Kell Brook - the fighting pride of Sheffield - and what his scrap with Errol Spence Jr means to his city and the world of boxing
Arguably the biggest boxing event ever staged in Sheffield history is only days away.
‘Special’ Kell Brook v Erroll ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr - The UK v the USA, at Bramall Lane.
The well-schooled Brook against the speed and technique of the new KO kid on the block. Here, we ask Sheffield experts for their prediction and what the event means to the sport and the city.
Atif Shafiq (Ingle gym mate): This is a huge event for Sheffield and I am super excited to be a part of it. I’ve been training with Kell for 10 years now and this is the best shape I’ve ever seen him in, physically and mentally. Getting back down to welterweight will give him a mental edge, he has left no stone unturned.
The 27,000 fans will be a huge advantage as Kell will be feeding off the energy from each and every single person, he will raise his game to a new level.
Waleed Din: It’s brilliant for the city. I’ve even had people asking me for places to stay as the hotels are all sold out! With a couple weeks to go at a check weigh-in he was only 6lb over, so obviously has done the weight right. Kell’s massive and can dig so I’m siding with him on this one. The fans are an advantage, when it gets tough in there and I’m sure it will. It does give you that extra boost!
Esham Pickering: On a world scale the biggest from Sheffield ever. It’s a great fight and broadcast live on Showtime America. Eddie Hearn keeps delivering massive events which credits our sport. Kell’s had to work hard going up to middleweight and then dropping back down to welter. Nearly 30,000 people yelling for Kell will be an advantage although he maybe nervous before the event, when the first bell goes he will feel the energy.
Sam O’maison: Boxing started in England and we should host these types of big fights. Kell will be good at the weight. He’s done it too many times before. The question is has Kell got Spence at the wrong time or has Spence got Kell at the right time? And will the first lost from Gennady Golovkin have an impact on Kell’s mental performance? The number of fans won’t make any difference. When you’re in the zone you’re in the zone.
The undercard should have been better though- more home fighters from Sheffield on it, in 50/50 fights. Shame it hasn’t been done.
Lee Noble: I’m going late Kell stoppage or clear points win; he’s done it once against Shawn Porter and it will happen again. I can see Errol folding when the ‘chocolate brownie’ lands.
Dennis Hobson: This is a great event for Sheffield. Any boxing at a football stadium is a big deal. Kell is a very strong welterweight. He should be at his peak and have more experience. The hype is that it is too soon for Spence. The effect on the crowd depends on the individual. It energises you or saps you with the pressure. Being at home is a big advantage. Clinton Woods was unbeatable at home, but never performed away
Amer Khan: Boxing is booming and after the Anthony Joshua fight everyone is excited about this one too. Kell is boxing for pride on a dream show in his home town, and Spence needs to win to further his career. Kell’s got a very strong, robust body that can take the hammering of training and making weight.
This has always been what makes Kell a cut above the rest. Spence is a strong southpaw but he stands in front of you. Kell’s right hand is the perfect answer to Spence’s style.
Chris Dutton: Kell will win but he’ll have a fight on his hands. If you look at the opponents they have had, Kell has fought the better boxers. Kell is not going to let this guy take his belt.
Andy Marlow: It’s been too long since the Bramall Lane ground was used as a boxing venue. This contest is very intriguing...a good match up. Brook’s experience will show through from the early rounds but I can’t see him having it all his own way, Spence is a quality boxer but I can see a late stoppage for Brook.
With the Klitschko-Joshua contest being so well matched the fight fans are hungry for more real quality match-ups and this could be one of them.
Ryan Hardy: This is massive for both Sheffield and British boxing, albeit the choice of stadia a questionable one: We’re all Wednesday, aren’t we?! People complain about PPV but the numbers speak for themselves.
If Kell has made weight in the correct manner and over a sensible timescale we’ll see the best of Kell, who delivers a performance that shows his elite level skill and maturity, bringing a late stoppage after a one-sided affair.
Spence is very good, but his greatest tests have come in the form of an aging Bundu and pumped up light welter in Algieri. This is Kell’s chance to show the US he is the best welterweight on the planet, and propel himself into a unification with Keith Thurman, or a duel with the aptly-named Amir ‘Kardashian’ Khan.
Ross Burkinshaw: Apart from GGG, Spence is the hardest opponent Kell has faced. Spence was an amazing amateur and backed it up in the pro game.
This is the biggest fight Sheffield has seen since the days of Naseem Hamed. Kell as clearly shown that weight is no problem.
He’s a down to earth Steel City kid and he will want to do Sheffield proud.
Muheeb Fazeldin: This great for Sheffield and world boxing. Boxing needs these big fights, real fights. The best should fight the best. Kell has never failed making welterweight before. So that will not be the issue. For both fighters it’s a matter of who deals and soaks up the crowd support better. Both will get a great support.
Liam Cameron: This is a big event for Sheffield at our best football ground and with our best champion. Brook will be confident in making weight he has a nutritionist and they know what they on about he also has a great team. I wish I was fighting on it!
Tommy Frank: The spotlight will be on our city and that can only be a good thing especially after the buzz from Joshua-Klitschko. I see Kell edging out Spence in a close points decision. I rate Spence highly; he will go on to reach the pinnacle of the sport but I think Brook will fight him at just the right time. Spence is still a bit green and Brook’s championship experience and sharpness will see him defend his title successfully. I don’t think the weight will be an issue seeing how good a shape he is in and he will be punching hard back down at welterweight.
Kell’s boxed at the top before having to go over to America to win his title and facing Golovkin in a huge event. Pressure will not be a problem - he’ll want to put on a performance to remember for his home fans.
Jon Buster Keeton: I’m no football fan but Bramall Lane is a great choice of venue. Kell is up for this, big time. His trainer Dominic Ingle will have been living with Kell and watching his every move, no stone will be left unturned. Kell thrives on danger and pressure. He wins late stoppage or points. Come on Babi!
Wayne Reed: It’s massive for the city, an outdoor event like this: let’s hope it doesn’t rain! If Kell’s cut the weight right it will be a very good contest but it’s a massive step up in class for Spence.
Home advantage is always good, a more relaxing atmosphere for Kell.