Kell Brook will be just as motivated to fight American rival Brandon Rios - if the contest gets confirmed- as he was when he ripped the IBF world title away from Shawn Porter last August.
So says Brook’s trainer Dom Ingle, who noticed a significant change in attitude in the Sheffield welterweight immediately before his easy win, in May, over Frankie Gavin.
Ingle explained: “Everybody had written Kell off when he went to fight Porter in his own back yard. So he was ready for that and then after that win he suffered his stabbing incident and had to take so long out that he felt he had something to prove again when he got in with Jo Jo Dan.
“By the time he faced Gavin he’d trained for that long that every day was like Groundhog Day and he found it difficult to get up for it mentally.
“In the dressing room before the Gavin fight Kell said that his ‘adrenaline had not kicked in’ - I suppose that was because there wasn’t any fear factor.
“But the motivation would certainly be there if the Brandon Rios fight goes ahead. Who wouldn’t be up for that?
“It could be that if he wins that then a Manny Pacquiao fight would be attached, as the same promoter (Bob Arum) looks after both those fighters.”
Ingle is aware that the Gavin contest was criticised as a mismatch.
But he said: “The difference between boxers ranked in the top three and everybody else is a massive jump. Kell is in that top three.
“Frankie always looks scared, he was in the weigh-in with Kell and before that when Gavin took on Junior Witter. He fights on fear.
“Gavin might have thought he could beat Kell but everybody who experiences his first jab knows what they are going to be up against. Kell’s so strong.
“Remember Kell KO’d Hector Saldivia with a straight jab. In the last two camps we could go only four rounds with sparring partners because Kell was so much on top we had to change things.”
Ingle added Brook may have to go up a weight class in a year or more, so time is of the essence if he is to get the fights he craves at welterweight.
“Once a boxer gets past 30-31 it is more difficult to make the weight they did, I saw that with Junior Witter and Johnny Nelson. But we’ll address that issue when we need to.”
n Barnsley southpaw Robbie Barrett will defend his Central Area lightweight title at the Metrodome on June 26.
The 23-year-old from Darfield (W8 L2 D1) takes on Huddersfield’s Ismail Anwar (W5+ L7.) In form terms there is quite a difference, Barrett has won his last four, while Anwar has lost four out of his last five.
Barrett won the title in February when he outpointed Barnsley-born Brad Botham over 10 rounds.
He is looking for his first professional KO.
Barrett beat Anwar in 2013 over six rounds at Doncaster Dome.