Sheffield Arena await ‘dignified’ scrap

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It was a polite, respectful press conference: most people referred to Kell Brook’s Ukranian opponent as Mr Senchenko.

Partly, that may have been down to the fact that his first name, Vyacheslav, was not the easiest to pronounce.

But there was a real sense ,in yesterday’s media meeting at Sheffield Arena, that both gladiators poised to do battle at the venue on October 26 deserved to be cordially treated.

The visiting promoter Yuri Ruban pointed out that their native Donetsk was twinned with Sheffield and extended fraternal greetings.

He said: “We know the record sheet of Kell Brook. We have watched pretty much every fight that he has been involved in.

“We are expecting a very serious and very dignified fight. And let the Olympic principle win!

Smartly-suited Senchenko, 36, referred to his last fight in England, November 2012, in the KO of Ricky Hatton.

“I enjoyed it and hope I will leave (the UK) again with a victory” he said,

And of the Arena, which has already sold 5,000 tickets, he added: “My fans will be less in numbers than Kell, but nonetheless if the venue is sold out then it is a massive boost to sportsmen and we are hoping for a very good fight.”

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is not sugar-coating the threat the Ukranian brings.

He said: “After the Carson Jones saga, we were looking for an opponent who would gain Kell the respect, the credibility and the danger that we need in moving forward.

“We all know the the disappointment (injuries) of Kell missing out on his shot with Devon Alexander, for the IBF title.

“That is done, that is over, that is a chapter we have put behind ourselves now.

“And one day we may look back and smile at that unfortunate process.

But for now its aboutwe have big meaningul fights, testing KB as much as we can and we feel have the perfect opponent to do that in Mr Senchenko.”

Hearn said it was common knowledge that he was piloting Brook towards a major fight with the likes of Amir Khan, but a

loss against Mr Senchenko would mean that would all be over.

“And I believe that is one of the reasons why this opportunity was taken by the other team” he said.

Brook’s trainer Dom Ingle agreed it was “a very big test for Kell.”

“He has very good credentials. He beat up our hero Ricky Hatton so we are not taking this guy lightly.

He is in fantastic shape. We want revenge, after beating Ricky but that is where it stops, Kell has got the tools to deal with Senchenko and I am sure he will do on the night but it will be a very tough fight.”

Brook, who shook hands with his rival after the conference, recognised that boxing bodies “don’t give world title belts out for nothng.”

The 27-year-old Grenoside welterweight, who has won 30 straight fights, said: “He has proved what he can do.

“Last time he was here, he took one of our greats out in Ricky Hatton, he is a good traveller and boxes well, away from home. He has proved himself. For me it is going to propel me to the mega-fights. I need to make a statement with this fight and show people why I deserve to be at the top level.”

Veteran Senchenko will fight his 35th bout, whenhe takes on Brook.