It was touch and go as to whether Kell Brook would ever fight again at the back end of last year as the former world champion struggled to come to terms with back-to-back defeats.
A five round loss to Gennady Golovkin in September was followed up by the crushing disappointment of losing his welterweight belt to mandatory challenger Errol Spence a few months later and Brook proceeded to go off the rails – big time.
Rumors of a wild lifestyle followed Brook around from the later summer until after the Christmas period, with reports of ‘causing drunken havoc’ on an airplane even hitting the tabloids along the way.
That’s some length of time for Brook to be completely disillusioned with his profession and as promoter Eddie Hearn explained, ‘The Special One’ was struggling to focus on his career.
“I was with Kell in October/November time and he was not in a good place. He was so overweight and he was going out and he didn’t care about boxing,” said Hearn.
“He felt that a lot of the criticism he was getting was harsh but with the people around him and getting back into the gym, he realised that boxing saves him – he needs it in his life.
“When he’s in the gym he’s happy so previously when he’s won he’s just ballooned up and enjoyed himself, now he’s said he’s going straight back in the gym and you’ve seen that he’s done exactly that – at 31 years of age you enjoy different things, spending time with the family over going out with the lads.
“He wants to feel healthy and spend time with the kids and be a role model in the gym, he’s at the stage in life where he wants to be settled and content and just get everything out of himself.”
On Brook’s capabilities and plans for the future following his eye-catching comeback win over Sergey Rabchenko, Hearn added: “There’s some World class fighters at 154lbs, the champions are all elite and there’s some brilliant other fighters in the top five, but Kell can beat them all and be the man.
“Brook is a bigger name than Charlo but he’s the champion, so make us an offer.
“Rabchenko is a World class fighter but he’s not elite level, Kell proved he’s an elite level fighter and we need another step-up in June or July and then we’re ready for the big stuff in the winter,” he said.