“I’m after belts.”
Kell Brook’s message was clear in the post-fight press conference after the Super Welterweight returned to action from a 14-month lay-off to beat Mark DeLuca with a seventh round stoppage in Sheffield on Saturday night.
The former IBF Welterweight world champion, now 33, who is being linked with a fight against Matchroom stablemate Liam Smith, picked up the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Super Welterweight strap with win number 39 from 41.. The WBO currently has Liam Smith as their number two contender and Brook will now move into the top 15 when the next set of ratings are published.
“I were very healthy in there, very fit. I feel complete now. I feel like this is me. I’ve got the fire in the belly and I want to become a two-time world champion this year,” Brook declared.
Brook believes he’s getting better and better and will now get straight back into the gym to continue training in a bid to re-establish himself as a force in boxing.
DeLuca, a former U.S Marine, had never been stopped before in his professional career was game but bloodied and beaten and ultimately outclassed in what was a substantial step up from anything he had faced before in the ring.
“I knew he were going to be tough. This was his world title fight,” said Brook. “I knew he’d be tough and durable, my cousin’s a Marine and I know how tough and durable they are and how fit they are. He were trying to set traps but I’m the better fighter. I felt very fit. I felt very good in there.”
“That’s a good fight,” said Brook when questioned about potentially facing former WBO 154lb world champion Liam Smith.
“I’m sure Eddie [Hearn] will sit down and see what numbers we can come up with and how flavourful we can make it. If he’s in the road to me becoming a world champion then he’s in the road but like I’ve told you I’ve got the fire in the belly. I want to become a two-weight world champion. All these people that say I haven’t got it anymore, I’m over the hill… they’re my motivation. I know what I want. I get up every morning and I’ve got to give myself a pat on the back. What nobody sees is for months I’ve been getting up twice a day, putting the work in, going to bed early. I’ve been living the life and with no fight date as well.”
Hearn added that the only way he would make Brook v Smith is if one of them were not going to get a world title shot or if the bout itself could be made a final eliminator with the WBO. Current champion Patrick Teixeira will defend his title against number one contender Brian Castano in April or May.
One fight that has never had a date is Kell Brook v Amir Khan. Despite the longest build-up, without an official press conference, in history some hope still remains particularly with promoter Eddie Hearn who still believes that Brook v Khan is a stadium fight. Brook, however, seems to have lost faith in the fight ever materialising.
“He’s a waste of time,” he said.
“I’d jump at that fight this summer,” Hearn interrupted. “It’s a huge fight. Just to be part of the build up would be special but we can’t waste our strategy and energy talking about it.”