A Look at the Options for Khan and Brook
By: Oliver McManus
Amir Khan and Kell Brook have had a long running, well-documented, rivalry with the “super-fight” being touted as “never being closer” on numerous occasions throughout the last five years and, indeed, despite that looking like the truth when Amir Khan and Kell Brook had a, tentative, face-off in the ring following the conclusion of Khan’s comeback in April, the likelihood of the bout taking place in the immediate future has since dwindled.
Here we take a look at the potential options for both Khan and Brook before discussing whether or not a meeting between the two can legitimately lay claim to the title “super-fight” –
On the basis that the pair don’t face each other next then the immediate option being bandied around is Manny Pacquiao with Khan being the front-runner for such a bout, to take place in America, and you get the feeling that, despite his performance against Matthyssse, this would be a matchmaking art-form.
A big fight in America and a big fight in the United Kingdom, we know that Eddie Hearn has been in talks with Pac Man to fight on DAZN so there’s definite potential for the fight and, let’s not forget, that the pair were supposed to fight on April 23rd last year, in the United Arab Emirates, before the bout got called off, supposedly due to a lack of funds.
With a world title to his name, the latest in a seemingly endless conveyor belt, there’s added spice to this bout with, for Khan, arguably the easiest route straight back to a world title and, dare we say it, a legacy defining bout for both boxers with an opportunity for Pacquiao to prove he’s not “over the hill” and Khan getting one MONSTEROUS name on his CV.
Hold up, hold up, let’s not get ahead of ourselves though because the fight with Pacquiao is a fight that Kell Brook wants as well and we’ve seen, over the course of history, that Brook is a guy with absolutely no fear heaving stepped up in weight to face Golovkin before taking on Errol Spence Jr, he lost on both occasions but the performances were stock-raising, nothing to be sniffed at, and he proved his heart and guts.
We know that he has the boxing ability to cause serious problems at the highest level and, indeed, packs some serious power as evident from his, most pertinently, sixth round TKO over Frankie Gavin but, equally, in his two round demolition jobs of Kevin Bizier and Siarhei Rabchanka – admittedly not the greatest quality opposition but you can only deal with what’s in front of you and Kell is consistently convincing.
A fight between Amir Khan or Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao is, truth be told, one of the only realistic bouts featuring the Filipino that gets me excited and I don’t really care which one of the Brits gets the shot but I want to see one of them in there.
BRING IT ON!
If we turn our attentions to the Sheffield superstar then, on paper, he has more, realistically, winnable options for a world title and that’s not just because he’s able to fight at 147 and 154 – the title holders at super welterweight are have more of an air of vincibility than those at welter.
Jaime Munguia, as heavy and explosive as he is, should be no match for the maturity and experience of Kell Brook and, whilst I confess this all hypothetical, there is then the scope for genuine showdowns with the likes of Jarrett Hurd, Erislandy Lara and Jermell Charlo.
Brook looks a more complete article at super-welterweight, as well, he looks naturally healthier and has significantly more energy, able to fight at a higher tempo and, rather obviously, packs that heavier artillery which enables him to really double-down and get the business done.
That’s not to say he’s not a threat at 147 because he, undoubtedly, is but it just seems to me that it’s about time in his career where he stops squeezing himself down to the lower weight and, indeed, Eddie Hearn has said that it takes him 16 weeks to get there so when all of that is taken into account it seems only logical that he remains at super welter for the long term because, yes, whilst this would probably rule him out of a couple of the bigger fights he would stand a far healthier chance of an extended career with, to his credit, huge clashes to be had with a trio of, simply, sublime Americans.
Amir Khan seems belligerent in adjusting weight, refusing the potential for a 150lb catch-weight fight with his longest rival which is shrewd on his part for maximising his natural advantages but does also allow the doubt in to creep in as to whether the fight will actually happen.
Looking further into the future then and there are plenty of tasty fights – Pacquiao and Brook, aside – that Khan could be involved with and this is where his time in America comes in handy because promoters over there want to have him on their shows, networks want him on TV and he’s very easy to market.
Danny Garcia is a man that Khan has publically said he wants to face, claiming he was “unfocussed” in their original clash back in 2012 – in which Khan was dropped on three occasions as the bout came to a swift conclusion in the fourth round – and it’s a fight that has appeal for both parties with, frankly, Garcia not quite the hot-shot that he formerly was and Khan is a route back into the headlines.
