March 17: Kell Brook vs. Matthew Hatton

Rising welterweight contender Kell Brook will meet Matthew Hatton in a battle of England's top 147-pounders on March 17 at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport announced Wednesday.

Brook (26-0, 18 KOs) fought in the United States for the first time on the Andre Ward-Carl Froch undercard on Dec. 17, but he has wanted a major fight in his hometown of Sheffield.

"This is a fight I've wanted for a long time, and to get it at the Sheffield Arena means the world to me," the 25-year-old Brook said. "When I first sat down with Eddie, he told me that his vision was a sell-out night at Sheffield Arena and now we're here. It is a competitive division and we're both trying to achieve the same goal, so I know that by putting (Hatton) out of the equation, it gives me a clearer run at the title. I want people to stand up and take notice of me, and these are the kind of nights that makes that happen.

"We've been looking at fights here and in the U.S., but this is the one that gives me the buzz. I know I'm comfortably the best welterweight in Britain, and I'm going to put in a devastating performance on March 17 to show the world just that."

Thirty-year-old Hatton (42-5-2, 16 KOs) is the younger brother of former junior welterweight champ Ricky Hatton and a former European welterweight champion. Last March, he stepped up to the junior middleweight division and lost a lopsided decision to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez for a vacant world title. Hatton rebounded to win his next fight, and now faces Brook in a crossroads bout.

"It's my 50th contest and I'm very proud of that, so I want it to be a landmark, and Kell is in the way of that," Hatton said. "I don't want my 50th fight to be a loss. I've boxed class opposition in big arenas all over the world, so experience will play a part in this fight. Fighting Kell in Sheffield isn't something that's going to keep me awake, and it's only an hour down the road, so I'll have good support there on that night.

"It has irritated me a little bit that people regard Kell as the No. 1 (welterweight) in Britain. I've been European champion and was undefeated at that level. It's like being told you are not even the best at school, even though you are the best in Europe. So finally one of us is going to be able to say that they are No. 1."

Hearn said that Darren Barker (23-1, 14 KOs) is likely to fight on the undercard in his first fight since middleweight champion Sergio Martinez knocked him out in the 11th round in October.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.