The two main men behind Kell Brook insist Sheffield’s world champion will not under-estimate his opponent when he makes an emotional homecoming tomorrow.
Brook will take on Canada-based Romanian Jo Jo Dan in the first mandatory defence of his IBF welterweight title.
And both trainer Dominic Ingle and promoter Eddie Hearn are certain Brook will not make the same mistake that former champion Shawn Porter made back in August, when he lost the title to the determined, undefeated challenger from South Yorkshire on a split decision.
Furthermore, Brook’s extraordinary recovery following a life-threatening stabbing while on holiday in Tenerife last September has left him in no mood to make assumptions about how his first bout in his home city since October 2013 is going to end.
Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle said: “Shawn Porter under-estimated Kell Brook and believed his own hype and then was forced to admit he had overlooked him.
“There is no danger of Kell overlooking Jo Jo in the same way. Jo Jo has got into the mandatory position and he wants to win that title.
“Kell is looking for big fights ahead, but Jo Jo sees no reason why he shouldn’t get them too.”
Brook’s long recovery since the horrific and unprovoked stabbing incident has left Ingle convinced he will step into the ring tomorrow in the best shape of his life – even if his long slog to fitness did come at a price.
“It’s been a long camp and it’s sometimes been boring and a bit like groundhog day but he’s done all the work and the result is that his fitness is through the roof,” added Ingle.
“Because of the injury he has mentally over-compensated and he has really had to kick up a gear to get himself fit. It has been 30 weeks since he started rehab, but he is fitter now than he was for the Porter fight.
“He is fighting on his home ground on Saturday and that will improve his performance by another 10 or 20 per cent.
“But the fact Jo Jo has come over to take his title will raise his game as well.”
Hearn added: “This is a tough fight. Jo Jo Dan is the No 1 contender in the IBF, so Kell has to fight him.
“Kell was in the same position as Jo Jo Dan seven months ago, and you saw how much desire Kell had.
“Jo Jo’s got nine or 10 of his team out here for the fight and they would love nothing more than to win this title.
“There’s that added pressure on Kell because sometimes when you go to someone’s back yard you’re a bit under the radar.”