Brook inspired by Robinson, Leonard for Golovkin mission
Kell Brook wants to align himself with the all-time greats of boxing by dethroning feared middleweight king Gennady Golovkin in London next Saturday.
IBF welterweight champion Brook will jump two weight divisions to face similarly undefeated WBC, WBA and IBF ruler Golovkin, whose fearsome punching power has brought a remarkable 32 of his 35 professional wins by knockout.
If the 30-year-old Sheffield fighter is able to overturn the odds and defeat the Kazakh superstar, he will match the iconic exploits of Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard in becoming a world titlist at 147lbs and 160lbs.
Robinson, widely regarded as the finest ever exponent of the Queensberry Rules, became middleweight champion by beating long-time rival Jake La Motta in their sixth bout in February 1951 - the infamous "St Valentine's Day Massacre" that was later rivetingly depicted in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning "Raging Bull".
Leonard sensationally stepped out of a three-year sabbatical to outfox Marvin Hagler over 12 gripping rounds in Las Vegas in 1987 and Brook hopes his deeds at the 02 Arena can match such celebrated feats.
"Sugar Ray Robinson was unbelievable," hesaid. "He used to fight so regularly and nobody could get near him.
"He moved up from welterweight to middleweight and just dominated the game. He was the perfect fighter for me in every way.
"Then Sugar Ray Leonard was super slick and back in those days, when he had the fights against people like Roberto Duran and Tommy Hearns - they were amazing fights.
"Everyone thought Leonard was fighting Hagler, the bigger guy, but he was smart in the fight and he pulled it off.
"They are the fights that I watch. I don't watch Golovkin, I watch those old greats who have been there, done it and got the t-shirt."
Robinson fought 10 times acclimatising to the higher weight before dispatching La Motta and Leonard already had a light-middleweight title to his name by the time he faced a defining showdown with Hagler.
By comparison, Brook is launching himself into deeper waters having never competed over the championship distance beyond welterweight.
Nevertheless, he is far from apprehensive.
"It's all a hype game, this boxing," he added. "People are so in fear of [Golovkin] before they get in the ring.
"You are going to see, from when the bell rings, that's not the same for me."
***Sky Sports Box Office will show Golovkin v Brook on September 10. Order now at skysports.com/golovkinbrook***