IF KELL Brook is going to achieve his childhood dream of becoming a world champion, the Grenoside boxer knows he is going to have to do it the hard way.
On February 23 at the Masonic Theatre, which holds 5,000 fans, in Detroit, the undefeated Sheffield puncher will challenge Devon Alexander for his IBF world welterweight title.
Although Brook’s record reads 29-0 (19 KOs), he accepts American Alexander is a step up in class compared to his previous opponents. St Louis native Alexander also has home advantage, so although the bookmakers see the bout as even, the odds are stacked against Brook.
But speaking at a press conference yesterday at the Memorial Hall in Sheffield, promoter Eddie Hearn revealed the balance of judges in terms of nationality will be one neutral judge, one British and one American. Brook’s fight was originally pencilled in for this Saturday but he sustained an ankle problem during a warm-weather training camp in the Canaries. It is a relief to Brook’s camp it is not an all American judging panel.
“I am very relieved; it sounds like we are on an level playing field,” Brook told The Star. “Now we are going to see who the better man is on the night. I am putting the work in as I don’t want to leave it to the judges call.”
Dominic Ingle, Brook’s trainer, says “no stone has been left unturned” in his proteges preparations. He claims Alexander has brought in a dietician and a strength and conditioning coach for the first time because he fears the 26-year-old’s ability, saying:
“I can tell you for a fact this guy is worried,” he said.
Ingle added: “It is a big ask going into Alexander’s own backyard. It is never an easy thing. It is not going to be like when Ricky Hatton did it in Manchester in front of his crowd or when Naseem Hamed did it in Wales.
“There are very few people in British boxing who have managed to do it.”