Former world welterweight title holder Kell Brook has begun training in Spain as a cloud continues to hang over the Sheffield man’s career.
The 31 year-old, who lost his title to Errol Spence earlier this year, has suffered broken eye sockets either side of his face in his last two contests.
Back-to-back losses against Spence and Gennady Golovkin further back in September have knocked Brook down the pound for pound pecking order, although it’s his injuries and personal problems that have brought huge doubts about his future.
‘The Special One’ will now be targeted by fighters whenever he steps into the ring, much like Antonio Margarito when his eye troubles began towards the end of his first retirement.
That fragility can lead to potential blindness if Brook gets hit too much in the same place and would be a major cause for concern, not only for the fighter but his family and promoter Eddie Hearn.
A comeback is already being talked about for this year, potentially before Christmas, although a brush with the law on a recent Easyjet flight and rumours Brook has been going off the rails in his downtime are still lingering large.
There’s also the weight factor to consider as a move up to 154 pounds seems a must for Brook but is yet to be confirmed by Hearn or trainer Dominic Ingle.
Potential opponents for Brook would be any of the October 14 winners from the announced world title triple-header at Barclays Center, all of whom the Yorkshireman would fancy his chances against.
Saying that, Brook may want to give 147 one more go in a bid to tempt Amir Khan into accepting a massive all-UK Box Office clash in the summer of 2018, which can only happen if both remain unblemished in the meantime.
Currently in camp with Billy Joe Saunders, Brook is yet to begin taking solid punches to his recently repaired facial bones – but once this begins, a clearer picture of the immediate situation will emerge.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay