Almost 12 months have passed since Kell Brook knocked out Hector Saldivia inside three rounds of the duo’s final eliminator for the IBF world welterweight title.
Yet since that landmark win, which should have been a springboard for the unbeaten Brook’s career, the Sheffield fighter has been stuck in neutral.
He has had more fights cancelled than he has completed, with the title showdown he had worked all his life for collapsing three times, with his own injuries twice being the reason.
Now the man he should have been fighting, IBF champion Devon Alexander, is to finally put his belt on the line in December – against Amir Khan.
It is the bout Brook should have been fighting.
Instead, Khan, who still commands the big fights despite his own progress slowing, has jumped the queue after making the step up from light-welterweight.
Brook’s patience is being tested, and he would be well within his rights to go off in a sulk over how events have unfolded.
Yet the 27-year-old has greeted the repeated adversity with a touch of perspective and a heavy dose of positive thinking.
“My time will come,” is the mantra the boxer with a blemish-free record of 30-0 is adopting.
He does not just want to fight Alexander, but he also wants to prove his point as the best this county has to offer in that division in a War of the Roses with Khan.
Floyd Mayweather, the superstar of the era, is also on Brook’s radar, and he will fight any of them anywhere in the world, though preferably in his beloved Steel City or on a bumper bill in the United States.
“I’m itching to be in those massive fights, injury-free, touch wood, with everything going smoothly,” said Brook, who is in intense training for his fight with Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Sheffield Arena on October 26.
“It has dragged on. Something always seems to happen. I was so ready for Alexander but the injury (knee) I got left me down in the dumps.
“I’m onto a new chapter now and I’m very positive and that’s how you’ve got to look at things.
“You know it’s just a matter of time. I’m 30 fights unbeaten and the time is very soon where I’m put in a massive fight and you see me perform.
“I’ll certainly have earned it. I’m ranked in the top three in the world now and the time has come.
“I’ve got this big fight this month and then we’re looking at a massive fight in early Spring.
“That’s all I’ve wanted to be involved in since I got into boxing, and from early next year I’m going to be involved in all of them.
“Pay-per-view is being reintroduced so maybe get them involved and bring some massive names over, like your Khan, your Alexander, your Adrien Broner. And don’t even rule out Mayweather.”
On Khan’s move above him in the pecking order, Brook added: “It is frustrating. There’s a lot of politics in boxing. Khan’s not even boxed at welterweight and he didn’t even look that good in his last fight or when he got knocked out before that (against Danny Garcia). Money talks... but my time will come.
“And when I do become champion I’ll be there for a long time.”
Before those potential title fights, Brook is mindful that he has to concentrate on the present, which on October 26 is the 5ft 11in frame of Senchenko, the man who stopped short Ricky Hatton’s comeback last year.
“I’m 100 per cent focused on this fight, I’m too smart for that,” said Brook, whose only fight this year resulted in a knockout of Carson Jones in Hull in July.
“People who look past their next opponent end up getting knocked out, so I’ve got the maximum focus on Senchenko.
“He’s taller than me and he’s got long arms, he uses his height to his advantage, he’s got a very good jab and he’s good at everything he does, but I believe whatever he brings to the table I’ll have an answer for.
“It’s going to be an epic night, there’s blockbuster fights on the bill, I’m just glad and thankful that Eddie (Hearn) is putting big shows on in my city and we’re going to get the Arena rocking.
“I want to entertain, I want to do what no-one’s done to Semchenko, he’s only been stopped once and that was on a cut.
“He beat our guy Ricky Hatton, so we need revenge for him, and I want to do a number on this kid and show the boxing world that I’m serious.”
Olympic bantamweight champion Luke Campbell is set to make his second appearance on the Sheffield bill, after Brook supported him on his big debut at Craven Park in the summer.
Ahead of his return to the top of the bill, Brook was back at grass-roots level yesterday marking the re-opening of the Lower Manor gym in Sheffield which, with the help of relet company Galatia, has been renovated after it was burgled in January.
Coaches Steve Barnes – Brook’s amateur mentor – and Chris Smedley have been inundated with kids looking to make use of the revamped facilities and Brook added: “Gyms like this are very important because they keep young kids off the street and it gives them something to do. This gym is a positive for the area.”