THE scar is a reminder. Last year Kell Brook was the victim of a terrifying machete attack that hacked into his leg. He could have lost his life. He could have lost the ability to box again, not to mention the chance to defend the world title he had so recently won.
In hospital in Tenerife he passed in and out of consciousness. “I was laying there. No one could speak English, I was looking down at my leg, I had drips in each arm. I just thought two weeks ago I was at the top of the world and now I’m laying in a hospital bed with my leg tied up,” he recalled. “I’d just come out of theatre, I had a blood transfusion, everyone’s speaking, all these bright lights and not knowing what’s going off, it was horrific.
“I was just happy to open my eyes, I was getting wheeled out and getting outside hospital and feeling free air and looking at the sun, I was just happy to be alive.”
This Saturday, March 28, he will go out under the lights at the Motorpoint Arena in his Sheffield hometown, putting his IBF weltweight on the line against Jo Jo Dan. It is an incredible recovery.
“I was born to do this,” he said quietly. “It’s made me push on. I’ve got a second chance at it. With everything’s that’s happened, my daughter [being born], with this happening I just believe it’s my destiny to go out there and do what I’m supposed to do. Win and put on great performances for everybody.”
Brook insists that he will move past memories of that night and his injury. “I’ve put it behind me. You can’t keep thinking about how bad and horrific it was. It’ll slow you down. I’ll just look into the future and think, ‘I’m here, I’m fit.’ I’m getting the same, if not better results [in training] as I did for the [Shawn] Porter fight and many other fights before. It’s made me push on even more in training. I’ve had another baby daughter. It all adds to the bank, it makes me push on even more. It’s a new chapter for me.”
He insists too that physically he is fully healed. “Now it’s no different to the other leg. I can do everything I used to do,” he said, though his training has been evolving. “We’re always bringing in something new, there’s a lot of science in boxing. We’re doing different things with swimming, we get heart rate monitors on, we’re just doing different little things,” he said. “We’re seeing benefits from it. We’re always chopping and changing things, [use] what’s working and what wasn’t working we scrap.”
“I’m just so excited to be back from the leg to even be fighting again. There’s so much I want to prove. It’s just started for me,” Kell promised.
“I want to show everyone what I can really do.”