With Kell Brook gearing up for his return fight on Saturday against Sergey Rabchenko, one of the big questions is how the former welterweight titleholder will fare at a new weight, as he moves up to 154 pounds.
“The last four weeks of camp have been sensational. The weight is so perfect for him. He hits so hard at this weight. The problem last time was not just making the weight — it was the IBF check-weight. He couldn’t refuel.
“All being well, I want Kell to have a week off then be back in the gym. At this stage of his career he can’t afford [a break]. He has got to make the most of what he’s got left - probably three to five fights. The plan is box again quickly, it could be June or July. Then to jump in the deep end towards the end of the year, in an ideal world against Amir Khan. Whether it’s Khan, Charlo, Sadam Ali, Manny Pacquiao.”
Brook (36-2, 25 KO) has lost two straight, one a daring move to middleweight to face Gennady Golovkin in September 2016, and last May’s loss to Errol Spence Jr, both stoppage defeats that resulted in eye injuries.
Hearn says Brook is past that, too:
“Fighters are unique people. Of course, you get hit in sparring and Kell has been hit hard so he’s felt it on his cheeks. This time, he’s used to it and it’s nothing new. He is incredibly tough and courageous to want to come back, prove people wrong and be a world champion again. People should respect that.”
Rabchenko (29-2, 22 KO) is a solid fighter, one with some power who comes to fight, and an interesting choice of opponent. It’s not a walkover matchup — Rabchenko’s two losses have come against Anthony Mundine, which was controversial, and Tony Harrison. If Brook finds the move to 154 tough, or he’s just not fully there, Rabchenko is good enough to show the world.