Kell Brook has made it official: he has retired from boxing. Although there was plenty of talk about the possibility of Brook fighting again after his big and important (to himself mostly) win over long-time bitter domestic rival Amir Khan – with a big-money fight with Chris Eubank Jr at one time on the table – the former IBF welterweight champion has made up his mind.
It was back in February when 36-year-old Brook hammered Khan to defeat, looking good in doing so, and there were thoughts of Brook having plenty left in the tank. But now, in an interview with The Telegraph, Brook has announced his retirement from the sport.
“I’ve had a long chat with my family and my parents, and it’s over for me,” Brook said. “I’ll never box again. It’s a little emotional to be actually saying this out loud. My mum is relieved. I think everyone around me is pleased. Truth is, boxing is a very, very tough, dangerous sport, one in which you can be legally killed in the ring, and I’ve finished now with all my faculties intact.”
Good on Brook for going out when pretty much on top, on his own terms. So how will “The Special One,” as the Sheffield fighter was known during his ring career, be remembered? Brook, who goes out with a good 40-3(28) record, is no future Hall of Famer yet he will be remembered as a good, honest, hard-working fighter who never, ever ran away from the biggest and best fights. A 2014 win over Shawn Porter saw Brook win the IBF welterweight title, and he made three successful defenses.
Brook, though, maybe destined to be best remembered for his losing fights. Showing immense bravery (perhaps too much), Brook agreed to fight feared middleweight king Gennady Golovkin in 2016. Brook gave it a real go, but he was outgunned and was stopped in five rounds. Brook’s orbital bones paid a hefty price for his taking on GGG and his lethal power. A loss to the superb Errol Spence then came, with Brook being stopped again and losing his IBF belt.
Brook showed real heart in this fight, too, his facial bones again betraying him. Plenty of people said Brook was finished after the loss to Spence, yet he came back and picked up three decent wins. Then, in his final world title fight, Brook was easily stopped by another modern great in Terence Crawford. But then, after a long layoff, Brook finally got the big one with Khan; this was a fight he simply had to win. And Brook did win, and now he has the satisfaction of going out on the back of a win that means so much to him.
Let’s hope Brook enjoys his retirement.