IBF king and challenger make weight in Sheffield
Kell Brook says he’s ready to prove he’s an elite level fighter when he defends his IBF World Welterweight title against number one mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan tomorrow night at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, live on Sky Sports.
Brook is back in action following a rollercoaster ride in the last eight months, ripping the title from Shawn Porter in Los Angeles in August before a life-threatening attack on holiday in Spain just weeks later.
‘The Special One’ recovered from the attack and was told he would not only walk again but would be able to resume his career, and the Sheffield star has been on fire in the gym knowing that he’s back in the groove and at the top table of the lucrative Welterweight division.
“Every day has been a challenge but we have done it,” said Brook, who scaled 10st 5lbs 9oz at today’s weigh-in. “It’s amazing for me to defend the World title in Sheffield, with Michael Buffer announcing me into the ring, I will be stood there knowing that I was meant to do this and I belong at the elite level.
“I’ve come along way, fighting on undercards and in leisure centres to packing out this Arena as a World champion. It took me a long time to get that belt and there is no way on earth that Jo Jo Dan is taking it off me, not a prayer. I am going in there to excite, you’ll see flash and power. I’ve kept the fans waiting too long to fight again and I owe them a big performance. If Jo Jo does what he says he’s going to do and bring the fight to me well, the fans are in for a treat because you know how I fight.
“He looks like a man that has come to win. He’s the mandatory like I was against Porter and I took the title off him. It’s every fighter’s dream to challenge for a World title and to take it, so I know that he’s put in 100 per cent in the gym and he will leave it all in the ring tomorrow night.
“I would never overlook Jo Jo. It’s happened too many times in boxing that fighters are thinking about another fight and they lose the one in front of them. I am focused on him and I am making sure I take care of business. He’ll bring his best and I will bring my best, and I’ll show everyone why I am special, and I am looking to knock him out.
“Nothing can be done about these super fights unless I do the business on Saturday night. There’s going to be power, speed, accuracy and World-class boxing from me.
“I hope Jo Jo Dan takes some nice memories back to Canada of Sheffield because that’s all he’s taking back with him.”
The challenger tipped the scales at 10st 6lbs 4oz and the Romanian-Canadian is confident he can upset the odds and take the title back to Montreal.
“I feel great and I am in the best shape of my life,” said Dan. “I cannot wait for tomorrow. The weigh-in is the first opponent to get past and now it’s time for the big one.
“I know what Kell’s strengths and weaknesses are and I’ll show that in the ring. He was impressive against Porter but I am ready to adjust to whatever he can bring and I am ready for 12 hard rounds.
“Who doesn’t want to fight Mayweather or Pacquiao for millions of dollars? Everybody. That’s the reality, the money is amazing. But I am concentrating on Kell Brook. I will get booed, he will get cheered – I don’t care about that, I’m so confident of winning that title.”
Brook and Dan top a huge night of action in Sheffield as local favourite Adam Etches defends his IBF International Middleweight title against Sergey Khomitsky and Gavin McDonnell continues his fairy tale story challenging Ukrainian Oleksandr Yegorov for the vacant European Super Bantamweight title.
Frankie Gavin makes his Sky Sports return as he prepares for his crunch clash with Chris van Heerden on May 9 in Birmingham. Stephen Smith and Kal Yafai continue their marches towards a World title and GB Podium squad member Charlie Edwards fights for the second time in the paid ranks on the bill.
Limited tickets are on sale priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £150 available from the Motorpoint Arena on 0114 2565656 and at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk. VIP tickets at £250 are exclusively available from Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com.
Running order (subject to change) and weights (where applicable)
5.30pm 4 x 3 mins Welterweight Contest
NADEEM SIDDIQUE v LASZLO FEKETE
5.50pm 6 x 3 mins Super Featherweight Contest
JORDAN GILL v BARRINGTON BROWN
6.15pm 6 x 3 mins Super Featherweight Contest
STEPHEN SMITH v JACEK WYLEZOL
6.45pm 8 x 3 mins Flyweight Contest
KAL YAFAI (8st 2lbs) v CRISTOFER ROSALES (8st 1lbs)
FLOAT 4 x 2 mins Flyweight Contest
KYLE YOUSAF v STEFAN SLAVCHEV
LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 1 FROM 7.30pm
10 x 3 mins Welterweight Contest
FRANKIE GAVIN (10st 9lbs 4oz) v BOGDAN MITIC (10st 7lbs 2oz)
12 x 3 mins Vacant European Super-Bantamweight Championship
GAVIN McDONNELL (8st 9lbs) v OLEKSANDR YEGOROV (8st 9lbs 7oz)
12 x 3 mins IBF International Middleweight Championship
ADAM ETCHES (11st 5lbs 6oz) v SERGEI KHOMITSKY (11st 5lbs 1oz)
12 x 3 mins IBF World Welterweight Championship
KELL BROOK (10st 5lbs 9oz) v JO JO DAN (10st 6lbs 4oz)
LIVE FLOAT 4 x 3 mins Flyweight Contest
CHARLIE EDWARDS (8st 6oz) v MIKHEIL SOLONINKINI (8st 2lbs 10oz)