Unbeaten Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook believes he will face the toughest test of his career when he tops the bill in his home city against Lovemore N’Dou tonight.
Brook (23-0) has won his last eight fights inside the distance - a run sure to come under scrutiny against 39-year-old veteran N’Dou (48-12-2), who has never been stopped in a 62-bout professional career.
Indeed, the prospect of a gruelling 12-rounder is something ambitious two-time British champion Brook welcomes having never been beyond seven three-minute sessions in the paid ranks.
“I hope I can be the first guy to stop him, he’s never been in with someone like me,” the 25-year-old said ahead of the contest at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, which is nominally for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental welterweight belt.
“That’s a challenge, but I’d love to give the fans a 12 round exciting fight. And it’s also good for me if I do go 12 rounds because I’ve never been 12 rounds before.”
South Africa-born Australian N’Dou has shared a ring with some of boxing’s leading operators including Miguel Cotto, Kermit Citron and Saul Alvarez.
However, since claiming the IBF light-welterweight championship against Naoufel Ben Rabah in February 2007, he has only won three of eight fights and is without a knockout in over three years.
Not than any of this will cause Brook to take his foe lightly.
“Lovemore N’Dou is an ex-world champion, he’s tough, game and has been in with the best,” he said. “He’s definitely a step up in class. That’s what I want - I don’t want to be fighting lesser opponents, I want to be fighting tough people.
If Brook takes care of business as expected against N’Dou, given his top 10 ranking with both the WBA and the WBO, he is confident his new handlers can deliver the world title shot he craves.
“Hopefully my next fight is a world title fight,” he added. “I’m willing to fight any of the champions. I want to chase the title and get one of those belts.”