Having made a blistering return against, admittedly over-matched, Phil Lo Greco, Amir Khan didn’t prove anything new over the course of those forty seconds but he did show that he’s not lost any of his killer instinct, the ability to pounce on a subject as soon as a weakness is shown, and, boy oh boy, does he still have that hand speed.
So, we move until the bigger question on the horizon, is Amir Khan vs Kell Brook or, for that matter, Kell Brook vs Amir Khan still a) relevant and b) a mega-fight?
Let’s deal with “a” first and, to be brief, yes it is still relevant and it will continue to be relevant for as long as the two protagonists continue to target each other and whilst their still active in the sport because, make no mistake, there will always be an appetite to see the two of them square off in the ring purely because of the history, the deep rooted nature of this rivalry, and everyone wants to know, who ACTUALLY is the best?
Is it still a mega-fight? Well that depends who you are, it is certainly a big encounter and would be made even bigger if one of them were to capture a world title before such a showdown, it’s a stadium fight but it’s a fight that would have been way, way bigger in 2014. People will watch, of course they will, but the excitement won’t be as red-hot as it once was and it will almost be more of a sigh of relief if it were to happen as opposed to a never-ending crescendo of excitement.
Is it relevant in terms of the world scene? Well that’s a separate question and that particular relevance has been like a ticking time bomb over the past five years and there’s a nagging suspicion, from me, that we won’t see this bout until after there is any serious consequence. I could be wrong, mind.
I hope I am.
Kell Brook Stops Rabchenko Early
By: Ste Rowen
In Sheffield, on Saturday night Kell Brook impressively marked his return to the ring since May 2017, by making light work of Belarussian, Sergey Rabchenko, stopping him in the second round.
Kell stepped on the gas from the first round, looking to take the centre of the ring and, whilst Rabchenko seemed game, the Sheffield native was clearly the superior boxer. With 1:52 left of the second round, Brook landed a beautiful right-hand uppercut, visibly shaking his opponent which set up the finisher, as Kell followed up with another big right hand, sending Sergey to the canvas, and keeping him there for the count.
So, the former IBF welterweight champion moves to 37-2 (26KOs), speaking to Sky Sports post-fight, Kell seemed more determined than ever to state his claim as one of Britain’s best, and without naming names, Brook made a call out to the rest of the 154lb division,
‘You thought you got rid of me. I’m putting everyone on notice. I’m the terminator and I’ll be back… Another win. I’m putting everyone on notice, I’m here to stay.’
Jermell Charlo called out Brook via Twitter on Friday as a possible June opponent, but there was no mention of the WBC champion after Brooks return to winning ways, the focus, from promoter Eddie Hearn, seemed to solely be on setting up a fight with fellow Brit, Amir Khan,
‘There aren’t the big names in the division at 154lb, well guess what? There is now… Kell Brook has passed the test. Amir Khan has got to pass the test April 21st, Kell will be ringside for that as well.’
‘Kell wants to fight in June. Back to the gym on Monday. Let’s get busy, let’s make up for lost time.’
Arguably fight of the night, on an underwhelming undercard, was Gavin McDonnell’s unanimous decision victory over Gamal Yafai. Gamal, was unbeaten (14-0) going into the bout but as the rounds drew on, experience was king as McDonnell, now 19-1 (5KOs), began to dominate after the early rounds and there was no question over who had won when the final bell went.
McDonnell, whose only defeat came at the hands of WBC super-bantamweight champion, Rey Vargas, seemed ready again to talk about challenging at the top level of his division,
‘If I was to lose tonight it would have killed me. I knew my career was on the line…I just want big fights and as long as I’m moving in the right direction, a world title will come.’
Hoping to avenge his May 2017 defeat to Lenroy Thomas, and fighting in running shoes, Dave Allen left the Sheffield Arena disappointed after an accidental clash of heads in the first round put an end to the rematch. Allen was stalking the Commonwealth champion early when, with 44 seconds left of the first round, the two butted heads as Thomas landed an uppercut. The referee immediately called a timeout as the blood came pouring from a deep cut above the ‘Doncaster De La Hoya’s’ right eye, and minutes later put an end to the bout, calling a technical draw.
One of the early bouts of the card saw super middleweight, Rocky Fielding, 26-1 (14KOs) dominate Czech journeyman, Karel Horejsek over 8 rounds. Post-fight Eddie Hearn revealed that Fielding, most likely due to his first-round stoppage of David Brophy in September, had managed to manoeuvre his way up the rankings and into a shot at WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez,
‘We’ve been in talks this week. It looks like it will take place in June, we’re just working on the deal now, it’s quite close…The matchup would likely take place stateside and as long as the deal is right, we will accept the fight.’
