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Johnny Nelson on Sheffield Steel and future world champion Kell Brook

Johnny Nelson Posted 22nd October 2013 view comments

Sheffield takes centre stage this week.

We've got Kell Brook back in action, taking on the guy that stopped Ricky Hatton's comeback in its tracks.

But by the time Kell climbs into the ring, you will know all about what has got him this far and what has shaped him to become a future world champion.

Brook: is now flying the flag of the Wincobank

Brook: is now flying the flag of the Wincobank

'Ringside Special: Sheffield Steel' is a chance to find out how that famous old gym in Wincobank shapes fighters, saves people and makes us what we are.

You will hear from me, you will hear from Kell, Ryan Rhodes, Junior Witter and Richard Towers, all who have been 'Ingle-ised'. And, believe me, that is not as bad it as it sounds. In fact, it is a compliment because there are so many of us who owe a lot to Brendan Ingle.

Me, Herol Graham, Ryan Rhodes, Naseem Hamed, Junior Witter and Kell Brook are just the tip of the iceberg - we are the ones that have pushed on a little bit, but there are so, so many other people whose lives have been saved by Brendan Ingle and his family.

Johnny Nelson
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Everyone knows about the success he has brought to Sheffield and with Kell coming up, it will bring it all flooding back for some of us, but hopefully it will explain just what, and how much, the Ingles have done.

You will see method behind Brendan's madness. It might not come across in the ring or when one of our world champions are in action, but when you see 6ft 5in hard, hard, hard men picking up the litter outside the gym, you know it works!


I still see it all the time - ask any of his fighters and they understand, but people that go by just don't get it. They don't get how he has that hold over guys; how they learn discipline and change their lives and how he gets respect from everyone in that gym. I am hoping if you watch Sheffield Steel you will see.

I hope you get a taste, from the fighters, of what life in the gym with Brendan is like. There are not enough hours in the day to tell stories and go into it in depth. Just watch it and see what you get from it.

You will, of course, hear from me and the other names, but any of them will tell you that gym is full of normal people, who have all had their lives changed. But one thing you will not see is the amount of people who are NOT boxers who Brendan has helped.Me, Herol Graham, Ryan Rhodes, Naseem Hamed, Junior Witter and Kell Brook are just the tip of the iceberg - we are the ones that have pushed on a little bit, but there are so, so many other people whose lives have been saved by Brendan Ingle and his family.

I know what I wanted to do when I was a young kid but I am not sure what I would've ended up doing without Brendan. Watch Sheffield Steel and you will see the famous faces saying exactly the same thing.

But there are many, many more who you will not see or hear unless you go down to Wincobank. It really has changed peoples' lives.


It is all about discipline, it is all about stability. And, of course, those of us who go into the sport take it into the ring with us. It not only shaped me as an individual and helped me grow, it has seen my family grow and it has - admittedly it took three attempts - seen me grow as a fighter.

But beyond that, I think it is 12 British champions, six European champions and the three world champions; me, Junior and of course, Naz. I suppose you can call it four and throw my old friend Paul 'Silky' Jones, who was spawned in that gym and was shaped, even if he left before hitting the heights.

We have all been 'Ingle-ised'. And you can, of course, see the future in Kell Brook.

Boxing has moved with the times but Brendan started off with the basics: footwork, technique and skill - and Kell has got it all.

I will readily admit that the Ingle style would not make you a squillionaire, unless you have that extra spark, that aggression and the showmanship that someone like Naz had, but our style will make us hard to beat.

Floyd Mayweather is the same in that respect but maybe because he has that razzmatazz he gets all the credit in the world. When you see that Ingle way being put into practice elsewhere it gets praise, but when it comes out of our gym it is not.

Kell, though, does have that extra spark. Trust me. Yes, he is maturing and is not the wild child of old but as long as he still trains and still prepares the way he is taught by the Ingles - and, believe me, Dominic is the one who has a hold on him - and does what is expected, he will go all the way.

He has that magic touch. He has that aggression, not like me, Herol or even Junior. Kell has the spite he needs to take his style up a level. Like Naz had.

He might not have the same personality and be all flash and brash, but in the ring, he has everything needed to become the latest Ingle world champion.


The problem is Kell has had a bit of a blip in his career over the last two years and really should have been fighting for a world title back then. But his progress was put on hold and even though he is back on track, he is still two fights behind.

Beating Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday will get a good win under his belt and then it looks like Devon Alexander will be next in the New Year. But this first one is a much harder fight simply because, as I said, Kell is behind schedule.

The only person who knows how to deal with him is Dominic Ingle. And he is like a Sergeant Major! Kell cannot cut his toe-nails without him checking first! Dom, of course, has the Ingle ways, but also he is the new version and it is working, even after the blip.

He saw what his dad went through as a trainer and promoter and now he doesn't take fools lightly and he refuses to go down that road. He is twice as hard as his dad, believe me.

Brendan used to talk to you to get his way, whereas Dominic will tell you what he wants and he will order you to make it happen! He is the perfect man to look after Kell.

He is flying the flag for the Wincobank gym and we are all proud of him because we know where he has come from. When we see one of "our" fighters out there doing well, we puff out our chests and we want him to do well.

Me, Ryan, Junior and Naz will all be rooting for him, hoping he succeeds and becomes a world champion. He comes from the same school as us, he has had his life changed and learned how to box the same way as us.

Of course, when there are bad times we are all in the same bracket but when he puts on a show, when he succeeds and becomes a world champion, they will say 'from the Brendan Ingle gym' and we are all associated with it.

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