Kell Brook has admitted that nothing less than a “spectacular” win over Mark DeLuca at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield this Saturday will suffice as he looks to regain the attention of the World Champions at 147lbs and 154lbs after a lengthy hiatus from the ring.
‘The Special One’ (38-2, 26 KOs) takes on ex-Marine DeLuca for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Super-Welterweight Title in his first fight since December 2018, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, as he seeks an impressive win to stake his claim for a World Title fight in 2020.
“2020 I want to be two-time champion,” said Brook. “I’ve never been as driven, I’ve never been as focused in my whole career as I am now, because I want to mix it with the best. If I don’t have an unbelievable performance, it doesn’t count on February 8, I’m not happy.
“It’s got to be spectacular. You’ve got to go away and think ‘he’s back better than ever.’ That’s what I want people to say. I want to be on everybody’s lips, ‘I can’t believe what this guy’s done. I can’t believe it. What’s happened? He’s the main man again’. That’s what I’m aiming for.
“I want whoever holds a belt, I want to be a two-time World Champion this year. I could do Welterweight. For the right fight, I’ll do Welterweight. It would have to be a meaningful fight. A World Title fight, or a big meaningful fight.”
DeLuca (24-1, 13 KOs) has already earned the respect of Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle and the 31-year-old will be hoping to send the hometown hero into retirement and stake his own claim for a World Title shot in the biggest fight of his career.
“Dominic has seen the guy fight live a few times, it is a hard fight,” Brook added. “He’s tough, he’s an ex-Marine, he’s obviously into his fitness. He’s very determined. He knows this is a chance to make a name for himself. He’s going to give it his all.
“He’s learnt on the road. He’s got one defeat and the next fight he avenged the loss, so he’s obviously learning. Really he’s never lost, he’s a winner. He believes this is his chance. I need to listen to the game plan from Dominic and then it’s just about getting in there and executing it.”
Brook vs. DeLuca tops a huge night of action in Sheffield.
“I feel great, I feel good. We’re four weeks out, I’m on weight, my training is going great. I’m ready to fight, I’d be ready to fight next week. It feels good to be preparing for a fight again. I’m fighting back in Sheffield, we know what we get from the fans – amazing support. It’s always an amazing atmosphere in the arena.
“DeLuca is in front of me, an ex marine, a very fit fighter, very strong, he’s going to come over here like it’s his World Title fight. The fans are in for a real treat and I can’t wait to give them that treat. I can’t wait to perform and for the crowd to get behind me and push me on.
Brook ready to execute game plan against DeLuca
“Dom has watched DeLuca live a few times and I’ve seen little bits of him. I don’t really watch tapes of my opponents but I’ll watch a bit more of him in the next couple of weeks and then basically just listen to Dom and the game plan. The it’s just about getting in there and executing it.
“At the beginning of last year it was frustrating because I was trying to get the Terence Crawford fight to happen. I was trying to make a few fights happen but they never materialised. 2019 was frustrating at first but then I was just enjoying my time with my little girls, went travelling about a little bit but then I started getting a bit bored and thought boxing is where I belong and I need to give some more of myself to the fans. I’ve got unfinished business and I want to give all I’ve got.
“I want whoever holds a belt, I want to be a two-time World Champion this year. And I want to be on everybody’s lips, ‘I can’t believe what this guy’s done. I can’t believe it. What’s happened? He’s the main man again’. That’s what I’m aiming for.”
“I am fully focused at the moment on Claudio Marrero who is very dangerous and I’m sure this will be a difficult fight for me to win. He has great amateur pedigree as a former Olympian with the Dominican Republic, he’s only lost to high calibre boxers and he can punch.
“I’ve got to do a number on this kid and get him out the way. I have trained very hard for this fight and I will raise to the occasion, step up my game and be ready for whatever he brings to the table on February 8.
“I’ve got to be 100% ready and I can’t afford to make any mistakes because if I do that could be the end of the night for me.
“The day after my last fight I went back to the drawing board and straight back in the gym. I don’t believe that I lost that fight but the judges saw it a different way so next time I’ve got to make sure I don’t leave the decision to them.
“And I believe the IBF is the best governing body and that’s why I’ve gone back down that route. I have got unfinished business and the IBF crown is the title that I want but I have challenges to overcome between now and then, if I don’t win this fight then there is no World Title fight for me.”
“On February 8 you should expect fireworks and a boxing lesson from myself!”