Brook speaks upon his latest injury
Kell Brook has voiced his dismay after sustaining a rib injury in sparring that forced him to withdraw from his scheduled July 3rd bout with Michael Jennings.
It is the fourth time a fight between the two pugilists has been scrapped and the Sheffield welterweight has told of his upset at missing out once again on a contest with the Chorley man.
In an exclusive interview with BoxRec News, Brook (photo by Steve Parkin right, sparring with Liam Cameron), the number one contender for the WBO’s world crown, said: “I’ve had to pull out because I injured my ribs in sparring. They’re really sore and Dom (Ingle – his trainer) has said I probably won’t be able to spar for the next couple of weeks, which is no good because if I fight Jennings I need to be able to spar.”
With the fight eagerly anticipated in British boxing circles, the injury is a huge blow to aficionados of the sweet science and the Yorkshireman echoes the fans’ emotions, sharing his protracted frustration. “It’s doing my head in. I’m absolutely devastated,” said Brook.
“I was really looking forward to the fight with Jennings. I think it’s the fourth time the fight has fallen through now and it’s really disappointing. I want to fight Jennings and I’ve been saying that after my last couple of fights. But it’s all up in the air now with the injury.”
Switch-hitter Brook’s proposed assignment with Jennings would have provided an indication of how the former British champion stacked up in relation to the welterweight division’s protagonists.
In 32-year-old Jennings, Brook would have encountered an opponent with experience of competing at world level, albeit a defeat at the hands of Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto for the WBO’s welterweight title in February last year.
Brook and his trainer Dominic Ingle would have hoped the Wincobank fighter could dispatch Jennings quicker than the five rounds it took Cotto to do the job. Such a victory would have sent a warning shot through the division and signalled that Brook was primed to mount an assault on the world stage.
But 24-year-old Brook, who was ringside to see his friend Ryan Rhodes’ resounding triumph over Luca Messi at Ponds Forge in Sheffield last Friday, is just hoping he can get back in the ring as soon as possible and share in some of his fellow Yorkshireman’s success. “It was a great performance from Ryan. He did the job," Brook said.
Dean Powell, matchmaker at Frank Warren Promotions, said he was unsure of the severity of Brook’s rib injury and at this stage was not in a position to predict when Brook might make a return to the ring. “We are awaiting a report detailing the damage so we’ll have to wait and see,” Powell said. “It’s unfortunate but these things happen in this business.”
Powell confirmed that John O’Donnell, who recently vacated his Commonwealth title, would replace Brook in the matchup with Jennings to be held at Preston’s Guildhall. The pair will now square off for the British title vacated by Brook in April earlier this year.
Asked whether the British public are destined to be deprived of the Brook vs. Jennings spectacle, Powell said: “It’s difficult to tell. You never know.”
Powell did, however, state that Brook would certainly be contesting the vacant WBO title at some point down the line and he was sure not to rule out the possibility of Brook meeting the winner of the rearranged match.
Undefeated Brook made a triumphant return to the ring against Krzysztof Bienias in his last outing in March after eight months of inactivity and he will have his fingers crossed that he is not subjected to a similar spell on the sidelines.
The Steel City’s rising star added: “I’m number one contender for the WBO title and hopefully I’ll fight for that at some point. But I really wanted to fight Jennings and it’s just a shame I’ve hurt my ribs.”