Kell Brook will face the winner of next month’s contest between Devon Alexander and Shawn Porter after stopping Vyacheslav Senchenko in the fourth round in Sheffield.
Alexander is the current holder of the IBF welterweight title and three previous fights between the 26-year-old southpaw from Missouri and Brook have had to be cancelled due to injuries to both fighters.
Twice, in January and May this year, it was an injury to Brook that stopped the fight going ahead, but he showed he is now fully fit and ready for a tilt at the world title after beating Senchenko.
The Ukrainian easily beat Ricky Hatton, a former favourite of Betfair punters, 11 months ago but the 36-year-old was second-best to Brook who floored him with a powerful right in the third round.
Senchenko responded well though and a shot to the head forced Brook on to the ropes early in the fourth.
However, Brook soon got back on to the front foot and put Senchenko down again with a hard right later in the round. Referee Shada Murdaugh stopped the fight to hand Brook his 31st win in a row.
“He [Senchenko] is tougher than he looks but I outboxed him. I proved that I can compete with the best and nothing is going to stop me [becoming a world champion]. I’m ready.”
Meanwhile, Anthony Joshua stopped Paul Butlin early in the second round of his second fight since turning professional.
The 24-year-old, who won super-heavyweight gold at the London Olympics, beat the Italian Emanuele Leo with a first-round knockout in his first professional contest three weeks ago.
“I’m still improving and this was valuable experience,” said Joshua, who said he will next fight on 14th November against a yet-to-be-confirmed opponent.