Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook Inching Towards The Finish Line
By: Hans Themistode
Kell Brook is on the verge of getting exactly what he wants.
The former 147 pound belt holder has been on a full fledged campaign to get a showdown with current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Now it appears that he’ll get his wish as both sides are inching towards the finish line.
Originally, with Top Rank offering Brook 1.5 million to take the bout with Crawford, their negotiations seemed to be dead in the water. However, sources close to the situation have told The Athletic that they have since upped their offer to roughly two million.
Although Top Rank seems to have placated the financial worries of Brook, Crawford on the other hand, hasn’t agreed to his purse just yet. Despite that, he has acknowledged that the Brook contest is number one on his radar and his ring return will take place later on this year.
“That’s what they saying is at the top of the list,” said Crawford as he watched his good buddy Jamel Herring dismantle Jonathan Oquendo. If it’s Kell Brook that I’m fighting then it’s Kell Brook that I’m fighting. Hopefully November, that’s the plan”
For Brook, his days of fighting on the big stage were thought to be long gone. After back to back losses to both Gennadiy Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. in 2016 and 2017 respectively, Brook suffered consecutive orbital fractures and a loss of motivation. Since then, he’s abandoned the 147 pound division all together and began making noise at 154. Yet with three straight victories under his belt against less than stellar competition, Brook has decided to move back down in weight. In the past he’s complained that squeezing down his Jr middleweight frame to the welterweight limit has cost him on fight night.
With that being said, a matchup with who many consider the best fighter in the world has apparently changed his mind.
As for Crawford, a showdown with Brook may represent the fourth defense of WBO title, but for fans of the Nebraska native, he isn’t the name most were hoping for.
Over the past several months, Crawford has gone back and forth with former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman. In addition to the former titlist, promoter Bob Arum was optimistic of his chances in getting eight division champion and current WBA welterweight belt holder Manny Pacquiao into the ring with Crawford.
Despite the confidence, nothing ever materialized with either man which left the door wide open for a Brook vs Crawford matchup.
In terms of the possible date and location, nothing has been finalized but Arum is zeroing in on mid November.
Eddie Hearn Admits Terence Crawford vs Kell Brook Talks Underway: “We’re Trying To Make That Fight Happen”
By: Hans Themistode
After months of hearing his name associated with the likes of Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and even Gary Russell Jr–Terence Crawford is heading in another direction entirely.
The WBO welterweight titlist is on a collision course with former belt holder Kell Brook. Their clash is far from a reality, but according to promoter Eddie Hearn, everything is pointing in the right direction.
“I had a couple of conversations with Bob and Carl Moretti yesterday,” said Hearn on IFL TV. “I feel that’s a big fight for UK TV, so we’re trying to help out and get that over the line. Personally, I would love to see Kell get that fight.”
Before COVID-19 turned the boxing landscape upside down, Brook was amongst Arum’s possible opponents for his welterweight titlist. Although, the long time promoter ranked it his least favorite amongst the remaining options on the table
“There are a number of possibilities,” said Arum to talkSPORT two months ago. “Thurman, Porter or this kid Ugas, the Cuban who’s a good, good welterweight. They’re with Al [Haymon’s] company PBC. But we’re working well together with that company, so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. And then finally there’s Kell Brook. So the first possibility is Pacquiao, if that’s possible. Second possibility is a fight against one of Al’s guys. And the third possibility is Kell Brook.”
For Crawford, his name has appeared in the headlines even more than usual as of late.
Current 126 pound WBC champion Gary Russell Jr. kicked things off. The Maryland native recently revealed that he broke the jaw of Crawford at the Olympic center several years ago during a heated argument. The former three division titlist quickly went online to dismiss Russell Jr’s claims and threatened to “break his neck.”
Those threats fell on deaf ears as Russell Jr. offered to move up four weight divisions to face Crawford. Most recently, the long standing champion claimed that an offer was sent out to Crawford for a showdown later this year but a response was never sent back.
As they continued to go back and forth, Crawford quickly found himself feuding with another former champion, but someone his own size in Keith Thurman.
“You never got respect in the game at 147,” said Thurman to Brian Custer on the Last Stand podcast recently. “You haven’t pushed the buttons at 147.”
With the two sides continuing to bark at one another, Arum nixed any possibilities of the two squaring off in the ring, claiming that Thurman wanted mind numbing money. Numerous reports were that the former champion’s number was in the 10 million dollar range.
Now, with Thurman off the table and Manny Pacquiao currently eyeing other opponents, Arum appears to be settling for his least desired option. News that brings a smile to the face of Hearn. But before an agreement surfaces, Hearn has made it clear that Arum will have to dig deep in those heavily funded pockets of his.
