The K Team
Since turning professional nine years ago Kell Brook's career has been guided with one goal in mind - to become world champion. At 25, 'The Special One' stands on the brink of destiny. His trainer Dominic Ingle tells Sky Sports why he will beat Devon Alexander next month.
By Adam Norman: Twitter @SkySportsNorm. Last Updated: 18/01/13 2:53pm
Team Brook have left no stone unturned as Kell's date with destiny fast approaches.
On February 23 'The Special One' will step between the ropes in Detroit to take on IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander in the first big test of his career.
"For me Devon Alexander chucked that fight in. Anything could have happened in the last couple of rounds but he chose not to go to that point.
Dominic Ingle Quotes of the week
It is nine years since the 17-year-old Brook turned pro and proceeded to sweep through the domestic ranks like a bush fire raging out of control. All that work was for this one moment.
Yet the 'big plan' was almost derailed by American Carson Jones last year when Jones, already with eight defeats on his CV, took the Sheffield man into the trenches.
That narrowest of victories set in motion a chain reaction that has turned Brook into a lean, mean fighting machine.
On board came Dave Hembrough, a strength and conditioning specialist who was part of the British Olympic team, and nutritionist Dave Stache.
Their work had only just begun when Brook blitzed Hector Saldivia in October, a sharp left jab finishing off the Argentinian in three one-sided rounds. They have now had another four months to achieve perfection.
But it is the Jones fight that suggests Kell may have the answers against Alexander, something laid out by trainer Dominic Ingle, who believes the current champion's true colours were revealed when he lost to Timothy Bradley via technical decision in 2011, when he told the referee he couldn't go on with an eye injury.
"The first time he boxed anybody within his age range was Timothy Bradley, and in my opinion he looked for a way out in that fight once things weren't going his way," Ingle told Sky Sports.
"Bradley is the type of fighter that when he thought he was behind he just went for it every round and that's the kind of attitude Kell has got.
"Even against Carson Jones he never gave me the impression that he thought it was too much like hard work. He was in there for the full 12 rounds no matter what. But against Timothy Bradley, Devon was cut, complaining to the referee, but it was the same for both in there.
"For me, Devon Alexander chucked that fight in. Anything could have happened in the last couple of rounds but he chose not to go to that point.
"We don't know what Kell's quit point is yet, but we definitely know what Devon Alexander's quit point is because we've seen it.
"It's not like he was hit and couldn't get back up. He decided he wasn't carrying on and had the chance to pull himself out.
"When Kell starts putting it on him he's going to think 'I've been in this place before. Am I going to dig in or am I going to look for a way out?' Once they give themselves an excuse to stop doing it, it becomes so much easier to do it again.
"So, we'll see won't we?"
Ingle knows Alexander well. He led Junior Witter into battle in their clash for the vacant title in 2009, one that Witter lost in eight rounds. But the trainer was already looking ahead.
"It wasn't a good camp for Junior. He'd lost the world title, his Dad had died and there were things like that going on," he added. "So for me it was a flattering result but even back then in the back of my mind I was thinking 'Kell Brook would beat this kid'.
"What Kell's got to do is walk him back, put the pressure on and make him work harder than he wants."
Dominic Ingle Quotes of the week
"Yes, he's tricky. He does anything he can do to win the fight. If he has to hold and hit, run around and make a messy fight, he'll do it. But in my opinion he's not at the top level.
"You look at him and you think he's beatable but he's got a good amateur style that he can use for 12 rounds. That means he can hit and move, waste time using footwork and doing everything straight.
"But anyone who's given him a hard fight has applied pressure consistently for 12 rounds. What Kell's got to do is walk him back, put the pressure on and make him work harder than he wants.
"Alexander has not got the workrate to work over the full three minutes. He starts to slack off and that's when he starts to unravel a little bit in the later rounds. Kell's got to stand and fight just like Timothy Bradley did."
Alexander will enter the fight as favourite having boxed at world title level since that win over Witter, while Brook has stealthily worked his way into the mandatory position.
And although some believe Alexander will be thinking his first defence of the IBF strap will be an easy one, Ingle dismisses such a claim.
"He's not stupid. He's from the projects in St Louis and he's got a good trainer in Kevin Cunningham. If you're fighting Kell Brook who is unbeaten in 29 fights and dismiss that you'd be stupid, and he's not," he said.
"You can look at his (Kell's) record and say he's never boxed anybody. Well that's fair enough, but who he has boxed he has beat and being unbeaten is a massive factor in how you view yourself.
"When you see yourself in a fight and you know you can't be beat, that goes a long way. Devon Alexander has been there and was getting beat and thought, I'm not even going to finish this fight.
"If he'd have got anything about him, in a unification fight, if that's not worth putting 100 percent in, then for me he hasn't got the heart of a champion."
We know Kell Brook has the heart, we know he has the skills, and with his new team in place he now has the body.
Roll on February 23.