World title eliminator tops brilliant undercard for Parker v Whyte
Former IBF welterweight champ Kell Brook will face Brandon Cook in a World Super-Welterweight title eliminator at The O2 in London as part of a stellar undercard for the heavyweight blockbuster between Joseph Parker and Dillian Whyte on Sunday July 29 (NZT).
While the main fight between Parker and Whyte is sure to be seen as a ‘people’s eliminator’ for a rematch with WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, the undercard will be equally as explosive.
In 2016 the fearless Brook stepped up two weight divisions to take on undefeated three-belt middleweight world champion Genady GGG Golovkin, suffering his first defeat in a fifth round stoppage.
Brook surrendered his IBF welterweight title to Errol Spence Jr in May last year, prompting a move up into the super welterweight division.
He made his bow in the division with a destructive second round win over Sergey Rabchenko in Sheffield in March – with the Steel City favourite landing the WBC International crown to start his march to two-weight world glory.
‘The Special One’ has been called out by all the big-guns at 154lbs (69kg) after crashing into the rankings with that win, and will arrow in on a World title crack if he can see off the dangerous Cook. The Canadian, rated number four with the WBO, nine in the WBA and 11 with the IBF, enters the fight on the wave of back-to-back early KO wins.
Irish sensation Katie Taylor - rated the second best pound-for-pound female fighter on the planet - is straight back into a big fight after unifying the Lightweight division in Brooklyn in April, wrestling the IBF strap from Victoria Bustos in a thrilling encounter in the Big Apple. Taylor now meets IBF mandatory Kimberly Connor in London with her WBA belt also on the line.
"It really is a brilliant undercard - and there will be more exciting announcements to come," Duco Events director David Higgins, the promoter of former WBO world champion Joseph Parker, said.
"As usual Matchroom have done an incredible job. It is going to be another huge night of boxing in Britain - and once again with a Kiwi taking centre stage."
The card also features Conor Benn - the son of British boxing legend Nigel Benn - in a classic rematch against Frenchman Cedric Peynaud.
Benn looked in serious trouble of tasting defeat for the first time as a pro after hitting the deck twice in the opening round against Peynaud in 2017 but, echoing the deeds of his famous father, Benn rallied to floor the Frenchman in the fifth and sixth rounds to edge a stunning contest.
Rising light-heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi faces a real step-up on the bill in his seventh pro outing since turning pro at The O2 last July, taking on former British title challenger Ricky Summers in his first ten round contest.
“It is a huge night of boxing with a brilliant 50-50 heavyweight match up and a stacked card beneath it,” Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn said.
“Kell returns to the scene of his epic shootout with GGG to face highly ranked Canadian Brandon Cook in a World title eliminator that will put him in pole position for a shot at all the world champions.
“Irish sensation Katie Taylor returns to The O2 to defend her WBA and IBF World titles against mandatory challenger Kimberley Connor, Conor Benn rematches Cedric Peynaud for his first title after their 2017 fight of the year contender and Joshua Buatsi makes a huge step up to face Birmingham’s Ricky Summers in his first ten round fight. There is still plenty more to be added this week including one major title fight - roll on July 28!”
Tickets go on general sale on Friday June 15 at 10am (UK time) from www.theO2.co.uk.
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £200. Inner Ringside VIP tickets are priced at £500.