- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Welterweight contender Kell Brook believes his injury issues are behind him and he is looking forward to returning to action when he faces Carson Jones in a rematch on July 13 at the outdoor Craven Park rugby stadium in Hull, England.
England's Brook had been slated to face world titleholder Devon Alexander as the mandatory challenger in Atlantic City, N.J., on May 18, the third date the fight had been set for because of previous postponements. But the fight was canceled altogether when Brook (29-0, 19 KOs) suffered a stress fracture in his right foot during training and had to pull out.
Alexander wound up hammering replacement (and Brook's promotional teammate) Lee Purdy while Brook was sidelined. Brook was then lined up to face Jones (35-9-3, 25 KOs) of Oklahoma City in a rematch of their brutal fight from last July when, fighting in his hometown of Sheffield, Brook won a 12-round majority decision in a semifinal title elimination fight that got him one step away from what became the aborted title shot against Alexander.
"It has been very frustrating," Brook said. "I have never really had an injury in my whole career, and then just before the biggest fight of my life it happens to come along. It was horrible and I was absolutely gutted about it.
"Without a doubt, it was the hardest thing I have had to go through in my boxing career. I have always wanted to be a world champion and when I got a world title fight, it got taken away from me and it was out of my hands. It was so frustrating. I couldn't watch Alexander versus Lee Purdy, I couldn't do it. Knowing that I should have been in there that night, I couldn't sit down and watch it."
Brook said he is past the disappointment now and looking forward to facing Jones again.
"I am on to the next chapter in my boxing career now and I am looking forward to having fun on July 13," Brook said. "Step by step, we will get to where I have wanted to get all of my life and all of my career. I am looking forward to Hull, I am excited and I cannot wait. Big things will come from me. I am going to make a statement in this fight and I am going to carry on from there.
"I could have had an easier opponent, but the last fight was an exciting, mouth-watering fight, and I think the fans deserve it. It is going to be a tough fight and I am training hard for it, but I am going to go out there and have fun and take care of business."
Brook-Jones II is on the card (televised by Sky Sports in the United Kingdom) headlined by the pro debut of Hull native Luke Campbell, who became the first British boxer to win a bantamweight Olympic gold medal in more than 100 years when he did it in London last summer.