Kell Brook: Now or Never
Despite winning the IBF welterweight title, and defending his title three times, there is that feeling that Kell Brook hasn’t quite achieved anywhere near what he should have done.
Lack of discipline, injury and periods of inactivity have stunted his career, but there can be no more delay, this year Brook has to get it done, or in a boxing sense he will be done.
2020 promises to be a pivotal year for the Sheffield fighter, maybe even his last year in the sport. Brook returns in February, a home city comeback fight against the American Mark DeLuca.
We last saw Brook (38-2) in December 2018, an uninspiring, worrying even, display against Michael Zerafa.
Brook after one fight away testing new waters, returns to the Ingle Gym for his latest attempt to recapture former glories, and he will hope that move back will rekindle the form of old.
Brook lost back-to-back fights against Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr, the latter resulted in Brook losing his world title. The frustration in the failure to land a big fight, tempted Brook into a world he didn’t belong, and Golovkin inflicted the first ever defeat on Brook in their middleweight showdown at the O2 in London.
Despite losing those encounters Brook had his moments in both fights. Against Golovkin, despite being staggered early, he exposed the first real signs of fragility in Golovkin, and against the American, Brook looked the likely winner at the half way point of their gruelling fight at Bramall Lane.
Even in defeat Brook showed his quality, many fighters show how good they are in defeat, on both occasions Brook did exactly that.
Brook suffered damage to both eye sockets in those two fights and the road back since has been a long one.
The Spence fight was in 2017, and Brook has only fought twice since, and his career looked as though it would quietly fade away with very few noticing. Brook at one point last year had to publicily deny rumours he had already retired.
But Brook seems to have rediscovered his hunger, and is now targeting becoming a world champion in a second weight division, and talk of the fight with Amir Khan never seems to go away, even though it perhaps should.
Brook is still only 33 and in fighting terms he hasn’t got a lot of miles on the clock, so there is still time to write a few more chapters in his career. But 2020 is really his last chance to do so.
Many forget just how good Brook was, those short memories will have forgotten Brook going to America and beating a very good champion in Shawn Porter in 2014.
If Brook can get back to that type of form, another world title can’t be ruled out, but really it is a case of now or never if he wants more of those special nights.