Kell relishing prospect of thriving under Arena pressure

Boxing: Reports and news.
Boxing: Reports and news.
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UNDEFEATED welterweight Kell Brook insists he is not daunted by the challenge of performing in front of his home supporters.

The 25-year-old puncher headlines the Sky televised bill at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena next month when he takes on Matthew Hatton.

Brook (26-0, 18KOs) is the heavy favourite with the bookmakers to maintain his unbeaten streak in the ‘War of the Roses’ battle.

Nicknamed ‘Special K’, Brook says he thrives on the big occasions and is unfazed about the prospect of competing in his own backyard.

“I perform better under pressure,” he told The Star. “I felt nervous when my promoter [Eddie Hearn] put me on against Lovemore N’dou at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre. I hadn’t boxed at an arena before but I’ve been to Atlantic City and topped a bill at Ponds Forge since so I know what to expect.

“There is always going to be pressure with me. People expect big things of me. I’ve had that for a long time. I’ve got to deal with it the way I have been dealing with it.

“There are going to be fireworks on March 17 and people are going to see a great performance from me.”

Not for the first time, Brook, who trains at Ingle gym in Wincobank, has reiterated his desire to fight Amir Khan in the future.

“I could take on Amir Khan any time and I believe I’d beat him,” he said. “He’s just got to say: ‘Come on, let’s do it,’ and it’s on.

“Khan has fast hands and power but he can be hurt. He can be stopped.”

He has also hinted he would like to one day lock horns with American superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr.

However, Sheffield great Johnny Nelson has warned Brook not to take Hatton lightly.

Nelson said: “My worry is that Kell is going to underestimate him and doesn’t respect him. If he doesn’t respect him, it is going to be a hard fight.

“He needs to be smart, use his ring strength and be ring savvy. If he does that, he will dissect him.”