“I think [Top Rank] had a conversation with Keith Thurman, and obviously they wanted too much money. It’s difficult at the moment … Crawford wants a lot of money, and Kell wants a lot of money. He deserves it. We’re trying to make that fight happen to assist Top Rank in getting the numbers together.”
Kell Brook Annhilates Jo Jo Dan, Retains IBF Welterweight Title
by Johnny Walker
IBF world welterweight champion Kell Brook retained his title today in his hometown of Sheffield, England, stopping game Romanian-Canadian mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan in four rounds at the Motorpoint Arena. Brook was coming back from a bizarre attack suffered in Spain, in an incident where he suffered a deep gash to his leg that could have ended his career or even his life.
It was evident from the start that Dan was completely overmatched, as Brook rocked his opponent with everything that landed, even wobbling Dan with hard left jabs.
Dan went down twice in the second round, first from an uppercut and then from a hard right hand. It was already apparent that it was merely a matter of time for the totally outclassed Dan.
Dan gamely attempted to make the fight messy in the third round to try and survive, but Brook proved too strong and too skilled to be put off by roughhouse tactics on the inside.
The fourth round spelled curtains for Dan, who opened by scoring with a right hand and some body shots. Brook then decided enough was enough, scoring with a hard counter-right hand, sending Dan into pure survival mode.
Brook kept up the attack, rattling his opponent with some big right hands and sending Dan (34-3, 18 KOs) to mat twice more, the last knockdown coming at the bell. After a brief discussion in the fighter’s corner with referee Earl Brown, Dan’s team decided their man had taken enough punishment for one night, and the fight was called off, giving Brook the TKO victory.
Brook (34-0, 22 KOs) made sure to call out fellow Briton Amir Khan after the win, drawing cheers from the partisan crowd, and made clear his elation at not only winning this fight, but at having survived a life-threatening attack outside the ring to do so.
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Showtime Boxing Preview: Brook vs. Dan, Charlo vs. Martirosyan, Russell vs. Gonzalez
By: William Holmes
Showtime’s Championship Boxing series will televise three fights from two different locations on Saturday night as Kell Brook defends his IBF welterweight title against Jo Jo Dan in Sheffield England, while in Las Vegas Jhonny Gonazalez takes on Gary Russell Jr. for Gonzalez’s WBC Featherweight Title and Jermell Charlo takes on Vanes Martirosyan in the junior middleweight division.
The Kell Brook vs. Jo Jo Dan bout will be available live for Showtime subscribers in the afternoon and will be shown again on replay later on that night.
The following is a preview of the three televised bouts.
Kell Brook (33-0) vs. Jo Jo Dan (34-2); IBF Welterweight Title
When you hear boxing pundits talk about British welterweight boxers, you usually hear the name of Amir Khan before Kell Brook, but that has started to change since Brook won the IBF Welterweight title over American Shawn Porter in August of 2014.
Kell Brook will make his first defense of his title when he faces the veteran Romanian Jo Jo Dan in Brook’s home country.
Brook is in his prime and has considerable power. He has stopped twenty-two of his opponents, including four of his past five fights. This might be Dan’s last title shot at a legitimate title as he is currently thirty-three and may be slowly starting to fade. He also doesn’t have the power of Brook, as he has only had two stoppages in his past five fights and two of his wins were by a close split decision.
Brook is arguably a top five welterweight and has faced some decent opposition at this point in his career. He has defeated the likes of Shawn Porter, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Carson Jones, Hector David Saldivia, Matthew Hatton, Lovemore Ndou, and Michael Jennings.
The one knock against Brook is that he has fought most of his career in the United Kingdom, and he has only fought outside of the United Kingdom twice.
Jo Jo Dan has held several regional titles in the past but he has never been a world champion. He has fought all over the world, with most of his fights being in Canada.
Jo Jo Dan has defeated the likes of Kevin Bizier twice by a close split decision and a faded Steve Forbes. He also faced and lost to Selcuk Aydin twice.
This should be an easier fight for Book in his home country. There is a risk that he is looking past Dan and forward to a possibly fight with Amir Khan, but it’s unlikely that Dan will score the upset.
Jermell Charlo (25-0-0) vs. Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1); Junior Middleweights
The first televised bout of the night from Las Vegas will be between undefeated Jermell Charlo and Vanes Martirosyan in the junior middleweight division.
Martirosyan had a notable amateur career that includes an appearance in the 2004 Olympics for the United States that saw him go 1-1. Jermell Charlo is one half of the noted twin Charlo brothers and he also had a successful amateur career, thought not as successful as Martirosyan. Charlo won the bronze medal at the 2005 Junior Olympics.
