THERE’S a cultural divide as wide as the Atlantic in the way rival boxers Carson Jones and Kell Brook have prepared for their big July 7 clash at Sheffield Arena.
Jones, the brash 25-year-old from the central American state Oklahoma, has been sweating it out in San Bernardino County, California - the world famous, Big Bear training area that has been favoured by the likes of Sugar Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya and Lennox Lewis.
It has been a high-altitude grueller for the American.
Brook, the Ingle fighter who has come through the Wincobank ranks, hasn’t enjoyed quite the same scenery in his run-up to Saturday week.
He’s been doing hill runs at Bellhouse Road, Shiregreen and Barnsley Road, Firth Park.
The Sheffielder is relaxed about the differing style of fitness regimes, though.
“I have had some very early mornings when I must have run every hill in Sheffield and there are some steep ones, as everyone knows,” said Brook, who will be looking for his 19th knockout and 28th straight win in this IBF welterweight title eliminator.
“I realise Jones has had the best training he could get, sparring the likes of Saul Alvarez (WBC’s Mexican champion and conqueror of Sheffield’s Ryan Rhodes last year.)
“And my training might not have been in a quite so an attractive or high-profile place.
“But as long as you are gripping down and training hard it doesn’t matter where it takes place. You just get on and put yourself through it.”
The hard work Brook has done in South Yorkshire will lead him to a comfortable victory on the night, believes British boxing pundit Steve Bunce, who has questioned Jones’ pedigree at this level. He wrote on the Espn.co.uk website: “He’s ranked No. 3 by the IBF and he’s never in his career met anyone in the top 20.
“The rankings or ratings of the organisations mean absolutely nothing, and if they did Brook would have fought for the world title two years ago.
“Jones has a high ranking but the brutal truth is that, like hundreds of boxers, he is flattered by his low digit position.
“Brook is a genuine world class fighter but Jones is merely a decent operator. Kell will do a job on him, possibly stopping him late in the fight or winning clearly - most likely every single round. Jones is doing his best to sell the fight and that’s needed to keep the people that pay turning up and going through the turnstiles,” said the respected journalist and author.
“His mouth will make it competitive but there is nothing in his record, against even half decent fighters, to suggest he can derail the Kell Brook express.”
Sheffield light middleweight Sam Sheedy will face Doncaster’s Jason Ball at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium on Friday, July 20.