DOMINIC INGLE, trainer of Kell Brook, believes his charge’s undefeated mentality sets him apart from fighters like Amir Khan ahead of his monster clash with unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
IBF welterweight king Brook will make the leap to 160lbs on September 10 when he challenges the WBA, WBC and IBF supremo at the O2 Arena in London.
It echoes Khan’s surprise fight with the much larger Canelo Alvarez in May, during which Amir was brutally knocked out, but Ingle feels there are some stark differences between that and Brook’s meeting with ‘GGG’.
“If I’m being honest, it [the Golovkin fight] wasn’t the first choice. The difference is that Khan’s been in that position, way, way back – Briedis Prescott, Danny Garcia – he knows what it’s like to get chinned,” he told Boxing News.
“Being in that position where you’ve been a superstar and then you haven’t lived up to the hype, I suppose you get hardened to that. When you’ve been chinned twice, he knew what the worst-case scenario was, regardless of what he’s telling people, as a fighter you know, you go into that ring knowing your strengths and weaknesses. If he said he went into that fight not knowing there was a chance of getting knocked out, I don’t believe him.
“But he’s still got a big following so he probably knows that life after getting knocked out probably isn’t as bad as you think. No matter what Amir Khan does he will always have people backing him. Kell Brook’s not in that position, he has an unbeaten record. He’s going into this fight with the mindset of being able to win, not thinking ‘oh I can do alright if I finish on my feet’ or whatever, that’s not really in Kell’s make-up. He doesn’t know what defeat is. For Kell, failure is not an option. That’s why it’s a different fight to Canelo and Khan.”
Indeed Brook will be just the third unbeaten fighter Golovkin has faced as a pro, after the Kazakh hammered unassuming Mikhail Makarov way back in 2009 before swatting aside a terrified Dominic Wade in his last outing.
There is a notorious amount of animosity between Brook and Khan, and their respective teams, as negotiations to secure a superfight between the two have failed in the past. Although, it should be noted that Khan is backing his fellow Brit.
Some observers, including Paulie Malignaggi, feel Brook is condemned to the same fate as Khan, purely because of the difference in natural weight.
Khan, a welterweight at the time, elected to fight Canelo at a 155lb catchweight. The Bolton fighter started out life as a lightweight, meaning he had to pack on a fair bit of weight to try and match the thick-set Mexican.
Khan’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, revealed that he needed to sit down with Amir before agreeing to train him for a fight with Canelo in order to hear his fighter outline how he would handle the contest. While Brook, naturally, sought the advice of his long-time trainer Ingle, Dominic pointed out that Kell is the one who makes the final call.
“Khan jumped up more than he could handle, I think he put on too much weight thinking he could use strength, when he should have used his speed and boxing brain,” he mused.
“In terms of Kell consulting me [about fighting Golovkin], at the end of the day, Kell’s well aware of his ability. If he’s made his mind up for that fight, he’s made his mind up. It’s then up to me whether I think he’s actually capable of doing it, if he isn’t then it’s down to me to tell him and say ‘I’m not going to be training you.’
“Regardless, I’ll give him the pros and cons and he’ll decide. At the end of the day he’s a fighter, he’s been doing it all his life, he’s got a good measure of where he’s at. I’ve come across a lot of fighters who think they’re a lot better than they are. Kell would never take this fight just to be second, he’s not that type of guy. I said to him, ‘even though you’re 30 there will be other options down the line, unification fights’ and he said ‘no, I’m going to beat this kid.’”