Johannesburg - Will Briton Kell “Special K” Brook stop further dominance of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight title by the Americans?
This will be tested when Brook defends his IBF title against Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr at Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield, England, on Saturday.
The title has been the sole preserve of the Americans since the sanctioning body was officially formed in 1983.
A look at records shows that the belt has been won by 10 Americans, while only two Englishmen have held it – Lloyd Honeyghan and Brook, who is reigning supreme.
Honeyghan, who is now retired, beat American Donald Curry to win the World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Association (WBA) and IBF welterweight titles in 1986.
In the same year, he famously threw his WBA belt in a dustbin in protest against fighting Harold “The Hammer” Volbrecht in apartheid South Africa.
Honeyghan later relinquished his IBF title after losing the WBC belt to Jorge Vaca in London in 1987.
The IBF title has also been captured by South Africa’s Isaac “The Angel” Hlatshwayo – he beat Delvin Rodríguez from the Dominican Republic by split points decision at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut in the US in 2009.
It will be interesting to see whether Brook will keep the British home fires burning by making a successful defence against Spence. If both fighters’ credentials are anything to go by, an interesting bout is on the cards.
Brook has lost once in 37 fights, with 25 of his opponents failing to go the full distance.
His blemish was a fifth round knockout inflicted by Kazakhstani fighter Gennady Golovkin for the WBC, IBF and International Boxing Organisation middleweight title in London in September.
Brook went two divisions up by fighting in the middleweight class, and he was beaten to a pulp.
Now, he will be slugging it out in his natural weight class against a younger opponent in Spence, who fights in a southpaw stance.
Spence is a quick mover inside the ring, and he uses his left jabs and hooks effectively to floor his foes. He has won 18 of his 21 bouts by knockout.
His punching power was evident when he floored Leonard Bundu in the sixth round in a nontitle scrap in New York in August.
Spence, who comes from Desoto in Texas, will be going to Sheffield, Yorkshire, with the sole purpose of relocating the championship to where he thinks it belongs – the US.