Kell Brook vs Sergey Rabchenko Preview
By: Ste Rowen
This Saturday night, Kell Brook makes his return to the ring for the first time since his 11th round stoppage loss to Errol Spence in May last year. A punishing encounter that broke his left eye socket, lost him his belt and forced Brook into questioning whether it was worth carrying on.
‘People are right to question what I’ve got left and how I am going to be after the injuries and defeats. I know that I’ve got a lot left in me. I believe I am going to be the same fighter, I’ll be better with the bigger weight which will bring the best out of me.’
The Sheffield native was forced into taking in a knee in front of his home fans in the Spence bout but he’s back in Sheffield again, this time at Sheffield Arena, to make his first steps in the heavily stacked with talent, 154lb division and regain the momentum and perhaps respect he lost in defeat.
Brook’s first tilt at junior middleweight sees him come up against 29-2 (22KOs) Sergey Rabchenko. The Belarussian fought just once in 2017, stopping fellow countryman and journeyman Sergey Krapshyla. The combined record of Rabchenko’s last four victories is 51-59-5 (27KOs).
On his opponent, ‘Special K’ had his promoter’s hat on,
‘He’s a very good fighter, very clever. He has only got two losses, like myself…He’s naturally strong and powerful, and he goes to the head and body good. He uses the ring, he’s a very clever fighter.’
‘If anyone had not done anything right at the top level, they would get beat by this guy, because this guy is no joke.’
It’s not exactly the acid test some fans were hoping for but some leeway may have to be given for a man who in his previous two bouts suffered fractured sockets in both his left and right eyes, not to mention it being his first fight in a new division.
With the WBC ‘Silver’ junior middleweight belt being on the line, a win could propel the victor into a mandatory shot, unfortunately for Saturday night’s winner, the current 154lb WBC champion is the unbeaten, huge hitting and fellow Errol Spence gym-mate, Jermell Charlo, set to fight in June against an, as yet unnamed opponent.
But Kell’s new division is full of exciting fighters including match ups with contenders such as, Julian Williams and Erickson Lubin, recently knocked out in the first round by Charlo; or a domestic shootout with Liam Smith and of course, the never-ending speculation of a fight with Amir Khan. Another fight with the other champions can’t be overlooked, though WBA holder, Erislandy Lara and IBF champion, Jarrett Hurd face off against one another next month, a fight later this year even with the loser would be a great barometer of where Kell is at and how far he can go to reach the summit at 154.
Saturday night’s card in Sheffield also features some interesting matchups.
Gamal Yafai, brother of Super Flyweight champion, Kal, takes on 18-1-2 (5KOs), Gavin McDonnell. Gamal, 14-0 (7KOs) is currently on a 3-fight knockout streak with his biggest win to date coming in May last year when he stopped then unbeaten, Sean Davis in seven to claim the WBC international super-bantamweight title. McDonnell is two fights removed from his comprehensive loss to WBC super-bantamweight champion, Rey Vargas.
Fans favourite, Dave Allen will be looking to put old demons to bed and avenge his 3rd professional loss when he rematches Lenroy Thomas for the heavyweight commonwealth title. Allen and Thomas fought a close but ugly encounter on the Brook/Spence undercard last year which saw the Jamaican take the split decision victory. The ‘White Rhino’ now 12-3-1 (9KOs), is under no illusions about how significant this fight is for the trajectory of the rest of his career,
‘Mental preparation I think is key now, for a man like myself. Physically I’m there, so yeah, I’ve got to live the life in fight week, because I’ve thrown good performances away on fight week by doing stupid things.’
‘My message to Eddie Hearn is, when I beat Lenroy Thomas in fantastic fashion, which I will do, we’re going to have to sit down and make big plans.’
After Conquering The United Kingdom, what is the Next Move for Errol Spence Jr.?
After conquering The United Kingdom, what is the next move for Errol Spence Jr.?
By: Kirk Jackson
He came, he saw, he conquered.
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. 22-0 (19 KO’s) delivered on his promise, dethroning IBF welterweight champion Kell “Special K” Brook 36-2 (25 KO’s) in a thrilling, competitive bout across the pond in Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom this past weekend.
