Boxing Expert & Columnist
Brook vs Zerafa: Kell Brook is fully committed and rejuvenated away from home, says Johnny Nelson
New trainer and different preparations have changed 'Special One's approach, says former gym-mate
Last Updated: 29/11/18 12:21pm
Kell Brook's decision to step out of Sheffield for the first time in his career has given him a new lease of life and rejuvenated him for one final push, says Johnny Nelson.
The 'Special One' takes on Michael Zerafa on December 8, live on Sky Sports, in what could be his final fight in his hometown.
Brook is hoping a spring 2019 showdown with Amir Khan will be confirmed before the end of the year, with promoter Eddie Hearn says it is likely to take place in London or Manchester.
The 32-year-old will not have Dominic Ingle in his corner for the first time either, but former Wincobank gym-mate Nelson can see a new approach for one final flourish.
Kell seems to have taken on the responsibility. He is the one getting up early in the morning, getting the others up and going. He has had to be the bus driver and ticket inspector, not just the passenger he used to be."
There is no doubt it is a good thing for him to be out of Sheffield for this fight. Yes, he's been with Dominic Ingle and the Wincobank and in his hometown, so many will see that as a downside, but from what I have seen and hear from Kell, without doubt, it has been a really good move. He sounds and looks rejuvenated.
"Kell has to take responsibility for everything that goes down," Sky Sports' Nelson said.
"His diet, getting back down from 154lbs and all his preparations are covered by the team, but this time, the buck stops with Kell. He is all of a sudden responsible for everything.
"Yes John Fewkes is working with him on this one, but in the past, it would be Dom telling him to do this, do that and then asking him why he hadn't? Well, this time Kell seems to have taken on the responsibility.
"He is the one getting up early in the morning, getting the others up and going. He has had to be the bus driver and ticket inspector, not just the passenger he used to be."
Brook will be back in the ring for the first time in nine months when he takes on Zerafa at the Sheffield Arena.
He has admitted he has been trying to impress new trainer Fewkes in the build-up and even if he would rather see the former world champion team up with Ingle again should he take on Khan, Nelson will be watching the new partnership closely next month.
"Yes, he and Dom have both said they could easily work together again, and there is anything but a fall-out but is he going to need his old trainer working on a gameplan, when it comes to the Khan fight?" he said.
"We won't know until that fight is made and we won't know until we see when he comes out in Sheffield and how he performs. Yes, he wants to prove he is ready for that big fight he's been talking about, but we already know that.
"We will see how motivated he is. We will see just how much this change has done to him and how rejuvenated he is.
"It is going to be tough going in against Zerafa. He is not on the same level of Gennady Golovkin, or Errol Spence Jr or Amir Khan but he needs this to get where he wants to be.
"He will need to be mentally strong and I have a feeling, having the whole camp abroad, with Fewkes in with him, he will be just that.
"I was a little worried when the news about him and Dom came out but I am encouraged by what I see. He has committed himself for this one and the next one after it and this is not just what he's told me, it's what everyone else has told me."
Watch Kell Brook vs Michael Zerafa, in what could be his last fight at the Sheffield Arena, on December 8, live on Sky Sports Action, from 7pm.