Kell Brook faces the biggest night of his career on Saturday, when he meets tough Argentine Hector Saldivia in a Betfair-sponsored final eliminator for an IBF world title shot. Here's part two of our exclusive chat with him.
Kell, we were talking about the atmosphere in Sheffield. How much did that help you get through your win over Carson Jones in July?
It makes such a difference that you can't understand. I got hit in the eighth round with a shot that broke my nose and the noise helped me keep going. In the end people said that fight showed up some problems, but for me it told me a lot about myself. I proved to myself that with a broken nose, with no energy, with the way I felt in those later rounds when it was really tough, that I could come through that. It actually told me a lot about myself.
So just what does it feel like to keep boxing with a broken nose?
Tough, not a nice feeling, I can tell you, getting banged on the nose, and it's broken, and you are swallowing blood, and some guy is still trying to take you down, and you are getting hit again on that nose. I guess you have to take your hat off to us fighters, we put it all on the line.
You do - but it seems that fight has made a difference to you.
Bizarre, but yes. It did me a lot of good, because it made me realise I don't ever want to feel again the way I felt that time. I realised there were things I had to address, and they have been addressed, and for this fight I know I will be in the best physical shape and ready.
We talked about using a dietician. What has that meant?
Well other people have porridge or cornflakes for breakfast, I have been having fillet steak with broccoli for mine. And he's given me different vegetables, things I had not even heard of. Everything has been grown in an organic way, it's super foods, super shakes, lots of different things I've been introduced to. I've done a 12 week training camp and it has been moving on all the time, I've never been bored.
So how do the last couple of days before the fight unfold?
Wednesday is my last training session, and after that it is just relaxing, I'll probably walk round Meadowhall shopping centre and just spend some time with my daughter. She's eight-months old, so there's plenty to do to look after her. Then it's time for the weigh-in, get into fight mood and get ready to dismantle my opponent.
Tell us a bit about your background, Kell. How did you get into boxing?
I used to like watching Bruce Lee films and karate films when I was a kid, and my dad saw something in me. He saw I was a strong little boy so he took me to the boxing club. I fell in love with it. Then Brendan Ingle saw something in me, he told me I could be world champion. He obviously has an eye for that kind of thing, and I've been chasing it ever since. I'm still believing that I can reach the heights that he said.
Who were your heroes?
I liked Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Prince Naseem, Joe Calzaghe, those kind of people who were the up-and-coming fighters at the time.
So who are heroes now? What about Floyd Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquiao who are the only welterweights ranked above you by Ring Magazine?
I can't afford to have any heroes in my division. I'm more in awe now of the old time fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali or Joe Louis, those kind of old school stars. I do enjoy watching the two you said because Mayweather, especially, is great TV. But they aren't heroes, they are targets now. I'm only interested in being number one.
We hope Saturday's a step in that direction for you - and we've a free £50 bet for a favourite charity to say thanks for your time.
That can go to the Sheffield Children's Hospital charity, and I'll back my team Sheffield United to win promotion at 2.35/4. As it's for charity I don't want to risk losing by saying they'll win League One, but I definitely think they'll go up, even if it is through the play-offs.
Check out part one of our interview with Kell Brook.
And don't forget to show your support for the Sheffield fighter by getting involved with the 'Hand of Kell'