Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that Juan Manuel Marquez is the ‘frontrunner’ to face Kell Brook this summer if he successfully defends his world title next month.
The 28-year-old Sheffield fighter is currently preparing for the first defence of his IBF welterweight belt against Jo Jo Dan on March 28, live on Sky Sports.
But Hearn is hopeful that victory will pave the way for a big-name bout this year and has already held talks with Marquez’s promoter Bob Arum about a possible clash in Brook’s hometown.
“We are in talks. It’s a fight that I would love to make - not just as a promoter but as a huge boxing fan,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“Juan Manuel Marquez is one of my favourite fighters of all time. I believe a Marquez-Brook fight at Bramall Lane is a massive fight this summer.”
The Mexican, who holds a crushing stoppage win over Manny Pacquiao, has been troubled by a knee injury and Hearn is also considering alternative options, which include Amir Khan.
This morning, the Bolton fighter told Sky Sports that he is seeking a fresh opponent after giving up hope of a clash with Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, who are still finalising an expected superfight in May.
“We are not limiting ourselves there,” said Hearn. “Brandon Rios is another fight that we really like and Amir Khan remains the fight we would love.
“We’ve had a few chats with their camp and things are moving along in the right direction, but Marquez I believe is the frontrunner right now.
“He’s a legend, we’ve really got to dig deep into our pockets to get him over, but I think he’s got the desire to win a world title. He knows that Kell Brook possesses that.
“He’s just got back into training now. He has had knee problems, he’s making sure they are okay and he’ll look to make a decision. We are in talks with Marquez, Bob Arum and Top Rank and it’s a fight I would love to make.”