By Keith Idec
Dominic Ingle didn’t suggest Sergey Rabchenko is as dangerous as Gennady Golovkin or Errol Spence Jr.
Kell Brook’s trainer just pointed out that his fighter could’ve chosen a lesser opponent for his comeback from another knockout defeat that required serious surgery. Brook picked Rabchenko for his first fight since Spence knocked him out in the 11th round of their IBF welterweight title fight May 27 in Sheffield, England, Brook’s hometown.
Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) will battle Belarus’ Rabchenko (29-2, 22 KOs) on March 3 at Sheffield Arena.
“Well, listen, he’s a tough kid,” Ingle told iFL TV during an interview posted Friday. “You know, he can take a shot. … He’s a tough, tough kid and this is his big opportunity to get back in the mix. He’s got a good pedigree and he’s only lost two fights, I think. So he’s a good name. He’s not an easy fight to come back to. You know, he could’ve had a much softer option.
“But you’ve gotta get motivated for these fights. It’s no good thinking, ‘Oh, you know, this kid’s nothing.’ You’ve got to, you know, have a bit of fear in you to make you train hard and to go through the grueling regimen, and that’s what Kell’s got.”
Rabchenko’s two losses came against junior middleweights Tony Harrison and Anthony Mundine.
Detroit’s Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) stopped Rabchenko in the ninth round of their July 2016 fight at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Rabchenko suffered his first professional defeat to Australia’s Mundine (48-8, 28 KOs), who won a 12-round split decision against him three years ago in Melbourne.
The 31-year-old Rabchenko hasn’t fought since he lost to Harrison.
Brook, also 31, has lost only to elite-level opponents, but he needs to prove he can overcome another surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone, this time around his left eye. Ingle has noticed a fresher Brook during training camp for his move up from welterweight to junior middleweight.
“I think this camp, because he’s gonna be fighting at a higher weight, he’s a lot happier,” Ingle said. “He’s feeling energized while sparring, doing rounds with Jason Quigley. So yeah, he seems fresh and he’s looking forward to the day, and he’s revitalized himself. And I think he’s looking forward to the next couple fights at light [middleweight]. So, you know, we’ll only know, again, once he gets in the ring and performs and see how it all has helped him.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.