KELL BROOK must be thanking his lucky stars he hasn’t got Glyn Rhodes in his corner when he fights for a world title in America next month.
And that’s no slight on the Sheffield trainer, who after all, is boxing’s latest recipient of the MBE.
It’s more to do with the fact that Rhodes is not exactly a lucky talisman when Brits go to fight in the United States.
Three times Rhodes has been in the corner for big fights. And three times he has come back on the wrong end of the contest.
“Keep me away from him at all times - I don’t want to jinx him,” laughed Rhodes, of Brook, who has been trained to peak conditioning by Dominic Ingle.
“I was in Bomber Graham’s corner when he was beaten by Charles Brewer. Richie Wenton when Marcus Antonio Barrera got the better of him. (both (Atlantic City, in 1998.) And Clinton Woods had to put up with me when he was beaten by Tavoris Cloud (in Florida; 2009.)”
It is probably those wretched experiences that colour Rhodes’ assessment of Brook’s chances against Devon Alexander at the 80-year-old Masonic Theatre, Detroit on February 23.
“I really hope Kell wins, he is a good kid, but that is a really tough job he has on his hands,” said Rhodes.
“If Kell controls the fight he’ll win it, but Alexander will obviously try to avoid that - and he is a very slick and smart boxer. British fighters, generally, don’t have much luck in America. Naseem Hamed was an exceptional case but other than (WBC welterweight champ) Lloyd Honeghan there aren’t many that spring to mind.
“The crowd there can influence judges but on the other hand Kell is the bigger puncher and all he needs to do is get the right shot on Alexander’s chin and he becomes world champion.
“I sincerely hope that happens and Kell doesn’t lose his way like he did against Carson Jones, a performance that was later blamed on nutrition issues. Alexander is a smart boxer and this is a big ask for Kell to come back with the belt. But everyone in Sheffield will be rooting for him.”
n Tipsters believe the Nav Mansouri v Max Maxwell light middleweight match at Rotherham’s Magna Centre on 22 February will be one to savour.