“This is a massive challenge. For me to go out and win I’ve got to box the best I’ve boxed in my whole career. But, I love a challenge and I’m grabbing this challenge with both hands. I went out and made this fight with arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
“I’ve always wanted to get in there with the best in the world, so when I do hang my gloves up at least I can say I fought the best, without the politics involved. I’m also an elite fighter. He’s never boxed anybody with my size, power and self-belief. So he knows this as well.”
Crawford, from Omaha, has climbed the weights – lightweight, light welterweight, now welterweight as champion – never being truly troubled and amassing a 36-fight unbeaten run, in the process defeating Scotsman Ricky Burns on the Briton’s home territory, and last year, Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden. Khan was still peeing blood the next day after being hammered to the body by the American.
“Nobody has unlocked him,” Brook says. “But like I said, it’s hard to find any flaws. He’s a switch hitter, he’s got balance, he’s a finisher – there’s not much I can say he does wrong. But I’m similar to him. My timing is perfect and I’ve got a very good jab. I can take a shot and I’ve got self-belief. I’m natural, a big heavy-hitting welterweight. It’s a real fight, he knows that. I know it’s going to be one hell of fight.”
It meant getting to Las Vegas early. “We got to Vegas Friday night [Oct 30]. We’re waking up at crazy times in the morning still. But we’re following what we need to eat and getting training in. We’re getting Covid tests every couple of days because it’s a different world now. We’re doing everything to make this fight. We’re zeroing in on fight night.”
Brook knows the American scene well. In 2014, he beat another formidable foe in Shawn Porter, claiming the IBF welterweight crown on an historic night by majority decision.
“Normally it takes me 10 days to fully adjust to the time zone. I’ll definitely be ready for the fight. I’ve done everything asked of me in this fight and I’m positive. No stone left unturned. And I’m a happy fighter. Maybe Dominic Ingle, my trainer, is not around and training has been in quarantine, but it’s still not got me down.
“I’ve still got the work in. I’ve still been doing my training sessions and studying the game. I’m very happy coming into this fight. The weight’s there, the fitness is up there, the self-belief is there and I’m happy. I’m a dangerous fighter right now.”
This fight will be all about who controls the space between them. “I’m going to need to use everything in my arsenal to get this victory. My eyes will be locked on Terence from round one. I’ve got to go out and execute the plan we’ve got. It’s 36 minutes of my life to leave 1,000 per cent of my heart in there. I’m going to give it everything and I believe that I am a very hard man to beat when I’ve got this in my heart.
“There’s been a lot of shocks in boxing. I was there at Wilder-Fury and then there was Teofimo Lopez beating Vasyl Lomachenko a few weeks ago. One punch and you’re champion again and the best thing since sliced bread. I won’t be shocked when I come out world champion.”
Terence Crawford v Kell Brook for the WBO welterweight world title is live on Premier Sports 1 in the UK on Nov 14.