By Jake Donovan
You’ll have to forgive Kell Brook for feeling a bit disrespected leading into this weekend’s bout with Carson Jones. The Sheffield native is enjoying the best stretch of his career and believes he has entered his optimal prime.
Enough has been made of his name and achievements to where he enjoys a second straight homecoming, with Saturday’s bout taking place at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. The very same venue saw Brook (27-0, 18KO) easily turn back the challenge of Matthew Hatton this past March.
The past 12 months have also included notable wins over welterweight contender Rafal Jackiewicz and former 140 lb. titlist Lovemore N’Dou, as well as his U.S. debut when he dispatched Luis Galarza in five rounds last December in Atlantic City.
Yet for whatever reason, opponent Carson Jones (34-8-2, 24KO) remains unconvinced that standing in front of him on Saturday will be a formidable challenge. The American spoiler has traded barbs with the unbeaten Brit throughout the entire promotion, all the way up to and including Wednesday’s press conference at Napoleon’s Casino.
Brook shared a dais with his upcoming opponent, with only promoter Eddie Hearn separating the two. There were moments where Brook admits to wishing the fight began three days earlier, but promises to bottle it for Saturday’s main event, which airs live on Sky Sports.
“I can’t wait to get my hands on him. I wanted to strangle him (Wednesday at the press conference,” Brook admits. “I have to be professional about it. I’ve been tapering down. When that bell rings, we’re going to make him miss and I’m going to make him pay big time.”
The insistence from the Jones camp is that the 26-year old Brook is in over his head for a fight of this magnitude, where the winner is no further than one more win away from challenging for a world title.
Brook doesn’t quite understand the logic, given his recent accomplishment, superior record and the fact that he will have a sea of hometown supporters on hand come fight night.
“He’s been beat before, that’s in the back of his mind,” Brook believes. “I’m 26 now and you start to come into these years where you believe you’re invincible. Whoever I box, the better they are the better I am. Let’s hope this kid is good.”
Some mistake the unbeaten welterweight’s confidence for arrogance. Brook sees it as the necessary swagger required to him through the day in this brutal profession. The saying goes that once a fighter begins to talk about retirement, he is already retired in his mind.
As far as Brook goes, the same goes for losing, which he refuses to accept as an option.
“If I went into a fight thinking I can lose, that’d be stupid. I always train to win. I put the hard work in the gym to make sure of that.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox