By Shaun Brown
It’s been a long time coming but Kell Brook’s 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 ‘The Special One’ 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.
“I think people wanna see if Kell Brook can really fight,” said the unbeaten Brit.
“It’s not always been my fault, politics behind it mean it’s (a world title shot) not happened. The thing is I’m 32-0 and people wanna see if I can fight at the top level and they’re gonna see on the 16th that I’m the real deal.”
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 it’s 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 ‘laid back’ when it comes to such demands there is a dawn of realisation as to how big Sat night has become.
“I am laid back but at the back of my mind I know it’s the biggest fight of my life. When I walked into a gym as a youngster I’ve always wanted to become champion of the world. This is the one, this is the one that I’ve been training for all my life. I am a kinda cool customer, laid back but at the back of my mind I know it’s a huge fight. But, you know, I’ve had huge pressure in Sheffield my own backyard. I seem to deal with that pressure quite nicely. It’s gonna be what it’s gonna be. I’ve done all the hard work. It’s just about me and Porter sharing that ring together on the 16th.”
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?
“It’s debatable,” he answered.
“We’ll see in this fight. He’s come on the scene and I don’t believe everything about this Shawn Porter. I’m gonna expose him on the 16th. People are gonna see and people are gonna know about my talent and why they call me ‘The Special One’. They’ll know on the 16th why.”
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 ‘Scene he doesn’t care if it’s a war or a chess match. He’s trained for every scenario. In his opinion, the best of the challenger will beat the best of the champion.
“I expect it to be what it’s gonna be. I’ve prepared for every different avenue. I’ve prepared hard and prepared well. Whatever happens in that ring on the night I’m prepared for. I’ve left no stone unturned and believe me I’m ready.
“I’m not concentrating on Shawn Porter and what he’s done in his last fights or what he’s capable of doing. I’ve been training for these past three months and it’s been the best Kell Brook and the best Kell Brook beats the best Shawn Porter for me.”
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 ‘Scene 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.
“There has been some dark times,” Brook admitted.
“I’ve got good people around me. It’s been hard, there’s no other way of putting it. It’s been very hard. But what can you do, what can you do? It’s 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.
“I’ve had Eddie telling me what’s gonna happen and to be patient and carry on with what I’m doing and here we are. Whatever he’s said is what’s happened. I’m here now and the fight’s not far away.”
And with the fight just around the corner, it’s 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 ‘Steel City’ much like Naz did in the 90s.
“A lot of the fans are buzzing about this fight but is it what is, it’s been going on for a while. This should’ve happened a year and a half ago. So people are still kinda waiting to see what Kell Brook’s all about and basically we’re here now. They don’t have too long to wait. I need to go out there and do what I’ve been doing in training. Whatever happens in that ring whether I box or whether I fight I’m willing to lay it all on the line in that fight. And I know that winning this fight I’ll get the utmost respect from all the fans all over the world. I’ll be a superstar overnight.”
Shaun Brown is the UK Editor at Boxing Scene and a contributor to Boxing Monthly. He can be contacted at
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