Displaying what Spence described as “True grit,” the newly crowned champ accomplished the same feat a few high profile, contemporary American fighters accomplished – traveling to the United Kingdom to win their first world title.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) May 28, 2017
Terence Crawford, Timothy Bradley and Marvin Hagler won their first world titles in the United Kingdom. Pretty good company.
After eating a few of Brook’s “Chocolate brownies,” Spence dissed out his own punishment, stopping the brave Brit in 11 rounds.
“I watched some of his fights and he likes to fight at a certain pace,” Spence told Showtime’s Jim Gray after winning the title.
“And once you pick up the pace on him, he kind of breaks down a little bit, and he can’t throw a lot of punches. So I decided to press the action, make him fight at a pace that he didn’t wanna fight at. Then he started breathing hard and he started slowing down, and I knew that I had him.”
Spence stated in his post-fight interview, the goal is to fight all of the top guys in the division. He wants to unify all of the belts and specifically called out unified WBA and WBC welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman 28-0 (22 KO’s) and WBO welterweight champ Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao 59-6-2 (38 KO’s).
“I’ve been calling Keith Thurman out for a long time,” said Spence. “Now it’s time. You say I have to prove myself and I haven’t fought anybody. Well, I just beat the so-called biggest welterweight in the division – Kell Brook. So now, Keith Thurman, you know, come-out. It’s time to fight.”
— Keith Thurman Jr. (@keithfthurmanjr) May 27, 2017
Thurman appears to be game. Whether these fights occur remain to be seen. It’s been suggested Spence has been avoided in boxing’s toughest division.
It will be difficult to avoid Spence now that he has championship stake in the division. If he can unify, then all championship welterweight roads must be traveled through him.
“The goal is to unify the titles,” Spence told Sky Sports following Saturday’s fight. “I wanna fight Keith Thurman next, you know, Manny Pacquiao next. I wanna fight the champions next, unify the division and become the undisputed champion of the world.”
Danny “Swift” Garcia 33-1 (19 KO’s) and Thurman played their part in the unification process earlier in March and it will be great for boxing if the trend continues throughout the year.
With Pacquiao facing relatively unknown contender Jeff “The Hornet” Horn 16-0-1 (11 KO’s) in July, time to will tell if he wants to participate in this unofficial, welterweight-tournament styled unification process.
Spence appears to have a bright future and it will be interesting to see the challenges in store for him next.
Is this the End of the Road for Kell Brook?
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
Kell Brook Is Neither A Wimp, Nor A Coward
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?
Spence Dethrones Brook In Thriller
Spence Dethrones Brook In Thriller
By: Sean Crose
In front of a jam packed, explosive hometown crowd in Sheffield, England, IBF welterweight champ Kell Brook went out like a British hero of old. Showing great gamesmanship and courage, Brook, whose eye was badly damaged by Gennady Golovkin months earlier, took a knee in the 11th round after being sent down by American challenger Errol Spence Jr. in the 10th. Brook was subsequently counted out. Spence can go home with a belt, but man, he had to fight for it.
The Texas native came out to a loud chorus of boos, which was no surprise, as over 25,000 fans had packed into Bramall Lane to see their countryman, Brook, defend his title strap. Brook’s entrance, on the other hand, was electric, which was also no surprise, as England is quickly becoming THE international hot spot (if not home base) for boxing. Each man visibly oozed confidence and the excitement was palpable in the lead up to the opening bell. Unfortunately, fans in the audience booed the American National Anthem, which spoke more to their individual personalities than it did to anything related to international relations.
The fight itself was extremely close…and extremely thrilling. Some rounds were nearly too close to call. Early on, in fact, it looked like Brook might successfully hold on to his belt. Spence worked the body effectively in clinches, though, and that undoubtedly helped tell the tale. The matter of Brook’s injured eye, however, cannot be overlooked. The man’s face looked a mess as the bout wore on. In short, Brook was wise to take a knee at the end. He came to fight…he didn’t come to lose his eye. “Devastated” was a word Brook used to describe his feelings after this loss. He shouldn’t be. He’s some kind of fighter.
As for Spence, the future is extremely bright. He wants Keith Thurman. He wants Manny Pacquiao. The bottom line is that the man wants greatness, and, although it may be way too soon to say, he may well be on his way to getting it. Another word on Brook, though: More fighters should be like the guy. He’s lost two in a row simply because he’s challenged himself twice in a row. Really challenged himself. How many others fighters can that be said of? Aside from Wladimir Klitschko, I can’t think of one.
