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Kell Brook v Devon Alexander: Sheffield fighter not fazed by underdog status

Brook unfazed by underdog tag ahead of maiden world title shot against Alexander

By
Phil Barnett, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:19 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:03 GMT, 15 January 2013

Kell Brook knows he will be the underdog for the first time in his career when he travels to Detroit charged with dethroning IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander next month.

The unbeaten Sheffield star puts his perfect 29-0 (with 19 knockouts) record on the line when he goes to America for his maiden world title tilt.

Some bookmakers see the fight as even but many experts predict the younger but more established American Alexander will have too much for the British challenger.

Underdog: Kell Brook, flanked by promoter Eddie Hearn and his coaching team, knows he faces a tough task against Devon Alexander

Underdog: Kell Brook, flanked by promoter Eddie Hearn and his coaching team, knows he faces a tough task against Devon Alexander

Brook, however, is undaunted by the idea.

'It's the first time in my career I've been the underdog but it doesn't matter to me,' said the 26-year-old.

'He's the champion and people are expecting him to keep the title but we know differently. I'm going to show him – and the world – why people call me the Special One.

'I'll go out there and won't be denied.'

The pair were scheduled to fight this weekend until an ankle injury suffered by Brook forced a five-week postponement to February 23.

He insists he is fully recovered and has been on a training camp in the Canaries as part of his intense preparation.

'The ankle is fantastic now, I'm fully prepared and fully healed,' he said.

'It's helped me because it's given me more time to get prepared and everything's fallen into place with my new team who are helping with my conditioning and making me into even more of a monster.

Fists of fury: IBF king Devon Alexander (left) stands in the way of Brook's first world title

Fists of fury: IBF king Devon Alexander (left) stands in the way of Brook's first world title

'My dietician Dave Stache has even moved in with me to oversee everything. That's a real sacrifice but this is a world title fight so it's well worth it.

'I want to make sure that when the bell rings I'm in the best shape physically and mentally I can be.

'If he has to live with me, so be it. Anything to get the job done and believe you me, the job will be getting done.'

Brook added: 'I'm going over to his backyard but I wouldn't want it any other way.

'Going to the champion's country and taking his title off him on his own patch is going to feel so good. It's going to be the icing on the cake going there to do the business.

'I've got to do whatever it takes to win, whether that's make it a dogfight or a technical fight. Whatever happens in that ring, the job will get done.

'I'm getting more confident by the day and by February 23 I'll be a man on a mission.'

Kell Brook dismissed by Devon Alexander

Who the Kell are you Champion Alexander dismisses Brook challenge

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 24 October 2012

World welterweight champion Devon Alexander has delivered a stinging riposte to mandatory challenger Kell Brook – claiming he doesn’t even know who he is.

Sheffield star Brook knocked out Hector Saldivia inside three rounds in the final eliminator for the IBF title last Saturday.

He hopes to lure Alexander to Britain early next year but the American insisted he is unfazed by the challenge.

Champion: Devon Alexander (right) has taken no notice of Kell Brook

Champion: Devon Alexander (right) has taken no notice of Kell Brook

‘I didn’t see the fight and I barely know Kell Brook,’ Alexander told World Boxing News.

‘We will see what my advisor Al Haymon and my trainer Kevin Cunningham come up with. Right now, I’m not even worried about Kell Brook because I barely know him and who is he anyway

‘I never saw him fight before so I can’t rate him, but maybe he can be used as a tune up. Right now there are a lot of options and I’ll just leave it up to my trainer and advisor to deal with.’

Down and out: Brook beat Hector Saldivia in Sheffield on Saturday

Down and out: Brook beat Hector Saldivia in Sheffield on Saturday

Brook took just 28 seconds of the third round to end the challenge of Saldivia having also had his Argentinian opponent on the canvas in the opening session.

The 26-year-old admitted afterwards that he would be open to fighting British rival Amir Khan ahead of a bout with Alexander.

Matthew Hatton bullish ahead Kell Brook fight

The best is yet to come! Hatton bullish ahead of War of Roses bout with Brook

Matthew Hatton is preparing for the 50th bout of his professional career feeling he still has his best years in the ring ahead of him.

