Kell Brook discusses Errol Spence Jr. test, eye injury and legacy
Kell Brook will defend his IBF World Welterweight title against U.S. star Errol Spence Jr. at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on Saturday May 27, live on Sky Sports Box Office and live on SHOWTIME®. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will begin at 5:15 p.m. ET / 2:15 p.m. PT.
Both Brook and Spence took part in a media conference call recently to discuss the bout.
Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) will make the fourth defense of his IBF belt against Spence (21-0, 18 KOs), the mandatory challenger and one of the most highly regarded contenders in the sport today.
Here is what Kell Brook had to say on the call:
“I think [Errol Spence] is a great talent. He’s been doing what is being asked of him. He’s been knocking over everyone that’s been put in front of him, but he’s up against the champion now. A big strong welterweight and I believe that I train very, very hard and I’m ready to fight and I am very honored to fight in my home city of Sheffield.
“I’m up for this fight and I know what I’m up against. Errol Spence is a talented fighter and I know that it is going to be a very, very tough match but I have been putting the work in at the gym and I’m in absolute focus… I’m ready for anything that comes next Saturday.
“[The crowd size] is definitely up there and that added pressure is going to make me sharper and more aware on the night of the fight. I’m fighting in my hometown and it’s going to give me a lot more energy, I’m very positive. I’m out here training in the Canary Islands and in the storm and in the heat. I’ve been sparring with big fat guys that are strong, tough middleweights with good punches… I’d like to say I’ve sparred with two to three fighters a day… I’ve been putting myself through it in training and I’ve made sure that I’ve done everything to make sure I dominate and I’m in a great place.”
When were you confident that your eye was okay?
“I am very confident in my surgeon… You know it’s always nice, well not nice, but getting punched for the first time and feeling it in the first spar it’s always good to take that first boxer. Since then, it just feels brand new so there’s no doubt there in the eye.”
I assume that you feel you are the best welterweight in this division. Who do you think is second best? And where do you think Errol Spence fits in that mix?
“I think the second best has to be Keith Thurman. I think Errol is maybe next below Thurman. He’s definitely high up there. I’ve got a lot of respect for Errol Spence. His hook is the real deal and I think he’s the real deal. I just don’t think it’s his turn yet. Specially up against someone like me. I’m an animal. I’ve done the weight right and like I said, I’m ready for whatever Errol brings.
What does it say about Errol that he is willing to go to your hometown for a world title shot like you did coming to the U.S. to win your world title?
“It just shows me that he believes in his abilities. I was in the same position that he was in. End of the day it’s just going to be me and him in the ring no matter where it is. It’s just going to be me and him. He believes in his talent and I know he’s going to be up for it because when I was coming to fight Porter as the challenger it was a dream and it’s now his dream fighting for the biggest fight of his life, for all the marbles and the world title. I know what he’s going through. He’s flying over to England, I flew to America. There are many things that go through your mind. You question yourself; you ask yourself many, many questions. I know all that is being asked of him to get him to this stage.
“The thing is that he’s up against me and I know what it takes to be champion. I’ve defended it so many times. I know it’s going to be a hard, hard fight but I’ve also put myself through it. I know what it takes to be champion and I know what it takes to defend that title. So, it’s going to be one hell of a fight. It’s the best fighting the best so all I can say is it’s going to be an amazing fight.”
How much of an advantage do you feel in this fight?
“I can’t really tell you that. I just know that I’ve fought at a world title level. I’ve beat the champion before. I’ve been in big fights. I know it is hard being the challenger, I know it is hard being the champion. All I know is I’m up against a very, very good fighter in Errol Spence and all I can say is I’ve prepared 100 percent for this fight.”
Can you tell us why you think you won the fight against Shawn Porter?
“I won the fight because I won the fight and I threw more shots and caught him with the cleaner shots. He was jumping in and I won the fight with the cleaner shots and I hit him more than he hit me. That’s why.”
How does it feel to come off a huge fight and go in to another big fight back-to-back?
“That’s where I want to be… I want to be putting the biggest fights on for the fans because when my time is up I want remembered as the guy who never ducked anybody when the biggest fights could be made… I want to fight all the top guys.”