Danny Hall: Kell Brook has the drive to bounce back from Diego Chaves injury KO

Kell Brook
Kell Brook

News of the rib injury which has forced the postponment of his IBF welterweight title defence will have hit him harder than any shot from Diego Chaves could.

But as he recovers from the blow, both physically and mentally, Sheffield’s Kell Brook can surely take some comfort from past experiences; when he has overcome the odds, in and out of the ring.

There have been injuries before; his on-off title challenge against Devon Alexander was switched to ‘off’ permanently after Brook twice damaged an ankle, inbetween Alexander’s own bicep troubles.

Then came Brook’s biggest fight of all; on the island of Tenerife, when he was stabbed in the leg by a machete and feared for his life.

"Without warning or caution, one swipe. I was a victim of an unprovoked attack. Without warning I was getting hit with a machete by this guy to my leg," Brook told Sport magazine.

"The next minute, I was trying to find my feet but my leg wasn't working. There was so much blood spurting out it was a tile floor. I lost my balance and fell.

"I remember scrambling about, trying to get out. I was just thinking: 'I need to get out.' I could see death."

Brook was in Tenerife recovering from the fight, against Shawn Porter, which saw him win the IBF Welterwright title. The win was 16 weeks in the making; six of which he'd spent away from his pregnant partner, Lindsey, and their two-year-old - living, in his own words, with his nutritionist, "like a monk."

In a matter of weeks, he went "from the top of the world, to the bottom of the ocean."

In those panic-filled moments, he feared for his life; then was left wondering if he’d ever walk again, never mind box. He did both; beating JoJo Dan to retain his belt just six months later.

He still wanted to face Chaves, too; Brook’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said: "Kell was desperate to fight but it was simply impossible.

“It's always a bitter blow when an injury causes a fight to be postponed, especially so close to the event.

"He picked up a rib injury in sparring yesterday and spent most of the day at hospital yesterday. We will now look to reschedule the bout for the end of the year.”

Brook's words last September could have been spoken yesterday.

"That’s my belt," he says.

"Nothing will stop me from coming back and defending it. Nothing."

Next Saturday’s show at Sheffield Arena, featuring Doncaster’s Gavin McDonnell against Jeremy Parodi, will still go ahead.

Chris Eubank Jr now tops the bill, as he defends his WBA Interim World Middleweight title against American Tony Jeter