Things were going well until an ankle injury forced the biggest fight of his career to be put back from January to February of this year. In April, Brook announced that his ankle injury had come back to scupper his bid for world title glory once again, handing domestic rival Lee Purdy the opportunity to face Alexander for world honours. Purdy lost the fight after his corner withdrew him at the end of the seventh round.
This Saturday at Craven Park Stadium in Hull, 'The Special One' will rematch the man he defeated in Sheffield little over 12 months ago. Carson Jones travels to Yorkshire for a second time in as many years hoping to repeat the kind of second half performance he put in last time these two met and to elevate himself into a position to challenge Alexander for his world title.
Jones gave Brook a wake up call last time round, breaking the Yorkshireman's nose and dominating the later rounds. It was rumoured that Brook had struggled to make the weight and this affected his condition in the ring. Just after the midway point Brook began to tire and Jones, who came in to the fight on the back of eight straight wins all without the judges intervention, read this as his cue to turn up the pressure. Brook courageously survived a last round scare to win by a majority decision and keep his unbeaten record intact.
In spite of the victory, question marks had been left hanging over Brook's head. The hype surrounding him after his destruction of Matthew Hatton one fight earlier left some wondering whether Brook should be held in the same esteem as other top welterweights such as Bradley, Pacquiao, Maidana, Marquez and Guerrero. Floyd Mayweather might be considered a class above all of the aforementioned.
Brooks' trainer Dominic Ingle believes his prodigy will be better prepared this time around, especially after employing the services of a nutritionist to help make weight in optimal fashion.
"Kell Brook trained hard for the last fight but if you don't make the weight right, don't hydrate right then it doesn't matter how fit you are it'll always affect your performance,” said Ingle.
“Kell Brook was probably stepping into the last fight [with Carson Jones] at 70 per cent fit. By all accounts Brook is taking the rematch seriously and knows it's a chance to make a statement by putting in a more measured performance. He's dedicated himself this time by putting negative distractions aside and making sure he's not having to crash weight off at the last minute.
"He's the hardest trainer in the gym, nobody trains harder than Kell" Ingle added. "He's not struggled with his weight and I'm expecting Kell Brook to do a better job on Carson Jones than he did last time".
If Brook can come through this on top then he could fight again as early as September (Brook's promoter, Matchroom, has a British Light Middleweight title fight between Liam Smith v Erick Ochieng scheduled to take place at the Sheffield Arena on September 21st).
Brook has made no secret of his desire to do battle with Amir Khan, although Khan could gatecrash the party and fight Alexander in Dubai at the end of this year. Domestically it's the biggest fight at 147 and it's one that would excite boxing fans around the world if or when it can be made.
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- Carson Jones
- Kell Brook