Sheffield's next world champ: Kell

Clinton Woods believes Kell Brook will be Sheffield's next world champion.

Sheffield's retired light heavy IBF kingpin regards the Ingle welterweight as " a class act" - and thinks he can exploit what he calls a "dying sport."

Brook, the 23-fight unbeaten WBO Inter-Continental champ, believes he is due a chance to compete at the level that Woods - and other Sheffield fighters like Naseem Hamed and Junior Witter - graced for so long.

Woods says: "Kell is class, he is so big for his weight it's unbelievable, really. He can be Sheffield's next world champion.

"Everybody he faces he just blows them away - and that, to be honest, is part of the problem.

"There are only a few truly fantastic fighters around in the whole sport. Manny Pacquiao is one at welter, but generally, in the other divisions - particularly at heavyweight, there are hardly any great boxers.

"Pacquiao won't fight Kell, it's not worth it for him. And that's the shame for Kell because we'd only find out exactly how good he is if he fights the best around at the time. Perhaps Kell would prove us all wrong if he ever did get in the ring with Pacquiao, but he won't get to face him because it's not the money-maker Pacquiao would want.

"But as an experience, it would be exactly what Kell needs. I had that sort of thing when I boxed Roy Jones Junior and he bashed me up (sixth round stoppage Portland, Oregon, 2002.) Kell beat Michael Jennings (last September) but that doesn't tell you the whole story. When the time came for Jennings to face somebody really good (Miguel Angel Cotto; 2009) he got annihalated. He found out how good he is, at that level. If Kell can't face Pacquiao then I hope he gets the chance against one of the other leading Americans, someone like Tim Bradley (who beat Brook's South Yorkshire stable-mate Witter in 2008.) He needs a really big test."

Woods, who hopes to open a boxing-fitness gym in Westfield soon, believes someone with Brook's undoubted fire, speed and punching power can succeed at a time when there are so many moderate performers climbing between the ropes.

"The sport is dying, as far as I can see. People don't believe me when I say that, but it's true. There is hardly any TV money available for boxing and the grassroots level is pretty dire, as far as I can see. The Audley Harrison spectacle (third-round KO by David Haye in November) was embarrassing - he was useless.

"I watched a film the other day of (former WBO heavyweight) Riddick Bowe boxing and that fight was amazing compared to what wee see now. The old boxers would laugh their heads off at what goes on now. As for the Klitschko brothers - they're past it. Haye would beat either of them. And there are no other heavyweights worth watching."

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