‘Bramall Lane will make all the difference’

Kell Brook will get the backing of Bramall Lane
Kell Brook will get the backing of Bramall Lane
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It has cowed some of English football’s greatest names into submission and, by their own manager’s admission, helped Sheffield United win promotion last term.

So, when Kell Brook attempts to defend his world title this evening, Chris Wilder thinks the Bramall Lane crowd will prove the difference once again.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder knows all about the power of Bramall Lane. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder knows all about the power of Bramall Lane. Pic David Klein/Sportimage

“It’ll be great, there’ll be an electric atmosphere inside our place, you can guarantee that,” Wilder, who will be watching from ringside, said “I’m sure Kell will feed off the energy of the fans, as our players have this year, and that will drive him forward. They really are capable of that. Doing underestimate the power of the fans.”

Brook has made no secret of where his footballing allegiance in the city lies during the build-up to his IBF welterweight contest with American Errol Spence Jr. The 31-year-old has been a regular visitor to United’s training complex in recent seasons and has the Blades emblem printed on his boxing apparel.

But Wilder is adamant that Spence, who hails from New York City, will be disappointed if he thinks that means Sheffield Wednesday supporters will be rooting for him.

“Everybody recognises it’s a live fight, it’s a tough fight and that’s what everybody wants to see,” Wilder said. “Kell will get absolutely unbelievable backing; from the whole of Sheffield. I know the majority there will be from the red and white side, I get that, but he’ll get it from both. No doubt about it. He’s from Sheffield, a Sheffield lad.”

George Groves and Chris Wilder met each other earlier this week

George Groves and Chris Wilder met each other earlier this week

Wilder and his squad were also among the crowd when Brook faced Gennady Golovkin at the O2 Arena, London, in September. Earlier this week he was pictured showing co-headliner and Chelsea fan George Groves around the stadium.

With Antonio Conte’s side facing Arsenal in the FA Cup final later today, Wilder said: “He (Groves) was a good guy. It was the first time I’d met him and he’s a really top lad.

“I did tell him that, if you come out in a red and white shirt, you’ll get everybody behind you. I can’t see George doing that but hopefully it’s a successful night for him as well.”