Kell Brook knows he has a point to prove when he returns to the ring this weekend after being stopped in his last two fights.
The former IBF welterweight world champion has moved up a division and faces Sergey Rabchenko at the Sheffield Arena.
The last time he boxed on home soil last May, Brook was stopped by classy New York southpaw Erroll Spence Jr in the 11th round of a brutal encounter and required surgery to fix a broken right eye socket.
That followed another hefty loss to Gennady Golovkin in September 2016 when Brook stepped up two divisions to middleweight in an attempt to win GGG’s WBC and IBF straps.
The 31-year-old Yorkshireman put up a brave show against the brilliant GGG but the East European was far too strong and Brook’s corner threw in the towel in the fifth round. It was the correct decision as he was left with a fractured right eye socket and a first date with the surgeon.
However, sparring for the comeback fight with Rabchenko at super-welterweight has persuaded Brook and his camp that the Special One is ready for the rigours of battle inside the ropes.
It won’t be easy as Rabchenko has a reputation for being a banger and has won 22 times inside the distance in 29 victories although the European champion has been beaten by Tony Harrison and useful Aussie Anthony Mundine.
“People are right to question what I’ve got left and how I am going to be after the injuries and defeats,” said Brook. “I know that I’ve got a lot left in me. I believe I am going to be the same fighter, I’ll be better with the bigger weight which will bring the best out of me.”
“The eye has healed very well. It’s held up in sparring and I don’t think about the eye injuries at all. I wouldn’t be boxing if I wasn’t given the all-clear by the doctors, I wouldn’t put my family or myself through that.
“I didn’t want an easy fight back, if I had done, I could’ve fallen out of love with it, cut corners and not reached the heights in training that I need to reach to be the best Kell Brook. Rabchenko is a dangerous guy, he’s no mug and he can really bang.”
Victory could open the door to a fight with Amir Khan, who has won world titles at two weights although Brook also fancies going toe-to-toe with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
But asked by The Star in Sheffield if he would rather win a world title at welterweight or beat Khan in a blockbuster Battle of Britain, Brook said: “I think I have to say right now it would be Khan.
“That would be the more exciting of the two. It’s probably easier winning a world title than it is to get him to sign a contract. I have been a world champion and loved it, but the buzz of fighting Khan would be beyond even that.
“I just hope we can do it. We are not getting any younger. I am going to be there at his next fight so it will be good for me to be seen there. Then we’ll see what happens – you never know what’s going to happen in boxing.”