Kell Brook says he’s ready to prove he’s an elite level fighter when he defends his IBF World Welterweight title against number one mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan tomorrow night at the Arena.
Brook is back in action following a rollercoaster ride in the last eight months, ripping the title from Shawn Porter in Los Angeles in August before a life-threatening attack on holiday in Spain just weeks later.
‘The Special One’ recovered from the attack and was told he would not only walk again but would be able to resume his career, and the Sheffield star has been on fire in the gym knowing that he’s back in the groove and at the top table of the lucrative Welterweight division.
“Every day has been a challenge but we have done it,” said Brook, who scaled 10st 5lbs 9oz at today’s weigh-in. “It’s amazing for me to defend the World title in Sheffield, with Michael Buffer announcing me into the ring, I will be stood there knowing that I was meant to do this and I belong at the elite level.
“I’ve come along way, fighting on undercards and in leisure centres to packing out this Arena as a World champion. It took me a long time to get that belt and there is no way on earth that Jo Jo Dan is taking it off me, not a prayer. I am going in there to excite, you’ll see flash and power. I’ve kept the fans waiting too long to fight again and I owe them a big performance. If Jo Jo does what he says he’s going to do and bring the fight to me well, the fans are in for a treat because you know how I fight.
“He looks like a man that has come to win. He’s the mandatory like I was against Porter and I took the title off him. It’s every fighter’s dream to challenge for a World title and to take it, so I know that he’s put in 100 per cent in the gym and he will leave it all in the ring tomorrow night.
It’s amazing for me to defend the World title in Sheffield, with Michael Buffer announcing me into the ring, I will be stood there knowing that I was meant to do this and I belong at the elite level.Kell Brook
“I would never overlook Jo Jo. It’s happened too many times in boxing that fighters are thinking about another fight and they lose the one in front of them. I am focused on him and I am making sure I take care of business. He’ll bring his best and I will bring my best, and I’ll show everyone why I am special, and I am looking to knock him out.
“Nothing can be done about these super fights unless I do the business on Saturday night. There’s going to be power, speed, accuracy and World-class boxing from me.
“I hope Jo Jo Dan takes some nice memories back to Canada of Sheffield because that’s all he’s taking back with him.”
The challenger tipped the scales at 10st 6lbs 4oz and the Romanian-Canadian is confident he can upset the odds and take the title back to Montreal.
“I feel great and I am in the best shape of my life,” said Dan. “I cannot wait for tomorrow. The weigh-in is the first opponent to get past and now it’s time for the big one.
“I know what Kell’s strengths and weaknesses are and I’ll show that in the ring. He was impressive against Porter but I am ready to adjust to whatever he can bring and I am ready for 12 hard rounds.
“Who doesn’t want to fight Mayweather or Pacquiao for millions of dollars? Everybody. That’s the reality, the money is amazing. But I am concentrating on Kell Brook. I will get booed, he will get cheered - I don’t care about that, I’m so confident of winning that title.”
Brook and Dan top a huge night of action in Sheffield as local favourite Adam Etches defends his IBF International Middleweight title against Sergey Khomitsky and Gavin McDonnell continues his fairy tale story challenging Ukrainian Oleksandr Yegorov for the vacant European Super Bantamweight title.