Kell Brook: life and career of Sheffield boxing star ‘The Special One’ and how to watch fight against Terence Crawford on UK TV
Anticipation is rising for Kell Brook’s return to the ring this weekend.
Brook - nicknamed The Special One - has another world title in his sights when he steps through the ropes to fight WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
Sheffield-born Brook will be looking to build on February’s win over Mark DeLuca, which was his third straight victory after a painful loss to Errol Spence Jr in 2017.
His record is up there with the very best, with 39 wins from 41 fights, but the 34-year-old knows he would have had few greater challenges in his career than what awaits.
American opponent Crawford goes into the fight as an undisputed champion, having won all of his 36 bouts to date. He also holds 27 knockouts to his name like Brook.
But Brook is no stranger to a challenge.
How did Brook get into boxing?
He started boxing aged nine at the Ingle Gym in Sheffield. His father brought him to the gym to help constructively channel his energy.
The gym has a rich pedigree having produced a number of household names in the sport, including Jonny Nelson and Prince Naseem Hamed.
It wasn’t long before the coaches at the gym saw his natural ability and potential and Brook started his amateur career aged just 12.
He went on to win two Amateur Boxing Association of England titles and two National Association of Boys Clubs British Boxing Championships.
In 2003, he won gold for England at the Four Nations Junior Tournament and turned professional shortly after his 18th birthday.
How did Brook fare in the professional ranks?
He made his professional debut in 2004 against an experienced opponent in Peter Bukley at the Don Valley Stadium. Brook went on to win by six round points.
Taking to the pro arena like a duck to water, Brook ended his debut year with a 5-0 record. He continued to learn his trade over the next three years, amassing a 16-0 winning record.
Having earned his chance of a title shot, Brook fought Barrie Jones for the vacant British Welterweight title and won with a seventh round stoppage.
He defended the title a further three times and in 2009 he was named the Young British Boxer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Club.
The WBO Inter-Continental title came next in 2010 when he demolished Krzysztof Bienias in six rounds at the ECHO Arena in Liverpool.
In 2014, he realised a life’s dream when he became the IBF World Welterweight champion with a majority decision over champion Shawn Porter at the StubHub Center, Carson California.
He lost his unbeaten record to Gennady Golovkin in 2016 and his world title to Errol Spence Jr in 2017 - but has since won his last three fights as he prepares to challenge in the welterweight level once more.
What has Brook said ahead of the Crawford fight?
“I would just like to say a big thank you to Bob Arum and his team at Top Rank and to Baz Kandiara and my management team for getting the ﬁght made,” said Brook.
“Thank you also to Terence Crawford and his team. It’s a fantastic ﬁght, a proper ﬁght for the fans to get excited about. I’m sure it’s one that will have viewers on the edge of their seats, whichever side of the pond they’re from.
“I’ve been told there are people writing off my chances, questioning my age and my ability to make the weight. Well, let them talk.
“Some people focus on reading headlines, I focus on making headlines. Those people writing me off as a big underdog? No problem. I guess this big dog will be making a few people richer during a difficult time.”
When and where is Brook v Crawford taking place?
The fight is billed for Saturday 14 November at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Yet, due to the time difference, viewers in the UK can expect to see Brook on their screens closer to 4/5am Sunday morning.
The undercard action is expected to start at 12.30am (GMT) with six fights scheduled before Brook and Crawford do battle.
Where can I watch Brook v Crawford on TV?
Brook has had the vast majority of his televised fights shown on Sky Sports over the years but this weekend’s fight with Crawford won’t be one of them.
Instead, the title fight can be viewed in the UK on Premier Sports. The channel is available on Sky (412 and 429), Virgin (551 and 552) or online via the Premier Sports app.
Who is on the Brook v Crawford undercard?
There are six bouts scheduled before the top billing of Brook and Crawford, with the running order as followed:
Vegas Larfield v Juan Alberto Flores (Bantamweight)
Duke Ragan v Sebastian Gutierrez (Featherweight)
Raymond Muratalla v Luis Porozo (Lightweight)
Tyler Howard v KeAndre Leatherwood (Middleweight)
Joshua Greer Jr v Edwin Rodriguez (Bantamweight)
Joshua Franco v Andrew Moloney (WBA Super-Flyweight title)
Terence Crawford v Kell Brook (WBO Welterweight title)