KELL BROOK hopes to dedicate a victory in Saturday’s WBA Inter-Continental welterweight title battle at Sheffield’s Hillsborough Recreation Centre to his grandad.
The unbeaten Owlerton fighter will have plenty of family support as he takes on South African Lovemore N’do, in his first home city fight since 2005.
Fighting on home turf increases the pressure on the 25-year-old. He says: “There’s going to be nerves - of course there will. I don’t know how I’ll be.
“I’m a professional so I hope I’ll be calm and do the job in a professional manner. But with a sell-out crowd in to see me, with all my family there, it’s going to be so a great occasion. My grandad is going to be coming, which I’m so happy about. He’s getting on a bit now so he doesn’t travel too much, but he’ll be ringside.
“He’s a Sheffield man who has loved his boxing forever, all the British greats like Henry Cooper and John Conteh, so for him to be there is something very special for me.
“There’s not going to be a single face in the place that I don’t know! I’m down the road from my house, I’m in a hard fight, and I’ve got all these people coming down to see what I can do, asking ‘can he dance like he says?’”
Brook, talking from the Ingle gym in Wincobank, added: “I started coming here when I was nine. It hasn’t changed a bit - they might have given it a lick of paint the odd time but that’s it. It’s still got the same smell and the same punchbags, but we wouldn’t want it to change.
“It’s been here since Bomber Graham came here long before I was around and that’s a good thing - they say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and that’s right. I remember watching the pros doing the sparring, thinking ‘what’s all this about?’ But I loved seeing them go through that and wanted to give it a go.
“I didn’t know my left foot from my right hand, I could just punch hard and that was it at the time. Brendan (Ingle) told me to get into one of the circles and do some sparring and I was chucking my hands about and falling over myself, but I loved it and was hooked.”
Meanwhile, all-time boxing great Oscar De La Hoya, who promoted Saul Avarez, TKO victor over Ryan Rhodes last weekend, paid the Mexican this tribute: “I have to admit that at 20 years old I wasn’t even thinking of doing the things ‘Canelo’ can do.”