23rd February 2012
Kell Brook intends to remind fans why boxing is one the greatest sports around. His passion and professionalism shows in the ring with every slick move and punch. When he collides with Lancastrian rival Matthew Hatton next month, both men will aim to fly the flag of British boxing high during their contest at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena.
The class and style of the twenty-five-year-old prizefighter is a credit to his trainers at the St. Thomas Boys and Girls Club in Wincobank, Sheffield. It is legendary among boxing enthusiasts for its rich history of success stories, where discipline and structure is provided to those willing to learn. Beyond the famous names of Naseem Hamed, Johnny Nelson, Junior Witter and Herol Graham, the modest converted church building has often opened its doors to embrace the young and disaffected.
The positive and unpretentious approach of the Ingles is instilled in those who compete as professionals under their watchful gaze. Kell Brook, undefeated in 26 fights, exhibits the calm and composed nature of an athlete who thrives on competing. Having recently become a father to a baby girl, his determination and focus is unwavering as he now fights not only for himself, but his growing family.
‘Kell is right on schedule for the 17th,’ trainer Dominic Ingle says. ‘His sparring started on Tuesday with Erick Ochieng, and again on Thursday. Various sparring partners will be brought in over the next 3 weeks to sharpen him up.’
His upcoming ‘War of the Roses’ battle with Matthew Hatton on March 17 will give him an opportunity to shine in front of his home crowd at the Sheffield Arena. ‘Magic’ Matthew Hatton is an experienced contender, and his meeting with Brook will mark his 50th professional appearance. An underdog in the eyes of many observers, Hatton went the distance with Mexican warrior Saul Alvarez last March, who was unable to put the strong Lancashire prizefighter away. Hatton is technical and savvy in the ring, having fought in numerous overseas contests, many on boxing’s grand Las Vegas stage as part of the supporting cast for elder brother Ricky. He will be no pushover in the clash with the Yorkshireman, and ‘Special K’ is preparing for his toughest test.
|Brook coach Dominic Ingle|
Kell made his US debut in December 2011, with a dominating performance over Luis Galarza on the undercard of Matchroom stablemate Carl Froch’s Super Six finale with Andre Ward. With a faultless record behind him, the WBA intercontinental welterweight champion is now hungry to make a mark on the division by outclassing thirty-year-old Hatton. He possesses the power, speed and style to unsettle his archrival, being both vicious with his uppercuts and body shots in range, and intelligent with his jab and footwork when he chooses to outmanoeuvre opponents. He has many ways to win. Defusing Hatton’s skilled array of armour will require the Yorkshireman to be at his sharpest, a task he and his team are delighted to undertake.
‘This is his biggest fight so far,’ Dominic acknowledges. ‘And history will repeat itself when Yorkshire triumphs in the War of the Roses once again.’
Confidence is not lacking in the Ingle camp. The Sheffield welterweight is aiming high, and plans to be among the top British boxers by competing for a world title in the near future. Having signed with Matchroom Sport in 2011, his career is now guided by ambitious promoter Eddie Hearn, who is keen to see ‘Special K’ fulfil his potential. A win over Matthew Hatton would set the twenty-five-year-old up for the bigger challenges he relishes. Gaining knowledge and self-assurance with each outing, he is ready to step up and be recognised at last.
From their gym in Wincobank, the Ingles have proven their track record by producing such a high calibre of boxing greats. World, European, British and Commonwealth champions have all emerged from the Steel City gym. With strong values of hard work and dedication promoted by the Ingle team, young prospects are in no better place to learn the noble art. Abdul Barry, or ‘Kid Galahad’, is one such hopeful, along with heavyweight prospect Richard Towers and welterweight Adnan Amar. Brook is leading the way to inspire a new generation of talent.
The Ingles are in the habit of making champions, and Kell Brook is set to display his pedigree when he gives his all on March 17 against IBF international welterweight titlist Hatton. He has the ability and promise that British boxing needs to flourish, and will intend to dazzle his rival with his own brand of pugilistic magic.
Kell Brook vs. Matthew Hatton will be live on Sky Sports on March 17.
By Jane G.