Kell Brook forced to postpone title defense after suffering rib injury

Welterweight titlist Kell Brook suffered a rib injury during a sparring session and has been forced to postpone his defense against Diego Chaves, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Friday.

Brook, slated to make his third title defense, and Chaves were scheduled to meet Oct. 24 at the Sheffield Arena in Brook's hometown of Sheffield, England. Hearn said he hopes to reschedule the bout before the end of the year.

"It's always a bitter blow when an injury causes a fight to be postponed, especially so close to the event," Hearn said. "Kell picked up a rib injury in sparring [on Thursday] and spent most of the day at hospital. Kell was desperate to fight but it was simply impossible, and we will now look to reschedule the bout for the end of the year."

Hearn said the show will go on, however, with interim middleweight titlist Chris Eubank Jr. (19-1, 14 KOs), 26, of England, who recently signed with Hearn, moving from the co-feature into the main event for a defense against 39-year-old American club fighter Tony Jeter (20-4-1, 14 KOs).

Also, Gavin McDonnell (13-0-2, 4 KOs), 29, of England, is scheduled to defend his European bantamweight title against former world title challenger Jeremy Parodi (37-2-1, 9 KOs), 28, of France.

Brook-Chaves was scheduled to be televised live on Showtime in the United States, but with the fight being postponed, Showtime announced it has canceled its "Showtime International" telecast. The network said it "will consider coverage of the rescheduled Brook-Chaves bout once event details are finalized."

Brook (35-0, 24 KOs), 29, went on the road to Carson, California, in August 2014 and won his belt by majority decision against Shawn Porter. Weeks after the victory, Brook was stabbed in the leg during an incident while he was on vacation with his family celebrating his world title. He made a full recovery and returned in March to make his first defense, a one-sided fourth-round destruction of mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan.

On May 30, Brook made his second title defense, a one-sided, sixth-round knockout of countryman Frankie Gavin.

Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs), 29, of Argentina, is 1-2-1 in his past four bouts, but he has at least given his opponents difficult fights, including in a 10th-round knockout loss to Keith Thurman in an interim title bout, a ninth-round disqualification loss to Brandon Rios in a fight Chaves was leading at the time of the DQ and a split draw against Timothy Bradley Jr. in December, which most thought Bradley clearly won.