Adam Etches can currently bear witness to Kell Brook’s punching power more than anybody else in the boxing world as Sheffield’s world champion prepares for his IBF title defence.
The Ingle gym-mate suffered an injury to his breast-bone in sparring with the welterweight and has had to withdraw from a planned show of his own.
Etches (W20 L2) couldn’t take part in Brook’s hot-weather camp in Fuertaventura either as “the Special One” prepares for the visit of American challenger Errol Spence Jr on May 27 at Sheffield United’s stadium.
“It was a punch to my sternum which I didn’t feel at first because of the adrenaline that was running” said the ‘Birley Bomber.’
“But later on it was very painful - Kell is certainly punching strongly in the run-up to his night. I haven’t had it x-rayed and they would be little they could do if there is a crack in in, but I made the mistake of coming back too soon and getting hit on it again. So I am taking as long as it needs to mend and then adding a month on top of that.
“When I come back I will be fully fit.
“As for Kell he is training at 100 per cent. The only issue with him, I think, is the one of weight, because of the size of him, but he looks good.”
Brook’s weight is on course, say the Ingles.
Injury and illness has meant Etches has boxed only twice since July 2015.
“This is the latest episode of bad luck, I should be used to it by now” the 26-year-old said.
“I might not be the strongest physically in the ring but I know I am very strong mentally in and out of it and I won’t be quitting, I will be back.”
Etches, who is a big ticket seller in Sheffield, added: “I have not given up on my dream of being a world champion and that is what I will be aiming for.”