Kell Brook has vowed not to make the same mistake as the man from whom he ripped the world crown when he makes the first defence of his IBF welterweight title in Sheffield on Saturday night.
Brook takes on Canada-based Romanian Jo Jo Dan in a bout which bears all the hallmarks of a triumphant homecoming before the 28-year-old sets his sights on much more lucrative 147lbs assignments.
Brook had himself been considered a convenient underdog when he went to California in August and surprised the incumbent champion Shawn Porter to wrest the belt by split decision.
And his extraordinary recovery following a life-threatening stabbing while on holiday in Tenerife last September has left Brook in no mood to make assumptions about how his first bout in his home city since October 2013 is going to end.
Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle said: “Shawn Porter under-estimated Kell Brook and believed his own hype and then he was forced to admit he had over-looked him.
“There is no danger of Kell overlooking Jo Jo in the same way. Jo Jo has got into the mandatory position and he wants to win that title. Kell is looking for big fights ahead but Jo Jo sees no reason why he shouldn’t get them too.”
Kell is looking for big fights ahead but Jo Jo sees no reason why he shouldn’t get them too.Dominic Ingle
Brook’s long recovery since the horrific and unprovoked stabbing incident has left Ingle convinced he will step into the ring on Saturday in the shape of his life - even if his long slog to super-fitness did come at a price.
“It’s been a long camp and it’s sometimes been boring and a bit like groundhog day but he’s done all the work and the result is that his fitness is through the roof,” added Ingle.
“Because of the injury he has mentally over-compensated and he has really had to kick up a gear to get himself fit. It has been 30 weeks since he started rehab but he is fitter now than he was for the Porter fight.
“He is fighting on his home ground on Saturday and that will improve his performance by another 10 or 20 per cent. But the fact Jo Jo has come over to take his title will raise his game as well.”