By Shaun Brown
Itís been a long time coming but Kell Brookís moment of truth is finally here.
After a 2013 which saw his IBF welterweight title clash with then champion Devon Alexander called off three times, a somewhat unnecessary rematch with Carson Jones and the biggest win of his career against Vyacheslav Senchenko. There still remained disappointment that Brook 32-0 (22 KOs) had still not challenged for a world title.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, British boxing fans will either have their hopes realised that the Yorkshireman is in fact ĎThe Special Oneí as he calls himself or have their fears confirmed that the chance has ultimately passed after he faces the current IBF 147lb title holder, Shawn Porter 24-0-1 (15 KOs) at the StubHub Center, California.
When speaking to BoxingScene.com before he flew out to America for his biggest test to date, Brook was aware of the criticism that he and his promoter Eddie Hearn have had thrown at them after a frustrating 18 months. The 28 year old gave his own explanation as to why he thought that was.
ďI think people wanna see if Kell Brook can really fight,Ē said the unbeaten Brit.
ďItís not always been my fault, politics behind it mean itís (a world title shot) not happened. The thing is Iím 32-0 and people wanna see if I can fight at the top level and theyíre gonna see on the 16th that Iím the real deal.Ē
The former British welterweight champion who used to watch the likes of his idol Naseem Hamed do his thing at the iconic Ingles Gym in Sheffield knows itís sink or swim time. After recent career setbacks there is a sizeable amount of pressure on his shoulders to deliver another world title back to British boxing. Despite Brook describing himself as Ďlaid backí when it comes to such demands there is a dawn of realisation as to how big Sat night has become.
ďI am laid back but at the back of my mind I know itís the biggest fight of my life. When I walked into a gym as a youngster Iíve always wanted to become champion of the world. This is the one, this is the one that Iíve been training for all my life. I am a kinda cool customer, laid back but at the back of my mind I know itís a huge fight. But, you know, Iíve had huge pressure in Sheffield my own backyard. I seem to deal with that pressure quite nicely. Itís gonna be what itís gonna be. Iíve done all the hard work. Itís just about me and Porter sharing that ring together on the 16th.Ē
And what of Porter? The 26 year old champion from Akron, Ohio has all of a sudden blossomed into a devastating force at 10st 7lbs after bullying Devon Alexander into giving up his world title last December and ruthlessly dismantling Paulie Malignaggi inside four rounds in his first defence back in April. Two good wins that top anything and anyone Brook has ever fought and beat are the media and fans getting carried away with how good he is?
ďItís debatable,Ē he answered.
ďWeíll see in this fight. Heís come on the scene and I donít believe everything about this Shawn Porter. Iím gonna expose him on the 16th. People are gonna see and people are gonna know about my talent and why they call me ĎThe Special Oneí. Theyíll know on the 16th why.Ē
Combine the punching power and accuracy from Brook, the power and relentlessness from Porter and it looks on paper as we may have ourselves a very competitive world title fight that will unlikely go the distance. Brook told ĎScene he doesnít care if itís a war or a chess match. Heís trained for every scenario. In his opinion, the best of the challenger will beat the best of the champion.
ďI expect it to be what itís gonna be. Iíve prepared for every different avenue. Iíve prepared hard and prepared well. Whatever happens in that ring on the night Iím prepared for. Iíve left no stone unturned and believe me Iím ready.
ďIím not concentrating on Shawn Porter and what heís done in his last fights or what heís capable of doing. Iíve been training for these past three months and itís been the best Kell Brook and the best Kell Brook beats the best Shawn Porter for me.Ē
As people in and around the Brook camp have been telling us this is the best that he has ever looked. And during his phone interview with ĎScene it was clear to the ears that mentally he is full of belief, positivity and convinced that this is his time. A far cry from the fighter that came close to walking away from the sport after several months of setbacks that eventually saw Matchroom stablemate, Lee Purdy fight Devon Alexander, and not Brook.
ďThere has been some dark times,Ē Brook admitted.
ďIíve got good people around me. Itís been hard, thereís no other way of putting it. Itís been very hard. But what can you do, what can you do? Itís about being patient and I knew it was just a matter of time. I knew nothing was gonna get in my way this time. It was just a waiting game and making sure that everything in the plan was there to be done.
ďIíve had Eddie telling me whatís gonna happen and to be patient and carry on with what Iím doing and here we are. Whatever heís said is whatís happened. Iím here now and the fightís not far away.Ē
And with the fight just around the corner, itís as welcome for his fans back in Sheffield as it is for himself. They too have had to deal with the waiting game and the wondering if they are going to see another boxing star emerge from the ĎSteel Cityí much like Naz did in the 90s.
ďA lot of the fans are buzzing about this fight but is it what is, itís been going on for a while. This shouldíve happened a year and a half ago. So people are still kinda waiting to see what Kell Brookís all about and basically weíre here now. They donít have too long to wait. I need to go out there and do what Iíve been doing in training. Whatever happens in that ring whether I box or whether I fight Iím willing to lay it all on the line in that fight. And I know that winning this fight Iíll get the utmost respect from all the fans all over the world. Iíll be a superstar overnight.Ē
Shaun Brown is the UK Editor at Boxing Scene and a contributor to Boxing Monthly. He can be contacted at
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Tags: Kell Brook , Shawn Porter , Porter-Brook , Porter vs. Brook