A great night for Sheffield boxing - in both South Yorkshire and London

Two competing boxing shows on the same night might have some Sheffield fight fans not knowing where to turn, on Saturday night.

Ecclesall kingpin Kell Brook is top of the pecking order with his IBF world welterweight defence against fellow Brit Frankie Gavin, on a Pay Per View slot on Sky Sports.

Their confrontation takes place at London’s O2 Arena.

But closer to home, at the Magna Centre, Rotherham, Beighton bantamweight Ross Burkinshaw boxes South African Klaas Mboyane as an eliminator for the WBO title.

Burkinshaw’s promoter Dennis Hobson dropped a minor clanger at the weigh-in at the Hilton Hotel, Sheffield, today when he announced their fight was live on Sky TV, before correcting himself that it was on the digital channel Spike TV.

Burkinshaw’s camp believe their lower profile fight might actually be a more watchable event, given Gavin can be a negative combatant at times.

Promoter Eddie Hearn (centre) stands with Kell Brook (left) and Frankie Gavin as they pose for their head to head during a press conference at Glaziers Hall, London.

Promoter Eddie Hearn (centre) stands with Kell Brook (left) and Frankie Gavin as they pose for their head to head during a press conference at Glaziers Hall, London.

But both Sheffield boxers are simply focused on putting on a winning show for fans both locally and internationally.

Burkinshaw said: “It is my time. My opponent is standing between me and my family’s future. I am ready to win this.”

At the London weigh-in, both boxers came in under the 147lbs limit, Gavin just five ounces heavier.

Brook remains a huge favourite to triumph.

Ross the Boss Burkinshaw

Ross the Boss Burkinshaw

Meanwhile, Carl Froch believes Brook’s maturity has been the making of him since his horrendous stabbing incident in Tenerife last year. Brook came back from the life-threatening attack stronger in mind and body.

And that should be enough to lead him to his 35th win, believes Froch.

“Ever since that stabbing incident last year, he has been given a new lease of life, a second chance at his career, and it seems to have also changed his life” he wrote on his Sky Sports blog. “There were always question marks against his dedication, the way he lives outside the ring, but they seem to have been put to bed. I can see Kell getting better and better now he’s got that self-belief and that means there will not be any sort of upset on Saturday.”

Froch said Brook had needed to take the sport more seriously and was now doing that.

“He always turns up in great shape - his body is always on point - but he just seems to be boxing with a little bit more concentration and desire.

“Beating Shawn Porter in his own backyard and taking his world title was unbelievable but even that first defence against Jo Jo Dan was class.

“Don’t get me wrong, I think Frankie will make things awkward for a few rounds, so fair play to him. He is the only British fighter to have won a World Amateur Championship, which is almost as good as winning the Olympics. It’s just we all hoped he’d have done more as a pro.

Maybe he hasn’t - like Kell at times - taken it seriously enough, or maybe he has just realised that he is not as good as a professional as he thought. Either way, Kell Brook will get him out of there, maybe sooner rather than later.”

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