Kell Brook believes the stabbing that left him “staring at death” has given him the control over fear he will need to defeat Gennady Golovkin.
The 30-year-old challenges IBF, WBA and WBC middleweight champion Golovkin at London’s 02 Arena on September 10.
He will step up two weight divisions to challenge one of the world’s most intimidating fighters, one who has stopped 33 of his 35 opponents and never been taken beyond 11 rounds.
Brook’s recovery from the machete attack in Tenerife in 2014 that threatened not only his career but his life, however, has given him perspective.
While he still fears Golovkin’s ability and devastating punch power, he has survived from a position of far greater jeopardy.
“What’s happened in my career, and staring death in the face, this is nothing to me,” said Brook, who like Golovkin remains undefeated.
“This is nothing. That’s why I’m going to shock everyone. I’ve been near death: this is a doddle. That’s why you’re going to see what you’re going to see, September 10.
“Of course I’ve got fear. I’m in with a killer. A big, heavy-handed middleweight.
“I know that once that bell rings, I’m not going to go in there waiting for him, I’m going to be doing what I need to do first. Everything’s first: jab’s first, everything’s first. I need the perfect gameplan to come through.
“This is why I’m going to win this fight. I don’t believe in all this hype people get behind: they’re scared of his power and they’ve already lost.
“Like fighters who used to fight Mike Tyson, they’d already lost. I’ll go in with the mindset of winning.”
For all of his confidence, Brook recognises he remains the significant underdog. The 34-year-old Golovkin may even have been installed as the favourite had he secured a potential fight against super-middleweight Carl Froch.
There have been many fine victories for British fighters on nights they were widely expected to suffer defeat, Tyson Fury’s over Wladimir Klitschko and Lloyd Honeyghan’s over Donald Curry among them.
But Brook, who as the underdog overcame the big-punching Shawn Porter in 2014 to win his IBF welterweight title, reckons his will prove the greatest.
“(This would) probably be the number one (upset in British boxing history),” said Brook, who considers Kazakh Golovkin the world’s leading fighter pound-for-pound.
“It’s going to be the biggest shock, because he’s beating middleweights with ease, and they’re looking at me as this small welterweight,” the Sheffield man said. “It’s all going to come together on the night. You’re going to see something very, very different. I’ve never come close to losing.
“History repeating itself with (Sugar Ray) Leonard (beating Marvin) Hagler, Tyson (Fury), (Muhammad) Ali... Everybody wrote him off and said ‘One or two rounds against Sonny Liston’ all them years ago and he went out and shocked the world. We’re here now, and we’re going to do the same again.”