Sheffield boxing: A win under the stars for Kell

Kell Brook: starry eyed, but ready for world domination.
Kell Brook: starry eyed, but ready for world domination.

Just one year ago Kell Brook was celebrating an eighth round TKO over American Carson Jones in an open air venue in Hull.

Now 12 months and three weeks later, he is about to take part in another American combat mission under the open skies...only this time for a world title.

On Saturday, he faces IBF champion Shawn Porter in what’s normally an outdoor tennis arena, converted for 8,000 fight fans. “It is a wicked place to win a world title” says Brook. “Los Angeles and those Hollywood hills are a beautiful place to be. Open air is exciting. This will be my 33rd fight; there is nothing new I can face. I have had to overcome the disappointment of (previous) injury postponements. It has made me more patient.

“I was in a bad, bad way when it was called off in the past, I was driven to tears. I was in the darkest place in my career. But after that I never set my heart on any date and now it’s worked out for the best.”

Last year, Brook beat Porter at Craven Park Stadium, Hull, a show which attracted fans to watch local boy Luke Campbell beat Andy Harris. Although Brook is now up against an American in America, there is not going to be a huge support for Porter. Porter is from Ohio and there are no locals on the bill.

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya told ESPN’s Dan Rafael: “The fact that you have no local fighters does not matter. LA fans are accustomed to watching great fights no matter where they’re from and the fact that the fighters will be performing at the StubHub Center, there’s a bit of added pressure for every fighter because you must perform.

“It reminds me kind of the ‘Thunderdome’ movie with Mel Gibson. I mean, you have to fight there, you have to. The atmosphere is great. The fans are expecting great fights and I believe this is what Brook and Porter will give us: a tremendous fight.”

The $150m complex, 10 ten miles from downtown LA, spans 125 acres on the California State University campus and has staged fights involving Marco Antonio Barrera, Marcos Maidana, Robert Guerrero, Devon Alexander and Andre Ward.