Kell Brook is currently in that tough, only-a-fighter-understands-it place of decision making: should he retire or should he roll the dice once more? Fresh off that ultra-important, indeed must-win victory over (formerly?) bitter rival Amir Khan, 35-year-old Brook is of course on a massive high; perhaps enough of a high for him to convince himself he can do it again. But as great as Brook looked on Saturday night, was he in there with a “shot” or very close to it Khan?
Brook would no doubt be content for the remainder of his days if he didn’t fight again, if he used the ever so sweet Khan win as the springboard to permanent, nothing left to prove retirement. But this is boxing; the most addictive drug known to man (as heavyweight great Lennox Lewis once said). Brook has already been called out, by Chris Eubank Jr (who should know better and should be focusing on guys who fight in his own weight division) and by Conor Benn.
Brook doesn’t like Eubank and he might agree to take that fight if a big payday were offered to him and if a suitable catch-weight could be worked out. But even a win there would not top the win over Khan; that fight and his winning it simply meant so much to him. Is it then worth the risk? As for Benn, he is at least a welterweight, but against a young and hungry lion, Brook would really be taking a risk if he took this fight.
One other name that was mentioned, if only briefly, by Kell’s trainer Dominic Ingle, was that of Floyd Mayweather! “Get Floyd Mayweather out of retirement,” Ingle said to the Brook-Khan promoter Ben Shalom, “That’s a bit of homework for you. Mayweather doesn’t want to fight any real boxers so it might be tricky, but have a go.”
On a scale of 1 to 10, the chances of Mayweather fighting Brook are probably zero. No, Brook has done all he can, all he needs to do, all he has to do. He won the most crucial fight of his career, this a fight he had been chasing for over a decade, and no additional ring victory would give Brook as big a high; yet a loss would spoil a ring exit that looks just about perfect.
But of course, it’s all up to Brook. The upcoming battle, this one in his own mind, where he is certain to change his mind multiple times, might prove to be Kell’s toughest fight. Very few fighters go out on top, on their own terms. Brook has a beautiful chance to do just that.