The English poet, Edward Young, is said to have been the first man to use the now famous proverb ‘Procrastination is the Thief of Time’.
Ironically enough, the first time I was exposed to this message was when I was about 8 years old, and it was painted in big, black, bold letters on a wall across a bridge in my native Johnstone, in the West Coast of Scotland – which is not exactly a breeding ground for thought provoking street art rich in wisdom.
For some reason I was instantly struck by the peculiarly out of place eloquence of the graffiti and I instinctively knew it would be the first and last time I would see such a sight in my hometown. Intrigued, I immediately went home and asked my mother what the message meant.
She told me, “It means you must not waste time thinking about things instead of actually doing them”
Sadly, it wasn’t until last October that I finally began to appreciate the importance of this proverb- as I belatedly began trying to do something about my ambition of being a sports writer by actually beginning to write. In the last year, the words have finally begun to flow and it has been a liberating experience.
I wonder if Kell Brook has had a similar, but far more profound epiphany in the last 12 months.
After nine years as a professional, which have, at times, been punctuated by tales of poor conditioning and more than a few false dawns, the penny has finally dropped.
Now, one of Sheffield’s favourite sons seems dedicated to realising his dreams of becoming a World Champion.
The turning point in the narrative seems to have come in the aftermath of his 1st fight with Carson Jones when, after suffering a few scares throughout the fight, he awoke to the sobering reality that in order to achieve his ambitions of global recognition: he would have to adhere to the standards set by elite level boxers in terms of preparation and physical conditioning.
Despite amassing a perfect record of 31 wins from 31 contests, the latest protégé rolling off the production line of boxers made in Sheffield, Brook has not faced many opponents of a world class pedigree like his long time adversary and fellow Englishman, Amir Khan has in his career.
But timing is all important. And if I could time my entrance into the fray of sports writing as perfectly as Kell Brook seems to have timed his rise to prominence in prize fighting contention then I will not go far wrong.
But like Kell Brook, I face a convoluted talent pool- where competition is rife. The Welterweight division in which he campaigns is comfortably the most fiercely contested weight class in boxing.
Any top 10 list of 147lb fighters issued by the various sanctioning bodies illustrates the embarrassment of riches in the division, and highlights the magnitude of the challenges which Kell will have to overcome to conquer the division and be crowned World Champion.
Judging by his confident comments in the wake of his demolition job of former WBA Welterweight Champion, Vyacheslav Senchenko, which has secured him a shot at the winner of Devon Alexander vs Shawn Porter, for the formers IBF title, Brook clearly feels he is on cusp of gate crashing the top table of the Champions elect.
He issued a statement of his intent to Sky Sports when he said: “I want to be in those massive fights. After that performance I belong at the top level. I am happy now and injury free. I’ve had some bad times and I hated boxing with my injuries. I couldn’t train. The opportunity was there and (because of injury) I was heart broken. I’m on to another chapter now though and I’ve come back with a bang,”
Brook has had to deal with his fair share of pain before sampling the sweet taste of pleasure. But, in order to avoid any more upset he must seize the initiative, act on his ambition and strike whilst the iron is hot so as to avoid the prospect of procrastination stealing his time.