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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Terminator Kell Brook should get back to winning ways

Brit hoping restructured face holds up against Sergey Rabchenko

Kell Brook squints through the pain against Errol Spence
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WBC silver super-welterweight title 
Sky Sports Action/Main Event, 7.45pm Saturday

Boxers can undoubtedly be counted among the world's bravest athletes but Sheffield's Kell Brook is perhaps a victim of his own fearlessness.

Brook went 36 fights undefeated but the big paydays – including a domestic superfight with Amir Khan – eluded him. So he threw caution to the wind and stunned the boxing world by jumping two weight divisions (13lbs) to take on middleweight king Gennady Golovkin, many people's pound-for-pound champion and one of the most ferocious punchers on the planet.

It didn't end well. Brook chose to trade blows with Triple G and despite landing a few of his own his corner threw in the towel in the fifth round and Brook needed surgery on a fractured right eye socket. 

But he won plenty of plaudits for his gutsy performance and eight months later he defended his IBF welterweight title against Errol Spence, another legit world-class operator. 

It was going okay for Brook until the seventh round when he got caught by a punch to the left eye which left him with double vision, and the fight was waved off in the 11th. It was later revealed he had broken his eye socket.

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That was ten months ago. "The bone's knotted together and I've got titanium on top, so they call me the 'Terminator' now," Brook told Sky Sports this week.

"The first few spars, I was a bit worried, but after I've been in with big guys I realised I have got no problems."

Again, though, Brook has refused to take an easy option and takes on established 154 pounder Sergey Rabchenko, who also has just two defeats on his record and is a powerful puncher. 

Common sense suggests Brook may take a more cautious approach after his injury problems, but that is not his style and he says he is looking to "go old school". 

Rabchenko deserves more respect than double-figure quotes suggest, but if Brook is his usual self he should be far too good. 

The standard of Rabchenko's recent opponents has been poor and he was stopped by unremarkable American Tony Harrison inside nine rounds in 2016. 

Brook is several levels above Harrison and once he has shaken off the ring rust he should get the stoppage without many problems. 

K Brook rounds seven to nine
1pt 7-2 general
Under 9.5 rounds
1pt 11-10 bet365, Betway

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The standard of Rabchenko's recent opponents has been poor and he was stopped by unremarkable American Tony Harrison inside nine rounds
E.W. Terms
Sky bet