In an ultimate mark of respect Mark DeLuca has confirmed he is treating his upcoming bout with Kell Brook as a world title fight, even though no belts are on the line. The American is keen to show the British boxing fans exactly what he can do in his first fight in Europe, as many of them are turning out to see the return of their hometown hero Brook.
DeLuca is under no illusions about the chance that has been given to him and is keen to take full advantage of this opportunity this weekend:
“This would be like winning a World Title for me. Although the belt isn’t on the line the man that I am fighting means everything,” DeLuca told Matchroom. “Fighting someone of his calibre means everything to me. I am confident in my preparation and that is what it all comes down to, fighting the best that I can, that’s all I can do."
DeLuca was keen to point out that all the pressure is on his illustrious opponent who will be stepping into the ring for the first time in 14 months on Saturday night. The fighter from Sheffield has fought some of the best in the world during his career, with his only two defeats coming at the hands of Gennadiy Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr, something that DeLuca praised:
“This is the pinnacle of my career at this point, fighting a former World Champion, Kell Brook fought two of boxing’s biggest boogeymen at the time in Errol Spence and Gennadiy Golovkin, he shook up their world. I have admiration and respect for Kell as a champion but in order for me to get to where he has been, I have to beat him in Sheffield.
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"I don’t really get into social media or read online comments, but I think he is feeling the pressure ahead of this one. All of his fans are waiting for him to come back and it’s in his hometown. He has to deal with this pressure and show up and perform, he has his hands full!"
DeLuca comes into this fight with an excellent record, the only loss on Bazooka’s record was against Walter Wright and he avenged that defeat just four months later with a unanimous victory. However, if he can get a win over his highest-profile opponent yet and add Brook to his list of victims, it will propel him to an elite level in the world of boxing.
“This is my chance and this is my time. I feel great. I have been grinding on small cards in small venues to get to this point and I can showcase my skills and what I am all about in this fight. I am deceiving and people will look at me as a puncher but I can do cute things in there. Everything can change at any moment in a fight,” he added.
The fight will be shown on Sky Sports on Saturday night, live from the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, where thousands of fight fans will be hoping to see Brook return to the ring in style. With the greatest of respect, DeLuca is planning on sending them home very disappointed.