Kell Brook is determined to shed his status as British boxing’s forgotten man by dethroning pound-for-pound superstar Terence Crawford in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The 34-year-old Brook has fought just once in the last two years and enters his undisputed welterweight title challenge as a huge underdog against Crawford, who is unbeaten in 36 professional fights.
Brook has not lifted a world title since he lost his IBF belt to Gennady Golovkin in 2016 and his recent period of relative inactivity meant none of the major UK broadcasters were interested in landing what might ordinarily be seen as a premium contest.
Brook said: “I’ve been after this fight for a long time – I think every fighter who puts on a pair of gloves want to fight the best in the world, and we can’t argue that Terence is pound-for-pound the best in the world.
“I’m in the best condition of my life and it’s time for me to become world champion again. As I’m getting older I’m getting better. I’m controlling my weight and there’s no excuses – I’m mentally and physically in the prime of my life.”
With his long pursuit of a domestic super-fight against Amir Khan coming to nothing, Brook’s only recent outing was a low-key seventh-round stoppage of Mark DeLuca in Sheffield in February.
But Crawford has experienced his own frustrations, with a projected bout against Errol Spence – who beat Brook at Bramall Lane in 2017 – falling through after Spence sustained injuries in a car crash.
For all his obvious dominance of the division, Crawford’s record lacks the significant names to justify his ascendancy among the all-time greats, but the Nebraskan insists he has no problem with the levels of expectation that surround him.
Crawford said: “I’ve always stated that I was the pound-for-pound number one so I don’t see why people would think it would add any pressure to me. I’m comfortable going into the ring this weekend just like I am for any other fight.”