Kell Brook wants to make a quick recovery and prove he is the best welterweight in the world.
The IBF world champion will be sat ringside in Sheffield on Saturday instead of defending his title against Diego Chaves, after picking up to injury in the build-up.
Brook was forced to pull out last week due to a serious muscle injury sustained in sparring and has since been labelled a coward by American welterweight rival Brandon Rios.
Rios claimed the Sheffield star is scared to fight Amir Khan and would lose to plenty of other big-name fighters at 147lbs, but even though he is “absolutely devastated” by the injury, Brook is staying positive.
“I think I’ve seen what he [Rios] said and I am telling you now, I am the best welterweight on the planet,” he told Sky Sports.
“There’s no welterweight out there who can beat me. He can say I am scared of any other fighter and he can say this or that. I am just sorry for all the fans in Sheffield who were going to turn out and see me on Saturday. I was going to do [to Chaves] what no one else has done.
“It’s just going to have to wait a little bit longer, but when I release what I am going to release on fight night, you’re going to know that no welterweight can touch me.”
Brook still wants to fight Argentine Chaves as soon as possible, and in a further response to Rios, he said there is no update on the chances of a domestic clash with bitter rival Khan.
But the 29-year-old admits the delay is adding to the frustration that has stopped him making “an extreme statement” on Saturday night, which will instead see Chris Eubank Jr and Gavin McDonnell taking the spotlight, live on Sky Sports.
“I believe when I am at 100 per cent, there is no one who can touch me,” he said. “Manny Pacquiao, [Danny] Garcia, [Keith] Thurman, [Shawn] Porter, [Timothy] Bradley – all of them are in my sights now. All the elite-level fighters with the massive names and who are great fighters themselves.
“It’s just pushing it all back, which is frustrating. As for Rios, he obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
Brook’s injury was sustained during a sparring session with the hard-hitting Russian David Avanesyen last week, raising fears about a possible broken rib.
He and trainer Dominic Ingle went straight to hospital for a scan but with no break, he has already had treatment on the damaged area.
Brook admits he is always “big at the weight” but made it clear that there were no other reasons for pushing back the showdown with Chaves.
“My weight is not a problem,” he said. “The fact is, every time I fight I make the weight. People say I am scared, or this is a weight problem, but I have been training for ever. My weight was bang on. I was on all the targets in the gym, so it is a genuine injury.
“Tendons are around there [the muscle] so it is very, very sore and to go into a fight with someone like Chaves, a tough customer renowned for going for the body, I am nowhere near 100 per cent so I could not put my future or my world title in jeopardy.
“I was looking forward to fighting in Sheffield again. I’ve seen posters on my way down to the gym, on billboards, in parks but everything has just come crashing down.
“I love this game but I hate it sometimes, but what can you do? There’s no point in crying over it.
“I will keep myself in good shape, look after myself and hopefully recover in quick time – and then get another date soon.”