Welterweight titleholder Kell Brook, unable to finalize a deal to face Brandon Rios, will instead face Diego Chaves, who gave Rios a rough night last year in an eventual loss.
Brook will make the third defense of his 147-pound world title against Chaves when they meet Oct. 24 at Motorpoint Arena in Brook's hometown of Sheffield, England, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn announced Wednesday. A news conference is scheduled for Monday in Sheffield, where Hearn will unveil the undercard.
"I'm so excited about boxing in my hometown of Sheffield again. London last time out [in May] was a great experience fighting in front of nearly 20,000 but I'm excited to be back there -- it is my home," Brook said. "I'm looking to excite like I always do and light up the Motorpoint Arena on Oct. 24."
Brook will find himself in the ring with an aggressive brawler with a good chin and solid power.
"Chaves is a rough, tough, durable fighter who is very dangerous," Brook said. "He's bringing something new to the table. He's coming off a draw to Tim Bradley, was ahead on the cards against Brandon Rios until he was disqualified and gave Keith Thurman a solid fight, so we know what level he has mixed at and how good he is.
Chaves (23-2-1, 19 KOs), 29, of Argentina, is just 1-2-1 in his past four bouts but he has at least given his opponents difficult fights. In July 2013, he gave Thurman all he could handle in an interim world title bout before being knocked out in the 10th round in San Antonio.
He followed that with an easy win against low-level opponent Juan Alberto Godoy in Argentina before returning to the United States to face Rios last August in Las Vegas. It was a gruelling and dirty fight before Chaves was disqualified in the ninth round for elbowing Rios. At the time of the stoppage, Chaves led by one point on two scorecards and Rios was ahead by one point on the third.
In December, Chaves faced Bradley in Las Vegas and although many had Bradley winning easily, Chaves received a generous split draw.
"We know Brook is a tough fighter, very technical," Chaves said. "He is a linear fighter, very frontal. He's not a fast fighter. He is easily bothered by body punches, and that is one of our strengths. And I believe he has problems going backwards. We saw that in his fight against Shawn Porter. When Porter charged forward, Brook had trouble adjusting to that. But we know that he is a great fighter to face, and we are going to test his punching power too, because the opponents he chose so far have not been such great punchers as the ones I have faced lately.
"I feel that my confidence grows with this challenge, knowing that I will have to face a champion like Kell Brook in his home country in England. This raises the stakes for me, going up there as an Argentine, and as a huge underdog. We know all the bad blood that exists between Argentina and England, and this will give me much more strength. I will be making history if I defeat an Englishman in his own country."
Brook (35-0, 24 KOs), 29, went on the road to Carson, California, in August 2014 and won his belt by majority decision against Porter. Weeks after the victory, Brook was severely stabbed in the leg during an incident while he was on vacation with his family celebrating his world title.
Brook was forced to cancel a December defense but made a full recovery and returned in March to make his first defense, a one-sided fourth-round destruction of mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan. On May 30, Brook made his second title defense, a one-sided sixth-round knockout of countryman Frankie Gavin.
"It's been a busy year so far boxing Dan in March and Gavin in May. This will be my third defense in seven months but a busy fighter is a happy fighter and I'm very happy at the moment," Brook said. "I'm looking forward to the next challenge and I'm feeling sharp after my break.
"I've seen some of Chaves' quotes and it's interesting to see he thinks he can walk me down and overrun me. I don't think some fighters realize how big I am and how sharp and accurate I punch and I'm looking to make a major statement against him. If he does what he promises it's going to be one hell of a fight."