Johnny Nelson has spoken to Kell Brook following a video appearing to show drug use was leaked to the press.
Brook retired after victory over Amir Khan in February 2022, and has since teased a return to the sport, admitting that he felt ‘lost’ without it. A video clip of him snorting white powder was recently obtained by a tabloid newspaper.
Johnny Nelson, who came up in the same gym as Brook albeit decades earlier, told SlothBoxx that his friend was struggling with life outside the ring.
“I spoke to Kell today actually. He’s not in a great place, and that’s how it is. I can only speak for boxing, and the first five years of a fighter retiring is the hardest. Because boxing teaches you to do nothing apart from stand on a door, or be a coach.”
“Everything you’re doing, all year round away from fight time, you know in the back of your head you’ve got to prepare for something at some point. You’re aiming for something. When that’s taken away, there’s nothing to aim for.”
Nelson, who still holds the record of being the longest reigning cruiserweight world champion of all time, went on to discuss what it’s like when you hang up the gloves.
“Kell has said – I think that was more disturbing than anything – I’ve got nothing to live for. Now I’m not boxing, I’m lost … Most fighters, it’s your life, it’s your heart.
Without boxing, there’s no plan B. He’s still a young man and still wants to fight. When it’s done, you’re done. When your timing’s gone, when you can’t do what you used to do, that’s what you’ve got to accept. You might have a young brain, but your body can’t do what it used to do.
Somehow, for the next fifty, sixty, seventy years you’re alive, you’ve got to somehow find something that give you that rush boxing gave you. People that have never boxed will never know the rush I’m talking about.”
He then expressed the need for aftercare in the sport, as well as urging fighters to surround themselves with good people.
“Kell is lost. Kell is surrounding himself with a crowd that were never professional fighters. Never had that discipline. Never had that sort of mentality. So, unfortunately for Kell, he’s going through it – and he’s got to find his happiness.
I always say this – it’s the after care in boxing that’s not there. Everyone wants to be around you when you’re the one getting your head smashed in in the ring and you’re the one putting thousands of people in an arena.”
“He needs help. He needs guiding. This is the time when he needs someone like Brendan [Ingle] there to help you find your way.”
Brook hasn’t commented publicly on the matter.