JOHNNY Nelson has every confidence that Kell Brook will be the next Sheffield fighter to rule the world.
The former Ingle-trained WBO world cruiserweight champion, who reigned from 1999 until his retirement in 2005, now works as a pundit and presenter as part of Sky’s boxing team and has seen ‘Special K’, aged 25, develop as a fighter over the years.
He worked ringside for Brook’s last outing against the tough Lovemore N’Dou in June and thinks the manner in which he beat the South African proved that the welterweight has got what it takes to be a world beater.
“The way he got rid of N’Dou was really impressive. Everyone expected him to win – just not in the way that he did,” Nelson told The Star.
“He didn’t try to be too cute, he didn’t try to tactically outbox, he took the fight to him and showed what he was all about.”
Following the success of the show at Hillsborough leisure centre last time around, Brook will be headlining again in October against former European champion Rafal Jackiewicz and Nelson has praised his new promoters Matchroom for backing Brook. He said: “I call Matchroom the mean machine of boxing. They had Chris Eubank and me for a while. They know how to make boxers stars and they’ve got worldwide connections which can only be good for Kell.
“I think Kell is an uncut diamond and Matchroom can take him places. Kell is definitely world title level, he’s got all the skills you need, but he needs some world title experience to make him the complete fighter.”
Nelson was in attendance at Dennis Hobson’s show last month and he thinks the local scene is thriving. “You’ve got promoters like Dennis putting on shows like this and with there being no TV cameras, it’s a hard-sell and yet the venue is still packed out. So give credit where credit’s due,” said Nelson.
Brook’s match up with Jackiewicz at Ponds Forge on October 8 will be another memorable Sheffield fight night, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I’m delighted to bring Kell back to Sheffield again, especially after the special atmosphere the fans created at his last fight” said Hearn.
“Rafal provides the next step up in terms of tests for Kell. Both fighters know they are on the verge of a world title shot, a slip up can destroy dreams so expect an explosive fight. Kell is on the threshold of a World Title shot and victory against Jackiewicz could set up an early 2012 shot with WBA Champion Vyacheslav Senchenko. I’ve also had discussions about the prospect of meeting Andre Berto should he capture the IBF title (v Jan Zaveck, September) and with Rafal’s number five IBF rating, this is a real possibility.”