The 30-year-old welterweight reaches the landmark a week on Saturday when he takes on Kell Brook at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.

Hatton was unable to make the most of his opportunity to emulate his older brother Ricky by becoming a world champion a year ago when he was beaten on points by Mexico's Saul Alvarez in a battle for the WBC light-middleweight crown.

Raring to go: Hatton says his best years are ahead of him

Raring to go: Hatton says his best years are ahead of him

The Mancunian – former holder of the European welterweight belt – believes his 'slow-burning' career remains very much on an upward trajectory, though, and Hatton has his sights set on a world title shot at his regular weight after the Brook contest.

'I think I have had a slow-burning career really,' Hatton, who had his first pro fight in 2000.

'The best years of my career have probably been the last three and I feel as if I am getting better with age.

'Even though this is my 50th contest and I'm 30 years of age, I do believe the best years are definitely ahead of me.

'If I can get past Kell, I'm confident I can secure myself another world title fight – at welterweight this time.

'The Alvarez opportunity came out of the blue and I was fighting for the light-middleweight title, a weight I had never boxed at before.

War of the Roses: Hatton and Brook (below) go head-to-head in Sheffield

War of the Roses: Hatton and Brook (below) go head-to-head in Sheffield

War of the Roses: Hatton and Brook (below) go head-to-head in Sheffield

'I'm proud of what I have achieved in my career so far, but it has always been my ambition to be a world champion and I believe another opportunity will come if I beat Kell Brook.'

Hatton is confident he can deal with Sheffield native Brook, the undefeated 25-year-old he says he is surprised is widely regarded as the favourite.
Brook is a fighter he thinks people are “getting a little bit carried away” about and Hatton hopes to 'burst his bubble', comfortable himself to be cast in the role of underdog.

Hatton believes his 12 rounds with Alvarez in California, despite ending in defeat, will set him in good stead for the bout, while he feels the birth of his second child – baby Lola entered the world in the early hours of Sunday morning – is more likely to give him an additional boost than prove a distraction.

Referring to the arrival of his new daughter, Hatton said: 'I have had a 10-week training camp for this fight and it is getting tough now, but it has just put that spring in my step.

'Things have gone well and March is going to be a good month for me.'

Spring in his step: Hatton has been buoyed by the birth of his daughter

Spring in his step: Hatton has been buoyed by the birth of his daughter

Kell Brook sees off Luis Galarza in one-sided bout to highlight world title credentials

Brook sees off Galarza in one-sided bout to outline title credentials on American bow

Kell Brook introduced himself to American fight fans with a classy fifth-round stoppage of Puerto Rican tough guy Luis Galarza.

The unbeaten 25-year-old Sheffield fighter is nearing a shot at one of the
welterweight world titles and wanted to make a statement on his American debut in Atlantic City.

He got the job done at the Boardwalk Hall, taking occasional early shots before stamping his authority on proceedings and forcing the stoppage. The win took Brook to 26-0 with 18 stoppages while Galarza dropped to 17-3 (13 KO wins).

On the offensive: Kell Brook lands a left on Luis Galarza

On the offensive: Kell Brook lands a left on Luis Galarza

Brook tested the water in the opening moments – taking a strong right over the top for his trouble – but soon assumed control by the end of the session and had Galarza stunned briefly as a left hook hurt his opponent and a right – a split second after the bell – scrambled the Puerto Rican”s senses.

A powerful left showed Galarza”s own power in the second. Brook soon jumped in with a right hand before picking his shots brilliantly to hurt his man again.

Perfectly timed left hooks were dominating the fight for the classy Yorkshireman and when he planted his feet to let the power shots go, Galarza was in deep water.

Referee Allan Huggins was watching closely, seemingly ready to step in and end Galarza”s misery as the sparse crowd enjoyed Brook”s work. But Galarza, though cut around the right eye and swollen in several other places, survived into the fourth.

Brook was prepared to bide his time before stepping it up in the fifth.

A stiff right hand shook Galarza and after taking a step back, Brook followed it up with a left hook and sharp right combination which had Galarza out on his feet and prompted Huggins to step in after one minute and 38 seconds of the round.