Boxing Expert & Columnist
Kell Brook needs 'fire in his belly' to restore world title dream, says Johnny Nelson
"Kell has again fallen in love with the preparation of boxing. But does boxing still love him?"
Last Updated: 21/01/20 5:08pm
Kell Brook returns against Mark DeLuca on February 8, live on Sky Sports. Will he return to world title level? Gym-mate and Sky Sports pundit Johnny Nelson explains...
He needed the time off to refresh his hunger. His performances looked uninterested in his past couple of fights.
Kell had set his own training camps up but found out that he can't do everything himself. David Beckham wouldn't be David Beckham without Sir Alex Ferguson. You need a third eye who understands how you work - for Kell, that is Dominic Ingle.
Nobody else can get the best out of Kell. He needs someone to push him, bully him, make him eat certain food and train at a certain time. He can't be the bus driver, ticket inspector and passenger.
What I rate about Dom is how he compartmentalises things. When Kell left the gym, he never disrespected him or wished for him to lose. Now Kell has come back into the gym and is learning a harsh lesson.
Kell is a proper Sheffield lad. The football fans love him. He hasn't divorced himself from mixing with everybody. He is a lad which has been to his detriment but, when he fights, Sheffield will turn out.
When he headlined at Bramall Lane it was brilliant for our city.
He is financially secure so it's about the fire in his belly.
The drive is not financial. He has again fallen in love with the preparation of boxing. But does boxing still love him?
We won't know that until he performs in the ring. My example is Ricky Hatton's last fight - he looked great but paid for the lifestyle that he had before. It was too little too late.
Kell is in good hands with a good team but what fire does he have in his gut? Let's see how much he's got.
DeLuca will be awkward but our gym is full of switch-hitters and southpaws. DeLuca will be durable and ask questions of Kell's desire.
Kell needs consistency and to be kept busy. Is he still in the mix? We want to say yes because we remember the old Kell. But we can't say yes yet until after this fight.
To make us all still believe in the dream Kell needs a crisp, clean, problem-free performance. We don't want to see him struggle or get himself out of sticky spots because the world champion Kell would deal with DeLuca.