones-Bailey winner and that's a fight I want to bring to the U.K. in October."

The 26-year-old Brook (27-0, 18 KOs) is coming off an impressive and lopsided decision win against countryman Matthew Hatton on March 17.

Jones (34-8-2, 24 KOs), 25, of Oklahoma City, is riding an eight-fight winning streak -- all by knockout, including stoppages of Allen Conyers and 2000 U.S. Olympic silver medalist Ricardo Williams Jr.

"It's a step up in class again and one that I'm truly ready for," Brook said. "Jones is experienced for his age and has been avoided, but I want a world title shot and in order to get it, I need to go through him.

"The Hatton night just blew my mind. It was the biggest crowd I've ever fought in front of and they were all there for me. That's a very special feeling and I cannot wait to experience it again."

Jones has no issue with going to Brook's hometown to face him because of the stakes.

"Basically, Kell Brook is the last person standing in my way to fight for a world title," Jones said. "He will have to kill me to beat me because I have worked too hard to let anyone stop me from reaching my dream. It does not matter if the fight is here, there or in Zimbabwe. I have made a living going to other people's hometowns and knocking them out and this will be no exception. Kell Brook needs to be afraid, very afraid, because his fans are going to see him put to sleep on July 7."

Said Bobby Dobbs, Jones' manager: "This is a tremendous opportunity for Carson and one he personally asked for. Carson is often overlooked because of his earlier career mismanagement, but I always knew he was an exceptional talent and he has finally begun to hit his stride. He has won eight in a row, all by stoppage, with some very tough fighters in that cycle. We respect Brook and his team, but we are coming to win and move on to the next level."

A pair of European title rematches are scheduled for the undercard.

• Wales' Gavin Rees (36-1-1, 17 KOs), a former junior welterweight world titleholder, and England's Derry Mathews (30-6-1, 16 KOs) meet again for Rees' European lightweight belt. They fought in October, but the bout was cut short in the fourth round and declared a technical draw when Matthews suffered a broken nose as a result of an accidental head-butt and was unable to continue.

• Kerry Hope (17-3, 1 KO) of Wales defends the European middleweight title for the first time in an immediate match with Poland-born, England-based Grzegorz Proksa (26-1, 19 KOs), whom he upset via majority decision to claim the title on March 17.

"The Rees versus Mathews fight in Wales was warming up nicely when Derry got injured, and I'm glad they are getting the chance to get it on again," Hearn said. "Kerry Hope's win over Proksa was a real shock to everyone -- apart from Kerry and his team. They were convinced he had the goods to beat Grzegorz. He was terrific and it was a grueling and gripping contest. Grzegorz will have revenge on his mind while Kerry won't want to let that title out of his hands, so I expect the rematch to top the ferocious intensity of the first fight."