Is this the end of the road for Kell Brook?
By: Kirk Jackson
Errol Spence 22-0 (19 KO’s) emerged victorious as the newly crowned IBF welterweight champion over the weekend, dethroning Kell Brook 36-2 (25 KO’s) and solidifying his claim as one of the top fighters in the stacked welterweight division.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 27, 2017
While “Strap season” is in full-effect as the future appears bright for Spence, many wonder what’s next for Brook?
The first issue to address is the eye injury and path to recovery.
In the fight with Spence, Brook says the injury occurred in the seventh round and continued to get worse as the contest wore on.
“I got caught on the left eye in the seventh and it felt really bad,” Brook said. “It was the one the worst feelings I ever had. Kind of like when Triple G [Gennady Golovkin] hit me and fractured my orbital bone. It was devastating. I just couldn’t see.”
Brook continued, “It was a competitive fight. He got some rounds, I won some rounds too. I felt I was winning, but my eye didn’t allow me to continue. I just couldn’t see. You can’t fight if you can’t see.”
“I got put down, and I got up because I’m warrior. I got up and kept on fighting, but on the eleven I just couldn’t see. I had to take the knee.”
Golovkin destroyed Brook’s right eye in their encounter last September, fracturing his orbital bone. After surgery, titanium infused plates and rehabilitation, Brook returned to form prior to taking his match with Spence.
Against Spence however, Brook suffered injury to his left eye; having that side of his orbital fractured (courtesy of right jabs from Spence).
Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn mentioned the possibility of Brook moving up to junior middleweight (154 lbs) prior to his fight against Spence.
The question beckons if Brook is sustaining serious eye injuries in consecutive fights, will this continue to be an issue in subsequent fights?
Will this force the star from Sheffield to consider retirement?
Brook more than held his own against Spence, in a highly competitive, back and forth bout for the first six rounds.
And prior to taking a knee and essentially ending the fight, Brook fought valiantly in brief stretches during the championship rounds.
But as early as the first round, Spence deposited hard, thrashing punches to the body and comprehensively broke Brook’s frame, face and spirit.
Brook looked gassed after six rounds and the young American arguably delivered a greater beat-down in comparison to Golovkin’s performance.
Back to back physically debilitating defeats in such a demanding sport can be hard to recover from.
Let’s say theoretically, Brook recovers from injury and decides to move up in weight and campaign at junior middleweight.
He will have issues competing in that weight class if he decides to fight the best opposition available.
The elite fighters at 154 lbs; WBA Super junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara 24-2-2 (14 KO’s), WBA Regular junior middleweight champion
Demetrius Andrade 24-0 (16 KO’s), IBF junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd 20-0 (14 KO’s), WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo 29-0 (14 KO’s) and contenders in position for belts Austin Trout, Erickson Lubin and Julian Williams.
Not only is the competition stiff at junior middleweight, but they are sharks in the water and Brook is looking like fresh bait.
In regards to competition in the eyes of the public, Brook proved himself and has high stock. It now may be time to cash out before calling it a career.
It can be suggested Brook already attempted to cash out; going on suicide missions fighting a powerful punching middleweight Golovkin and defending his IBF title against one of the division’s most potent and technical welterweights in back to back, high profile fights.
Brook may now have a few tune-ups en route to a large, block buster event. Cue in Khan.
Hearn mentioned the possibility of matching Brook with long-time rival Amir Khan; a match-up he tried to make many times in the past.
I got beat in the war I had with Canelo, Brook showed no respect! but I wish him and his family all best and hope he has no serious injury
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) May 27, 2017
The likely move, somewhere between 147 and 154 lbs is Khan. After a long recovery period, Brook and Khan will more than likely have tune-up fights in preparation for their long-awaited duel sometime in 2018.
Brook may have a few more fights before he make