Kell Brook returns to the ring this Saturday when he faces Jo Jo Dan, making his first defence of his IBF welterweight title. Brook feels he deserves more respect and intends to make a statement against the Romanian professional boxer.
Kell Brook’s last fight came more than six months ago when he dethroned then IBF champ Shawn Porter to become world champion. Weeks after winning the world title he found himself lying in hospital in Tenerife after receiving a career-threatening stab wound to his thigh.
Brook has been working his way back to fitness since that fateful night in Tenerife. He feels that the incident has overshadowed his title-winning night in America in what should have gone down as a defining performance.
“I don’t think that I got enough credit for the win,” Brook said.
“Before the fight people were saying I hadn’t been in with anyone and I said after I beat Shawn Porter, ‘the Mike Tyson of the 147lb division’, give me the respect I deserve.
“Everybody agreed, but I still don’t really feel I have had the respect for going into the guy’s backyard and doing what people said I couldn’t do and beat him, school him.”
Kell Brook fighting in the welterweight division means there is a host of potential of big money fights out there of him once he gets his mandatory challenger out the way. He could well be facing the likes of Keith Thurman, Amir Khan or even the winner of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout, should he get past Jo Jo Dan.
However, the 28-year-old knows from his own experience the threat that a mandatory challenger brings to the ring, having been in this position when he won his world title against Shawn Porter in August 2014.
Kell Brook is fully aware of the job at hand. Before any potential big money fight in the future he needs to deal with Dan at his home city’s Motorpoint Arena. Jo Jo Dan will be targeting his biggest upset with a win against Brook and the Sheffield man will need to keep his emotions in check and concentrate on the job at hand.
“Mandatories come along and you have to deal with them,” he said. “He’s earned his position like I did against Porter, so he gets his chance to take that title off me – but that’s not happening.
“I am not looking past him, but I know that there are massive fights out there for me in the division and after I take care of business tonight, I am free to fight anyone.”
Kell Brook will need to be mentally resolute ahead of his first fight since being stabbed in Tenerife. If the 28-year-old is ready and focused he will bring the win home.
The only problem I see for Brook is if he suffers flashbacks to his machete attack – then this might effect his performance.
Kell Brook may have not had enough time to come to terms with the attack in September, which almost claimed his life: he went straight into training for Dan as soon as the wound to his left leg healed.
This may cause a problem.