Sheffield’s IBF welterweight champion makes his first defence??this weekend, more than seven months after taking the title from Shawn Porter in front of a partisan American crowd.
That victory was the realisation of a lifelong dream for Brook, but just weeks later he was lying in a hospital bed in Tenerife with career-threatening stab wounds to his thigh.
And that incident, he believes, overshadowed what should have gone down as a defining performance.
“I don’t think that I got enough credit for the win,” Brook said. ???Before the fight people were saying I hadn’t been in with anyone and I said after I beat Shawn Porter, ???the Mike Tyson of the 147lb division???, give me the respect I deserve.
“Everybody agreed, but I still don’t really feel I have had the respect for going into the guy’s backyard and doing what people said I couldn’t do and beat him, school him.”
Brook’s weight class means there are huge fights out there in the future – the likes of Keith Thurman, Amir Khan and even the winner of Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao have been mentioned as potential opponents.
But the 28-year-old knows from his own success against Porter the threat posed by mandatory challengers, so his sole aim for now his clear: deal with Dan at his home city’s Motorpoint Arena.
“Mandatories come along and you have to deal with them,??? he said. “He’s earned his position like I did against Porter, so he gets his chance to take that title off me – but that’s not happening.
“I am not looking past him, but I know that there are massive fights out there for me in the division and after I take care of business tonight, I am free to fight anyone.”