Kell Brook nearly gave up boxing during depression battle

Kell Brook has revealed that he almost gave up boxing having needed a counsellor to help him emerge from depression after losing his IBF world welterweight title to Errol Spence in May.

Brook, who returns to action as a super-welterweight against Sergey Rabchenko on Saturday, suffered an emotional maelstrom -- eventually hitting "rock bottom" after fracturing an eye socket for the second consecutive fight, and it almost lead to the British boxer hanging up the gloves for good.

"Yeah, I thought about packing it in," Brook admitted to ESPN.

"I was very low after the way I did [against Spence] in Sheffield. The way I lost and then people saying I had quit. Nobody walks in my shoes except me. It was around Christmas I hit rock bottom. I was pushing people closest to me, family, away. I was a mess.

"Drinking too much, feeling down. I knew I had to get back into boxing. I had to change my life. I was seeing a counsellor, that's how bad it got, and I just opened up, said it how it was. I poured my heart out to them in a few sessions. People didn't see what was happening behind the scenes."

Brook cannot afford a third successive setback when he faces Rabchenko [29-2, 22 KOs] as he looks to silence the hefty criticism that came his way after defeat to Spence from the likes of fellow British boxers Tony Bellew and Chris Eubank Jr.

"I was disappointed that some boxers had that opinion," Brook said. "Looking at that clip of me against Spence, it doesn't look bad, but when it's you in there in the ring it's different.

"I've had swollen eyes before and cuts, but a broken eye socket is different -- it's like being blind. You don't know whether to go forwards or backwards because you can't see properly.

"When you're moving your head around it makes you go cross-eyed and you have no vision of where you are. When I breathed I could feel the air coming in and out of my eye and I had no coordination.

"There's no quitting in me but when you can't see what you're doing, it's hard to continue."

Another development since Brook last fought has been former welterweight rival Amir Khan joining promoter Eddie Hearn's stable. Hearn was left frustrated by two failed attempts to match Brook and Khan in the summers of 2016 and 2017, but Brook has not given up hope of meeting his English rival.

"I hope the Amir Khan fight gets made," Brook responded when asked about the potential all-British match-up.

"We've got the same promoter now and it's in the promoter and fighters' interests to make the fight happen. It's the biggest fight out there for us.

"It's like Mayweather-Pacquiao, but in Britain. We tried making it before, I just hope it can be done now. We're not getting any younger and it's probably easier winning a world title than getting him to sign a contract. But I hope it can happen."