KELL BROOK hopes to realise his uncle’s prophecy this weekend and successfully defend his world title at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.
The 31-year-old Blades fan has been a frequent visitor to the venue for his IBF World Welterweight title defence against undefeated American Errol Spence Jr, recalling childhood memories of when he was considerably lighter and able to be tossed into the air in celebration after the hosts scored.
Those days are over – even if Brook has to shed the pounds for a return to this class after last September’s middleweight loss to Gennady Golovkin – and this weekend he will be the main attraction when he steps out in his home city to face Spence. And according to Brook’s uncle, Johnny Brook, this date with destiny has been on the cards for years.
“I want it with all my heart,” Kell Brook said. “I’ve been coming down here since I was seven. My uncle Johnny told me that I would defend my world title here one day. He said, ‘You will box and you will defend your world title’.
“It’s a dream come true for me, for the city. I’ve just looked out and I’ve never seen the pitch like that before, all ready for Saturday night. I want to go out there and put a great show on for everybody.
“I’ve thought about it quite a lot and what it’s going to be like. It’s still weird seeing the floor how it is. It’s going to be strange for me to see a ring at the Lane and I’m ready for it – ready to entertain, to excite.
“Every time I come to the Lane it brings back those young memories of coming down here. I used to get chucked up in the air when they scored. Every time I come here those memories always come back.”
Thursday’s press conference followed Wednesday’s workout in the city, where Brook conspicuously avoided often using his right hand. However, the home hope insisted there was nothing untoward in terms of an injury, instead offering his southpaw opponent an interesting explanation.
“I wasn’t chucking the right hands because (those) chocolate brownies…I don’t want them to be damaged,” Brook added to laughter from the room. “I want to give it to Errol Spence, clean-cut, just been baked. That’s why I didn’t let that right hand go. I want it to be crisp so he tastes every bit of that sugar in there.”
Spence has arrived in South Yorkshire boasting a 21-0 record with 18 knockouts, and is highly thought of across the water. However, even he conceded he is yet to face an opponent of Brook’s calibre.
“I’ll tell the truth, no I have not,” said Spence. “But I’m going to prove myself Saturday night. I have the skills and ability to beat Kell Brook.”