Kell Brook's message for ex-trainer John Fewkes ahead of comeback and Amir Khan fight update

When Sheffield boxer John Fewkes steps into the ring for his second fight since returning to professional boxing next Saturday, a certain former world champion will be watching on with interest.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:39 am
Kell Brook pictured with former trainer John Fewkes ahead of his fight with Michael Zerafa in December 2018. Picture By Mark Robinson.

Fewkes, now 36, is hoping to make it two wins from two following his comeback, having spent much of the last seven years training fighters – including former IBF welterweight king Kell Brook, who shines a light on their journey from foes to friends.

Sheffield United fan Kell Brook's surprise bromance with Sheffield Wednesday star

“We’ve known each other for a long time but were like enemies at the beginning,” Brook tells The Star.

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Members of the Ingle Gym continue to keep Wincobank tidy.

"He was Glyn Rhodes’s main man and Brendan Ingle had me, I was the one at Wincobank.

“It was a matter of time before we locked horns.”

Before long they did just that.

As teenagers making an impression on the amateur circuit they enjoyed a trilogy of their own - including a National Amateur Championships semi-final – with Brook emerging as the overall winner in their third and final fight.

Later, they would make their professional debuts on the same show at the Don Valley Stadium in September 2004.

Fewkes secured an impressive knockout win and Brook overcame legendary journeyman Peter Buckley on points.

After that their careers went in different directions, but a mutual respect ensues to this day.

“He was the last guy to beat me in the amateurs,” remembers Brook, 35.

"Since then we have become very good friends, he was in my corner at the Sheffield Arena (against Michael Zerafa in 2018) and we are on the phone talking to each other once a week.”

Fewkes spoke to Brook before making his comeback official after shedding the weight gained in the years since his last fight, who told him: “If you have got demons in your head and things you want to improve and you want to get in there and try again, you need to do it.”

"You will never be at peace with yourself otherwise, so get it done.

"Let’s scream ‘Fireball’ Fewkes again.

Last month Fewkes admitted he ‘needed closure’ as far as his own boxing career is concerned after too many regrets – and pies and pints – the first time round.

On his decision to hire Fewkes as trainer, Brook adds: “He’s always had a certain style, he’s always been quite classy. He didn’t have that one-punch power but he’s very classy, you don’t have to knock everyone out.

"John is known for his boxing skills and we had that connection. I felt he had that same eye as what I see in the sport. It was exciting for him and myself, it was a good journey.”

While Glyn Rhodes will once again be in Fewkes’s corner at Ponds Forge next weekend, Brook continues to make sure the legacy of Brendan Ingle lives on through the legendary late trainer’s foundation.

On Wednesday he joined other members of the Ingle Gym for a litter pick around Wincobank after their stolen cleaning equipment was replaced by Amey’s Jeanette Bullivant.

Regarding a comeback of his own, Brook says: "There’s a lot of talking going about. I think we will see me in the ring again pretty soon.

"We know which fight I’ll only come back for and I really do believe it will happen.”