As Kell Brook looks to bounce back from two consecutive — and punishing — losses this weekend, the Sheffield fighter acknowledges that he went through some really dark times after he lost his IBF title to Errol Spence that nobody really knows about.
In a conversation with ESPN Brook says he seriously considered walking away from boxing following that performance and all the criticism he received from it.
“I was very low after the way I did [against Spence] in Sheffield. The way I lost and then people saying I had quit. Nobody walks in my shoes except me. It was around Christmas I hit rock bottom. I was pushing people closest to me, family, away. I was a mess.
”Drinking too much, feeling down. I knew I had to get back into boxing. I had to change my life. I was seeing a counsellor, that’s how bad it got, and I just opened up, said it how it was. I poured my heart out to them in a few sessions. People didn’t see what was happening behind the scenes.”
Brook continued to say he was extremely disappointed that even fellow fighters like Chris Eubank Jr. and Tony Bellew ridiculed him for ‘quitting’ when he was seriously injured during the fight, with his vision being severely compromised from a broken orbital bone.
He admits it may not have looked so bad from the outside looking in, but when you’re the one in there with the injury, it’s a totally different perspective.
“I’ve had swollen eyes before and cuts, but a broken eye socket is different -- it’s like being blind. You don’t know whether to go forwards or backwards because you can’t see properly.”
Brook also mentions that he could literally feel air coming in and out of his eye as he breathed following the injury, and that his coordination was simply gone at the end of that fight. He’s adamant that there’s no real quit in him as a fighter, but when you’re up against it in a manner like that, it was just too difficult to carry on.
So now, following another surgery to have his eye socket repaired with titanium, Kell Brook will be taking on Sergey Rabchenko in his junior middleweight debut on Saturday in Sheffield, England, still hoping to land a fight with rival Amir Khan in the near future.