Charlo is four years younger than Martirosyan and they are both similar in height and reach. Martirosyan has stopped twenty-one of his opponents, but has only stopped one of his past five. Charlo isn’t known for his power either, as he has only stopped eleven of his opponents and one in his past five.
At this stage of their careers, Martirosyan has faced the better opposition. He had an excellent win over Willie Nelson in his last bout and has also defeated the likes of Ryan Davis, Troy Lowry, Richard Gutierrez, Saul Roman, Joe Greene, and Kassim Ouma. His lone loss was to Demetrius Andrade in November of 2013.
Martirosyan’s best bout was actually a draw against Erislandy Lara in November of 2012.
Charlo has yet to challenge for a legitimate world title, but he has passed every test so far with flying colors. He has defeated the likes of Charlie Ota, Gabriel Rosado, Demetrius Hopkins, and Harry Joe Yorgey.
Martirosyan is experienced enough to give Charlo problems inside the ring, but Charlo is just too quick and smart of a boxer to lose this bout if it goes the distance. Martirosyan’s best shot at victory will come by way of stoppage, but Charlo’s defense is good enough to allow him to stay on his feet for the entire fight.
Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8) vs. Gary Russell Jr. (24-1); WBC Featherweight Title
Gonzalez won his first world title down in the bantamweight division way back in 2005 against Ratanachai Sor Vorapin for the WBO World title. Ten years later, he’s still a champion, but this time in the featherweight division for the WBC title after winning it in a shocking upset over the highly rated Abner Mares.
Gary Russell Jr. is a former amateur standout who won the Junior Olympics as well as the Golden Gloves. Russell was a highly touted prospect, but he has lost some of his shine when he lost a wide decision to the very talented Vasyl Lomachenko.
Gonzalez will be seven years Russell’s elder, and at the age of thirty-three it appears his physical prime should be behind him. Gonzalez, despite starting his career at a lower weight, will have five-inch reach advantage and about an-inch-and-a-half height advantage over his younger opponent.
Russell has been criticized for facing lesser opposition and never challenging himself prior to his fight with Lomachenko. His notable wins include Christopher Martin, Christopher Perez, and Vyacheslav Gusev. When Russell was inside the ring with someone who could match his hand speed and in ring generalship, he lost to Lomachenko in a fight that was closer on the scorecards than it was in the ring, but Russell did show tremendous heart during those twelve tough rounds.
Gonzalez has been in the ring with some of the best lighter weight boxers in the past ten years, and has had mixed results against them. His biggest wins have come against a past his prime Jorge Arce, an upset knockout over Abner Mares, and victories over Rogers Mtagwa, Hozumi Hasegawa, Irene Pacheco, Fernando Montiel, and Marc Johnson. His notable losses were to Israel Vazquez, Gerry Penalosa, Toshiaki Nishioka, and Daniel Ponce De Leon.
Gonzalez’s eight losses at first glance will make it seem like that he should be a walk-over for the much younger Gary Russell, Jr.; however, it should be noted that he has gone 9-1 in his last ten fights and has the power to score a flash knockout like he did against Mares.
That being said, this writer expects Gary Russell Jr. to be able to avoid the power of Gonzalez and cruise to a twelve round decision to win his first legitimate world title.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Pacquiao, Mayweather, Brook, Golovkin, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 10th to March 17th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Floyd Mayweather’s Diet Valued at $1,000 a Plate
TMZ has reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has hired a private chef to cook up his meals for the Manny Pacquiao fight at a price for about $1,000 a plate. If Floyd were to eat four meals a day he’s look at a bill of around $184,000.
The woman he has hired is Chef Q who is based out of Las Vegas. More information can be found here.
Manny Pacquiao Donates P5.3M to United Nations World Food Program
Manny Pacquiao has donated P5.3 million ($120,000) to the United Nations World Food Program to fight hunger in the Philippines. The contribution will support the World Food Program’s school feeding program in Central Mindanao.
“The school feeding program ensures that school children in Central Mindanao have one less thing to worry about so they can instead focus on their studies. According to our monitoring data, school feeding programs help increase the retention rate of students in WFP-assisted schools by over 90 percent- a testament to how school feeding helps these children stay in school,” said WFP Philippines Representative and Country Director Praveen Agrawal.
More information can be found here.
Premier Boxing Champions Returns to Spike TV on Friday, April 24th in Chicago
The Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series will return to Spike TV on April 24th at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
The main event will be in the super middleweight division between Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1) and Badou Jack (18-1) and the co-main event will be between Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (28-1) and Caleb Truax (25-1-2) in the middleweight division.
The bout is co-promoted by Warriors Boxing and Mayweather Promotions and tickets will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com.
“I’m extremely excited to be fighting on Spike TV and I plan on being the guy everyone is talking about when the night is over,” said Dirrell.