This past weekend once again proves that boxing is certainly in a good place in 2017. Indeed, it’s been one major event after another. Even more importantly, it’s been one thrilling event after another. It’s a good time to be a fan.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Kell Brook
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Errol Spence Jr. vs. Kell Brook
By: William Holmes
On Saturday afternoon at the Bramall Lane Football Ground in Sheffield, England one of the best fights that could be made in the welterweight division will occur.
Uber prospect Errol Spence Jr. will take on IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook in Kell Brook’s home town and this bout will be televised on Showtime in the United States.
Eleven bouts are currently scheduled to take place on the undercard, including a WBA Super Middleweight Title bout between George Groves and Fedor Chudinov. It’s unlikely that the Groves bout will be televised in the United States absent a quick stoppage.
The following is a preview of the IBF Welterweight Title fight. The lead promoter for this bout is Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Kell Brook (36-1) vs. Errol Spence Jr. (21-0); IBF Welterweight Title
The welterweight division has always been a stacked division full of talent. Keith Thurman currently holds the WBA and WBC World Titles, Kell Brook holds the IBF Title, and Manny Pacquiao holds the WBO title, but only Kell Brook had the courage to move up two weight classes to face Gennady Golovkin and give him a better fight than most expected.
Brook could have taken an easy fight after his bout with Golovkin and most boxing experts would not have blamed him. However, Brook has decided to take on one of the most dangerous prospects in the sport today, Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.
Errol Spence was an amateur star on the United States amateur scene and was a 2011 US National Champion and a 2012 Olympic team member. Kell Brook didn’t compete in the Olympics, but was able to experience a good amount of success as an amateur in England, including two Amateur Boxing Association of England titles.
Spence appears to have the advantage in the physicals. Spence will have about a half an inch height advantage, a three inch reach advantage, and is four years younger than Brook. Spence also appears to have the edge in power. Spence has stopped eighteen of his opponents and is currently riding an eight fight stoppage streak.
Brook also has power in his hands as he has stopped twenty five of his opponents. Seven of his past eight wins were stoppage victories, but his last bout was a TKO loss.
Both boxers have been fairly active the past two years. Spence fought twice in 2016 and four times in 2015. Brook fought twice in 2016 and twice in 2015.
Spence has soundly defeated the likes of Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Alejandro Barrera, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, Ronald Cruz, Emmanuel Lartei Lartey. Kell Brook has defeated the likes of Kevin Bizier, Frankie Gavin, Shawn Porter, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Carson Jones, Matthew Hatton, Lovemore Ndou, Michael Jennings.
This is a tough bout to choose the winner. Spence will be in enemy territory and the 30,000 expected fans in attendance will be loudly cheering for Brook. However, Brook is coming off a TKO loss to Gennady Golovkin and has not been seen in the ring since.
Additionally, Brook will have to make the cut back down to 147 again after competing in the middleweight division.
This is a rare time that we get to see a young prospect with high expectations take on an established champion still in the midst of his athletic prime, and it’s a fight that hardcore boxing fans are looking forward to.
It’s a fight that this writer expects Errol Spence Jr. to officially announce to the world that he is, in fact, the next big thing with a convincing and clear victory.
Win, Lose, Or Draw, Kell Brook Deserves Respect
Win, Lose, Or Draw, Kell Brook Deserves Respect
By: Sean Crose
Lots of people are writing British welterweight Kell Brook off this weekend. American Errol Spence Jr, we’re told, is simply going to be too much for the man – too talented, too on the rise, too determined. And while I myself believe this to be true, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Brook were to pull off the upset, either. Brook, after all, is one of my favorite fighters to watch, a powerful tactician with the brains and skill who knows how to win. There’s something else about Brook that’s worth noting, though, and that’s the fact that he’s a true athlete. You know, the kind that is willing to challenge himself.
In a world of Mayweather-McGregor, it’s nice to see Brook move on from Gennady Golovkin, the middleweight terror, to Spence, the acclaimed wunderkind, in the course of a single fight. If only the talented Adonis Stevenson would show half as much ambition and confidence. That, really, is the appeal of Brook. Sure, he’s a good fighter, but, more importantly, he’s one who is clearly willing to put it all on the line over and over again. His agreeing to fight Brook after the Golovkin loss is akin to Danny Garcia facing Terence Crawford as his next opponent. It’s laudable stuff.
