The return of the prodigal of son of The Steel City is upon us. IBF welterweight world champion Ezekiel Brook returns to the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield this coming Saturday – in what is certain to be an emotional night for him.
The 28 yr old achieved a boyhood dream of becoming world champion in America last summer.
The dream shortly became a nightmare when disaster struck as Special K was stabbed in the leg in Spain on holiday & nearly bled to death.
One can only imagine how harrowing and truly terrifying that ordeal was.
(Photo by Mark Robinson)
“The attack was unprovoked. One minute we were chatting, the next I was being macheted up. There was blood squirting out of my leg. I could see death, my life flashing in front of me. He stood over me shouting and swearing and I scrambled away.
“All I remember is thinking about my daughter and that I needed to get away from this; there was so much blood, I was covered in it. I really feared for my life.
“Just two weeks before I had been on top of the world in America, winning the world title – not something many men from England have done – and now there I was at the bottom of the ocean. To be a world champion had always been a childhood dream. Had I not been found by paramedics, I would have bled to death.”
Brook amazingly made a full recovery and from speaking first hand to John Ryder who sparred him – Kell was an absolute beast in camp.
I feel that after the attack on Brook, when many believed he may never walk again – let alone box – his win over Shawn Porter has in a warped way received more credit.
If the Porter fight had been Brook’s last in the ring, many now view it as a masterclass performance. To some, it has taken a brutal attack on Special K for him to receive the warranted recognition – which I feel it wrong, but unfortunately that is the way of the world we live in today.
I’m expecting an imposing performance from Brook in-front of a packed home-crowd live on Skysports and beamed across the pond on Showtime.
Michael Buffer confirmed as the MC is really the cherry on the cake.
The world will be watching when Special K steps back through those ropes, many of his peers in the 147lb division will have various questions they will want answered:
Is Brook’s leg 100% healed?
Is he now vulnerable? How is his mindset?
What about the man in the opposite corner this weekend – Jo Jo Dan, who sounds more like a master in Wing Chun than an actual boxer.
The 33 yr old Quebec based Romanian is 34-2: 18 KO’s with two victories over Kevin Bizier and both defeats at the hands of Selcuk Aydin. Dan respects Brook of course, but the Southpaw is confident he can cause an upset – which I can’t see, I think Brook stops him inside 7 rounds. Then attention can and will turn to getting an illustrious name in the Welterweight division over this summer – Keith Thurman would be my top pick.
On a busy card, Gavin McDonnell faces Oleksander Yegorov for the vacant European Super Bantamweight title. Adam Etches faces rugged veteran Sergey Khomistky for the IBF International Middleweight title.
Frankie Gavin makes his bow as a Matchroom fighter against Bogdan Mitic before his crunch fight with South African Chris van Heerdan in May. Fellow Birmingham native and hard-hitting Flyweight Kal Yafai faces Cristopher Rosales.
Stephen Smith, Jordan Gill and Charlie Edwards are all in action in separate 6 round contests.