Kell Brook insisted that he wasn’t distracted or worried about weight issues before taking on Terence Crawford on Saturday.
There were doubts Brook could make the 147 pounds back after boxing in his last fight at 154 pounds, a formidable seventh round knockout win against Mark DeLuca in February.
But Brook (39-2, 27 KOs), 34, of Sheffield, England, tortured his body again to make it welterweight after being given the opportunity to disrupt the odds and become a two-time world champion.
Instead of worrying about the scales, Brook competes against Crawford for the WBO belt, believing his size will be an advantage instead of going down at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“As I got older, I got more disciplined and wiser about these things and I know how painful it is to lose the last ten pounds, so I started gaining weight much earlier,” Brook told ESPN for three weeks prior to the Fight night.
“I started very early and took care of my weight. There won’t be a problem getting 147 pounds and I’ll be able to exchange shots if necessary. People will have their own opinions on this, though I know what I am ‘I do. “
But it will take an almighty surprise before Brook regains a version of the world’s welterweight.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), 33, of Omaha, Nebraska, was ranked # 1 on ESPN’s pound-for-pound list after Teofimo Lopez took a shock point win over Vasiliy Lomachenko last month.
Brook has said his size and experience will surprise him again. Brook made three world title defenses from 2014 to 2017, but Gennadiy Golovkin – middleweight – and Errol Spence Jr. stopped him in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and the Briton suffered broken eye sockets in both bouts.
“I think Crawford is definitely up there with Golovkin, some people have him as the # 1 pound for pound fighters,” added Brook.
“But I think it’s going to be like Lopez-Lomachenko, I felt the difference between myself and Golovkin. I’m a big welterweight and Crawford started lightweight so I’m obviously the bigger guy. I have experience on mine too I’ve been with the likes of Shawn Porter and Errol Spence and I know what these top guys are going to be like.
“I will use my size and experience to my advantage and if he wants to work I will not let him.”
Brook admitted his motivation for the sport diminished after losing to American Spence and then went without a fight for 14 months before defeating DeLuca. A suspicious money fight with the English rival Amir Khan never came off and after three fights without a title Brook gets what is probably the last chance for fame.
“I’ve got the fire in my stomach again,” said Brook. “There were moments when I thought I didn’t mean to do this and you don’t know what good times were. It was love and hate depending on how I was feeling at the moment, but it’s my time and me now ‘I’m in love with training.
“I’m still happy and enjoying training and my body is reacting to training and I’m happy to be in a massive fight in 2020 because there are a lot of boxers on my back right now. There are people out of work and has COVID-19 ruined the community so I’m grateful for this chance.
“The lows have dealt with the politics of boxing and the feeling that the love for me is gone, not the taste and suddenly people don’t care about you anymore when you’ve always been the special one and having fights.
“It’s a love-hate game for this sport. If you’re not relevant and have nothing to train and give you that boost, with mediocre fights, it doesn’t give you that buzz.
“DeLuca was a big moment for me, it was important to see how I was doing, to make myself relevant again and to see if I still had it. It showed that I had it and it was well received, nobody had DeLuca stopped this way. “
Brook was fortunate that COVID-19 didn’t put a brake on his career, but it made him switch coaches and move from Dominic Ingle, who has been in his corner for most of his career, to Carlos Formento.
Brook found Formento on Instagram and started working with him when he was living in the Spanish Canary Islands and Brook wanted to train in Fuerteventura for a month.
“It is [COVID-19] Everything mixed up, I had to isolate myself for two weeks for all of them, I had to change Dom’s coach, “said Brook.” When I went to Fuerteventura, Dom didn’t want to go if he wasn’t. I wasn’t allowed into the country or because of other fighters. “
COVID-19 has also halted the capacity masses at sporting events around the world, and Brook says that boxing behind closed doors contributed to some big surprises, such as Lopez Lomachenko beating all four world lightweight titles and Alexander Povetkin Dillian Defeated Whyte in the heavyweight division.
“These shocks could happen because there are no crowds,” added Brook.
“Crowds make you more awake, give you that fear, make you improve your game. I knew Lopez would do the damage and we saw the favorites don’t win, so it might have something to do with it.”