Kell Brook Is Neither A Wimp, Nor A Coward
By: Sean Crose
It was inevitable, I suppose. After getting severely hurt by Gennady Golovkin last fall, then getting severely hurt again by Errol Spence Jr on Saturday, British welterweight Kell Brook is receiving heat for going down on one knee and taking a ten count. Heaven forbid. When he went up two weight classes to face Golovkin last year, Brook had his right orbital bone damaged in a fight where he performed gamely. His corner wisely threw in the towel. This past Saturday, in front of his home town of Sheffield, England, Brook had his left orbital bone damaged in his welterweight title defense against Spence in another bout where he had been performing gamely. This time, however, Brook’s corner didn’t throw in the towel, so the beaten man went on one knee and took a dignified ten count.
And for this grave offense, we’re told by some that Brook is a wimp and/or a coward. Never mind the fact that during a time when Floyd Mayweather may face the mother of all cherry picks in Conor McGregor, Brook has faced not one, but two of the most feared fighters in all of boxing – in a row, no less. If that weren’t enough, people should keep in mind that Brook could easily have avoided fighting both Golovkin and Spence. Perhaps Brook himself is actually wondering if he should have taken on such adversaries, since he’s now essentially being knocked for traveling the less than easy road. Here’s a question, though: What kind of message does all of this give talented young fighters who may want to avoid the low-risk/high reward deathtrap that, until very recently, has completely stagnated the sport of boxing? Are we now demanding these fighters not only face the best consistently, but then “take it like a man” and absorb perhaps permanent damage when they’re being beaten senseless? Let’s hope not.
I wrote about this nonsense on Twitter this weekend and was surprised by the response. Most who responded clearly agreed that Brook deserved credit. Those of another train of thought than my own, though, basically brought up two points. First, that Spence wasn’t all THAT menacing, and, second, that Brook was very well paid for the beatings he took. The truth is that I can’t respond to either of those points, since I haven’t fought Errol Spence, nor do I have any idea what kind of money Kell Brook has made over the past twelve months or so. What I do know, however, is that the guy stepped up and fought two people he was predicted to lose against when he didn’t have to. I also saw him give it his all and clearly take visible damage in the process.
How many other modern, top-name fighters have you seen step up like Brook has – on more than one occasion, no less?
Can Canelo Repair His Reputation?
By: Sean Crose
Things are good yet not so good for Canelo Alvarez. The middleweight/junior middleweight/155 lb weight superstar and (to some, at least) lineal middleweight champ is rich, famous and about to fight yet another world titlist, Liam Smith, in front of an enormous crowd at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium in September. On the other hand, Canelo now has been labeled by many as being a duck…and being labeled a duck is never, not under any circumstances, a good thing for a fighter’s reputation. What’s more, some of Canelo’s comments to the press – and let’s be fair here, his English isn’t great when he speaks to the English speaking media – have only served to alienate him further from some fans.
Still, are things meant to terminally be this rough for the Mexican icon? Or will he someday redeem himself in the eyes of his detractors (let’s face it, the man was until very recently one of the few fighters in the modern era who didn’t seem afraid to face a real challenge)? That may actually all depend on two things: whether or not Canelo faces middleweight terror Gennady Golovkin before the Kazakh warrior begins to age significantly and whether or not Canelo will somehow manage to avoid being beaten before such a fight actually materializes.
To be sure, there are some who feel Canelo just isn’t talented or skilled enough to pick up the mantle left by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, respectively. And make no mistake about it, Floyd and Manny are no longer kings of the ring. Even if they were to fight again, it would be more of a novelty than a snapshot of an era. Is Canelo near either man’s caliber, though? While only someone clouded by bias would claim the red headed star isn’t very, VERY good at what he does, there are some legitimate questions regarding the true quality of Canelo’s ring performances.
For instance, in his two biggest twins, Canelo bested an aged Miguel Cotto, and destroyed a known welterweight in Amir Khan. Impressive feats, sure, but how impressive when one looks at the whole picture? What’s more, few will give a win over the game, but widely unknown Smith a whole lot of props. Not when guys like GGG and any number of quality junior middleweights are – figuratively speaking – just a phone call away.
The truth is that Canelo can only completely and thoroughly re-establish his reputation by facing GGG in a timely manner. Even if he were to move on to best top level competition other than Golovkin, the letters GGG would hang over his reputation for as long as Canelo walked the earth. Which would be something no popular fighter would want to have happen.