It is not very often that South Yorkshire can boast two reigning world boxing champions.
And it’s not very often they are in the same room at the same time.
So the historic surrounds of Sheffield City Hall were a suitably imposing venue when the city’s favourite fighter Kell Brook (IBF welterweight) and Doncaster’s much-loved Jamie McDonnell (WBA bantamweight) got together.
McDonnell is living the dream after retaining his title with an impressive points victory over Tomoki Kameda in Texas last weekend.
For years an under-rated boxer who was under the radar for both domestic and international observers in the sport, now he is an authentic and hugely likable world title holder. McDonnell is refreshingly honest too.
With promoter Eddie Hearn wincing slightly at the dual press conference, the Doncaster man candidly admitted he was in the sport for money. His Rotherham trainer Dave Coldwell revealed his man had been substantially overweight when he returned from holiday two months before the Kameda fight - but his dedicated training camp had delivered him a win which had made British boxing proud.
Brook is a man who has, in the past, had to watch his own weight. But the “chocolate brownie” he talks of these days is a euphemism for a stinging punch which he intends to serve to Argentinian Diego Chaves, at Sheffield Arena on October 24.
Chavez has taunted Brook that he will be subjected to a barrage of his own, body shots in particular. But the Ecclesall champion looked typically at ease with the prospect. “We know what heat he will come with” said Brook. “He is rough and tough, but they all have a game plan until they get in with me. They say I am slow or whatever but I have the best jab in boxing and will use my skills to my best advantage against him. He is going to taste the chocolate brownie right hand!”
Brook’s trainer Dom Ingle, suggested Chaves could be a dirty fighter, not averse to using his head and his elbows. But the pair will perfect a plan for the fight in a Spanish training camp over the next few weeks.
The undercard will include Ricky Burns, Gavin McDonnell, Josh Wale and Atif Shafiq.