Few people know exactly what Kell Brook is going through, right now.
After two eye socket fractures in consecutive ring defeats, there are question marks whether it is safe for him to continue.
Coal Aston’s Andrew Facey has a better idea than most what it’s like to be in the position occupied by the deposed world champion.
The one-time super welterweight suffered a fractured bone around his eye fighting in 2002 at Derby.
Facey recovered, was out the ring less than three months, and went on to fight 14 more times.
But he is the first to stress his injury was not as significant as that of Brook, who is recovering after being stopped at Bramall Lane by new champion Errol Spence Jr.
Facey recalled: “My opponent caught me with a lucky punch, I knew something was wrong right away and I went down on my knee. A CT scan confirmed bone around my eye had been broken and my first concern was whether I’d be able to box again.
“But the bone mended stronger than ever; it would have taken a sledgehammer to have broken it. It never entered my mind it would be a problem again” said the former English title holder.
“But Kell’s situation is different. He’s had it twice.
“If he’d have carried on against Gennady Golovkin (first fracture) he would have been blinded.
“Then, you could see straight away he was in discomfort - the bone could have ripped into his eye.
“So to have that done the first time, then to suffer something like it again, it’s like a jinx.
“I didn’t see what punch from Spence could have done that to him on Saturday, for me Kell was throwing more and he was the better of the two.
“Maybe he was getting tired, only Kell will know if he felt weight-drained.”
Facey says the medical fraternity won’t rule on Brook’s future.
“Surgeons won’t put their reputation on the line by giving him a concrete recommendation on whether to continue or not.
But with a titanium plate on one side of your head and potentially another coming on the other side, who is to say whether you’d want to continue, going into a fight not knowing whether it is going to happen again?
“I don’t think anybody wants to retire on a loss but injuries like this are always going to be at the back of your mind.”
Facey contacted Brook the day after his defeat.
“I told him he didn’t let anybody down, it can be life or death in the ring, and every time you get tapped on a wound like that you’d certainly feel the pain.
“If he does retire, he will have a massive hole to fill. He’ll have to find his next adventure. It’s a hard decision to make. He has to be happy.
“Boxing is in your blood, it’s difficult to walk away. I never officially retired.
“I would love to see Kell box again but I don’t want to see him hurt. I can’t say what I think he should do, it’s up to him.
“But I wouldn’t want to see him go up to light middleweight.
“He wouldn’t benefit from going up against slightly more heavy-handed fighters especially if he has issues with his eye sockets - harder punches are not going to help. You can train your body but you can’t train your bones.”
A telling quote from Kell Brook after his defeat to Spence:
“In the later rounds, 10 and 11, especially the 11th round, the blurry vision stuck there. And that’s why I went down on one knee. And I remember the surgeon saying to me after the Golovkin fight, ‘If you would have gone another round or so, you could be blind.’ So I’d got that going through my mind.”
His trainer Dom Ingle, though, says it would not be impossible for Brook to be back campaigning before Christmas.