Boxing Expert & Columnist
Brook vs Rabchenko: Kell Brook can answer questions about future this Saturday, says Johnny Nelson
Last Updated: 02/03/18 6:27am
Kell Brook can only answer questions about his future when the first bell rings this Saturday night, says Sky Sports expert Johnny Nelson.
Kell Brook, Deontay Wilder, Scott Quigg and Dillian Whyte in four fabulous weeks of boxing, live on Sky Sports.
All eyes should be on Kell Brook on Saturday night, because we will find out if the hunger overtakes the fear.
With all due respect, this is not about Sergey Rabchenko. He is a great opponent to put Kell in with because there are plenty of questions, even if you are a friend of his.
I could sit here and say what you expect me to say, or even what Kell Brook would prefer me saying, but I can't. Not until we have seen him back in the ring and up at super-welterweight.
One thing that Kell has had is a reality check. A big reality check. Losing to Gennady Golovkin wasn't so bad because no one really expected him to win, but the Errol Spence Jr fight was the one that saw it kick in.
We know he was a world-class fighter before those two losses and he should be telling the rest of his new division what he's all about.
Boxing at Bramall Lane, the eye injury and losing his world title to a guy that we didn't know that much about was hard.
All of a sudden he realised what it's like to lose. He was a world champion, he was confident and happy, yet all of a sudden he had to deal with it.
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We know you get some fighters that are just happy to become a world champion, that's their goal and more often than not, they lose the title in their first couple of defences.
Kell wasn't one of those. All of a sudden he found out what a loss could do to him. Especially mentally and emotionally.
I always speak to Kell, of course. He is buzzing again, at the gym they say he's buzzing again, but we won't find out until Saturday night. I hope we will see that hunger and desire again.
What happens when Rabchenko lands one on that eye? Physically it is not a problem, but when it happens, will Kell's mind go back to Bramall Lane in May? That is the sort of question we can't answer until Saturday night.
But there are some big positives that tell me we should see the Kell I want to see. He has said he only really has a year left in this sport, but that was before that gym really took off again. Billy Joe Saunders, Jason Quigley and the rest of the new 'Rat Pack' will all be there on Saturday night. Having them around has given Kell a big lift and keeps him busy. This Kell Brook will not be getting bored in the gym.
Moving up to super-welterweight is going to make the biggest difference. He no longer has to go through that psychological turmoil of making weight in fight week.
I know what that's like as a cruiserweight - when I went to 13st 8lbs to 14st 4lbs - and I still remember how much easier that made things. All of a sudden it's not so hard.
I want to see a clinical performance from Kell. We know he was a world-class fighter before those two losses and he should be telling the rest of his new division what he's all about. Watching Kell will tell us all, too, where he is at.
Watch Brook vs Rabchenko from Sheffield, live on Saturday, March 3, on Sky Sports Main Event & Action, from 7.30pm.