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Kell Brook: On the Brink

March 26th, 2016 was the last time Kell Brook won a prize fight, which seems an incredible statistic, but it highlights the pressure the former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook will face when he steps into the ring on Saturday night.

Since his win over Kevin Bizier, he has lost his unbeaten record and his precious IBF world title in the process, he’s currently on a 2 fight skid, two serious eye injuries and he steps into the unknown at his new weight.

The two defeats admittedly were in serious company, one to pound for pound contender Gennady Golovkin, when he moved up to middleweight and an in hindsight ill-judged move to drag his body back down to 147 when he lost his title to the exceptional Errol Spence Jr.

Even in defeat Brook showed what a quality fighter he is, especially in the Spence Jr fight. After 6 rounds I had it even and could only see a Brook win. But the weight cut was starting to tell and then the eye injury removed any doubt as to who the winner would be. But that fight showed what an elite fighter Brook is, and before that he gave Golovkin a real fight before again, an eye injury cut his brave attempt short.

Brook has he has admitted himself, took the Spence Jr loss badly, and has had to deal with his personal demons since. Despite Brook saying and looking a rejuvenated fighter, there will be understandable mental scars to deal with.

It’s not just the pressure of wondering, worrying even how the eyes will hold up, it’s also the pressure of knowing a 3rd defeat on the bounce will signal the end for Brook.

There is a lot at stake for Brook, the ridiculous odds suggest Sergey Rabchenko will not provide much of a test, those odds are wrong.

Rabchenko will tell us just how much Brook has left, in many ways, it’s the perfect comeback fight. I expect a Brook victory but in a tougher than expected fight.

The Sheffield man does look like a fighter reborn, free from having to boil his body down to welterweight and the lure of a possible fight with domestic rival Amir Khan, the hunger to keep his career going seems genuine.

Brook knows, either way, he is a man on the brink, either retirement or a new beginning.

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