Last August, on a summer night in California, Kell Brook (33-0, 22KO’s) shocked the boxing world by beating one of its most promising fighters. The 28-year old fighter from Sheffield beat the then undefeated IBF champion Shawn Porter by decision. Seven months later, Brook is set to come back to the ring this Saturday to make the first defense of his IBF welterweight title in his hometown of Sheffield, England.
The joy of winning the world title disappeared quickly, when only three weeks later he was stabbed in the leg while on vacation in Tenerife, Spain. Brook admitted to Sky Sports News that he thought that he would never fight again.
“I didn’t think I would be able to walk again. I was lying there thinking, forget about boxing that’s completely gone. But I am standing here now, defending my world title in a few days. That’s why I am standing here smiling.”
Brook’s opponent will be Romanian Jo Jo Dan (34-2, 18KO’s). Dan, who is fighting out of Quebec, Canada these days, earned his shot by beating Canadian Kevin Bizier twice by split decision. Making him the mandatory challenger for the IBF title.
The IBF welterweight champion is looking forward to defending his title in front of his hometown fans and promises fireworks for them. But Brook is also wary about his opponent.
“I was meant to perform and give back to the fans, Saturday can not come quick enough for me,” Brook told Sky Sports News. “It is my first title defense in my hometown of Sheffield; I’ve got Michael Buffer announcing me, and I’ve got a few things up to my sleeve for the entrance. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
“He is (Dan) the mandatory challenger and he has earned the right to be in the position he is in. There is no doubt that he is going to be 100% ready for this fight.”
“I am going to have my hands full, but all I can say is that the fans are in for a real treat. And believe me, nobody is taking my title away.”
Meanwhile, the 33-year old mandatory challenger has other ideas. Dan is very confident that he can cause the upset and take the title back to the other side of the Atlantic.
“Kell has not fought anyone like me,” Dan told reporters at the press conference. “I believe in myself and I don’t think he can bring anything I can’t deal with on fight night.”
“I am on schedule with my work and I will be in top shape on March 28. I saw his last fight where he won the World Title, and it was a great performance, but I just let my team study him in depth and come up with a winning strategy.”
The fight that is promoted as ‘Unbreakable’ will be broadcasted live in the UK on Sky Sports 1. The show will start at 7.30 UK time with the debut of Frankie Gavin (21-1, 13KO’s) on a Matchroom card against Bogdan Mitic (20-6, 13KO’s). The bout will be followed by a European super bantamweight title fight between Gavin McDonnell (12-0, 4KO’s) and Oleksandr Yegorev (13-0, 6KO’s).
In the third and final undercard, fight we will see Sheffield’s own Adam Etches (18-0, 15KO’s) against Sergey Khomitsky (29-11, 12KO’s).
The main event will also be broadcasted live in the United States on Showtime. The broadcast will start at 6.15 Eastern Time.