“This is a great platform for me and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show for the fans. Badou Jack is a tough opponent, but I’m going to make it a very bad night for him.”
“This is a great opportunity for me and I am not going to let it slip through my fingers,” said Jack. “I know Anthony Dirrell is a very skilled fighter but he’s about to feel a different kind of power when I hit him. I’m looking forward to becoming the super middleweight champion on April 24th.”
ESPN Friday Night Fights Returns to Mohegan Sun
ESPN Friday Night Fights returns to the Mohegan Sun on Friday, April 17th. The main event will be between highly touted prospect Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0) and former world-title challenger Elvin Ayala (27-6-1) in the main event of the evening and the co-feature will be between Ryan Kielczweski (22-0) and Danny Aquino (16-2) in the featherweight division.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be headlining this card and appearing for the first time on the ESPN network and I want to thank my promoters DiBella Entertainment and Fight Promotions Inc. for this opportunity,” said Derevyanchenko.
“Ayala is a very tough and experienced opponent. He challenged Arthur Abraham for his title, going 12 hard rounds. He is coming off a very good win in his most recent fight and I know he will be coming to win in front of his hometown fans come April 17. I am looking to make a statement in this fight though. I am going to show the world that I am one of the best 160-pounders in all of boxing and I belong at the elite level of this division.”
“On April 17th, I will be victorious” said Ayala. “I am training like never before and I am ready to put on the performance of a lifetime. I have suffered losses in my career but never defeat. God knows this and I know this and now it is time for the world to know it, beginning with Sergey Derevyanchenko.”
Kell Brook vs. Jo Jo Dan to be Televised on Showtime
Showtime Sports has announced that they will broadcast the Sky Sports telecast of the IBF Welterweight World Championship between Kell Brook and the number one challenger Jo Jo Dan on Saturday, March 28th live on Showtime at 6:15 p.m. ET/3:15 p.m. PT. This bout will be held at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England.
The same evening will feature a WBC Featherweight Championship bout between Jhonny Gonzalez (57-8) and Gary Russell Jr. (25-1) in the main event of Showtime Championship Boxing as well as a bout between Jermell Charlo (25-0) and Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1) in a super welterweight bout.
“After everything that’s happened over the last six months, it feels incredible knowing I will be defending my World title in Sheffield,” said Brook. “I’m not looking past JoJo, I know he will bring the heat but I want to get this mandatory defence done and then target those mega-fights that are out there in the division. I know he feels he worked so hard to get into the mandatory position just like I did, but I will be working twice as hard to keep the belt that I earned. After May 2nd, there will only be two champions in the division—myself and Floyd or Manny. I want to unify this division in style. I’m coming for them all.”
Willie Monroe Jr. to get Title Shot Against Gennady Golovkin
Many people were hoping that Gennady Golovkin would be facing an elite level boxer such as Miguel Cotto or Canelo Alvarez in his next bout, but fans will have to accept the fact that the winner of the 2014 Boxcino Middleweight tournament as Golovkin’s next opponent.
Willie Monroe Jr. will face Gennady Golovkin for his WBA/IBO and WBC Interim Middleweight Championship on May 16th at the Forum in Inglewood, California. This event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
“On May 16, I will shock the world,” said Monroe. “I think this is an awesome fight. We have two contrasting styles that will make for some spontaneous combustion. We will see which style comes out on top on May 16.”
Monroe went on to state, “I want to thank Banner Promotions for standing by me. I also want to thank “GGG” for accepting the fight. This is a risky fight for him because people have not given me credit for who I am,” continued Monroe. “I also want to thank Brian Kweder and John Campagna of ESPN for the platform of the Boxcino tournament. I know that it was those three fights that really springboarded me into this position.”
Adrien Broner Arrested on Drunk Driving Charge
The Sharonville, Ohio police arrested Adrien Broner in January of 2015 for a drunk driven charge after he refused a breath test when officers stopped his Merecedes.
He has pleaded not guilty and will ask for a jury trial.
More info can be found here.
Full March 20th Fight Card Set Featuring Alfonso Gomez
Golden Boy Promotions recently announced the full card for March 20th at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Former world title challenger Alfonso Gomez (24-6-2) will take on Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai (25-2-1) in a super welterweight bout.
This bout will be aired live on Fox Sports 1 and future hall of famer, Bernard Hopkins, will be in attendance to meet and greet with fans at the Special Events Center from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The undercard will feature Ronny Rios (23-1) taking on Sergio “El Frio” Frias (16-4-2) and former Irish national championship fighter Jamie Kavanagh (17-1-1) facing Miguel Zamudio (29-6-1).
More information can be found at www.goldenboypromotions.com.