Sheffield ex world champion rallies behind Kell Brook

Johnny Nelson and a few other boxing big-hitters.
Johnny Nelson and a few other boxing big-hitters.
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Former world champion Johnny Nelson believes Kell Brook will be successful in his bid to join him and other Sheffield boxers at that elite level.

Nelson became WBO cruiserweight title in 1999 and wasn’t beaten until his retirement in 2005 - so he knows a thing or two about what it takes to get a belt around his waist.

Brook competes with IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter in California on Saturday night.

It is live on Sky TV - a broadcaster Nelson works for.

“I know Kell Brook inside out but what about Shawn Porter?” he asks on Sky’s website. “Will he blow Kell away like he did with Paulie Malignaggi? Or out-work him like he did with Devon Alexander?

“Porter is tough. He’s strong and that is what’s got him where he is but if he comes up against someone who can box, who can move, who is fast and who is fit, I think he will get turned over. This bloke is not a technical supremo - and Kell is.

If Kell can - and I think he can - out-box Porter, move him around and throw more punches, he will win.”

Nelson pointed to some sparring issues which might spur Brook on. “When you hear that Demetrius Andrade, the middleweight, sparred Porter a year ago, absolutely took him apart, out-boxed him and out-punched him, you can see Kell doing the same.

“I’ve heard that Brooks been sparring in the Mayweather gym with some tough Russians and he has been battering and impressing everyone. If you believe what you hear, the Porter people are worried their man is going to be in trouble. And they are worried this is a fight they should not have taken.

“Kell, on the other hand is on a high. He’s happy, is on form and training is going perfectly.

“Being in the States alone can expose people but the best, the very best fighters we produce, will perform even better.

“The pressure is on him and the home crowd want blood, will he step up a level? I think we are going to have another British world champion.”