Brook seems to realize that boxing isn’t only a business, as we’ve been so frequently reminded over the years, but that it’s also a sport. Boxing’s new breed of fan, which loves things like Mayweather’s financially based decisions, might not think much of Brook’s career moves, but that’s exactly why the Englishman deserves credit from the rest of us. Anyone who follows boxing for what goes on in the ring rather than what goes on inside someone’s bank account has to like what he or she sees in the Sheffield native.
That’s why Brook should still be respected, even if he loses on Saturday, which I suspect he will. If Spence wins, as many believe, there will be people out there criticizing Brook for “stupidly” dropping weight to defend his crown against a young pit bull (after taking serious damage in his last fight, no less). Such criticism will be – for lack of a better word – bullshit. Who knows, though? Maybe it’s Spence who will be criticized after the fight for acting “stupidly.” People will always point the finger at someone, after all, and there’s no guarantee Brook won’t leave the ring on Saturday without his IBF title belt in tow.
Five Keys to Victory for Kell Brook
Five keys to victory for Kell Brook
By: Kirk Jackson
Kell “The Special One” Brook 36-1 (25 KO’s) aims to defend his IBF welterweight championship for the fourth time facing Errol “The Truth” Spence 21-0 (18 KO’s) May 27th, at the Bramall Lane Football Grounds arena, in Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
In a battle of welterweight supremacy, this bout may shape out to be a career defining fight for Brook or a coming out party for Spence.
Each fighter is highly skilled and holds certain advantages. What are some factors determining the outcome?
One of the unique elements regarding Brook is his versatility. Brook has the ability to throw punches from different angles and can effectively throw a variety of punches with precision and power.
Possessing an excellent right hand lead and a right uppercut, Brook will have to emphasize landing these types of punches against Spence.
Brook also possesses one of the best 1-2 or (left jab, straight right hand) combinations in boxing. His jab will be crucial in regards to establishing range, locating his target and finding his comfort zone early in the fight.
Facing a southpaw,right hand proficiency is crucial. Although Spence has the edge is reach 72 inches compared to 69 inches for Brook and is the slightly taller man standing 5’9 ½” – Spence likes to fight on the inside to attack the body.
To ward off Spence’s pursuit and eventual attack, Brook may aim uppercuts down the middle, in between Spence’s high guard as he enters up close.
Alejandro Barrera 28-3 (18 KO’s) landed occasional right uppercuts and right hand lead punches when he fought Spencein November of 2015.
Brook may aim to do the same.
Is Brook the bigger man? Fellow welterweight Danny Garcia believes so talking to Boxingscene.
“I think the timing favors Spence a little bit because Brook just fought Triple-G [Gennady Golovkin]. All that weight, saying he couldn’t make the weight, to come back down, we don’t how he’s physically gonna feel.”
Brook however, altered his diet in preparation for his return to welterweight.
“First, we put him on a strictly-controlled keto diet for a couple of weeks which burns fat,” said nutrition expert Greg Marriott.
“If he spars in the morning, he’ll wake up at 7am and eat slow-release carbohydrates like a bowl of simple oats. An hour before he spars at 10am he has a fast-release carbohydrate like white bread with jam or honey,” Marriot continued.
“In the evening he’ll have a low-glycemic carbohydrate like sweet potato with lean fish.”
Diet and recovery is imperative to maintaining strength. This will allow Brook to fight at full effectiveness; he can fight on the inside and use his frame to keep Spence off balance and attempt to clinch whenever Spence tries to work inside.
Brook can nullify the inside attack like he did in route to defeating Shawn Porter for the IBF title back in August of 2014.
Brook’s power ties into his size and overall strength; he is considered a large welterweight and is rumored to walk around up to 180 lbs or higher when not preparing for a fight.
Brook not out of shape however, possessing the physique of a body builder.
Lead by nutrition expert Greg Marriott and his comprehensive dietary plan, Brook should maintain his strength leading up to his fight with Spence.
With 25 KO’s in 37 bouts, Brook boasts a KO ratio of 68%. He stopped two previous opponents, Kevin Bizier 25-3 (17 KO’s) and Frankie Gavin 24-3 (14 KO’s) prior to facing middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin this past October.
His stoppages against high quality opposition may be questioned, but even against the bigger man Golovkin, the reigning middleweight championwas rocked a few times.
At the very least, Brook possesses enough power to keep opponents honest. Those very weapons, Brook refers to as “Chocolate Brownies.”
For those believing Spence will easily walk through Brook,must think again.
“The Special One” has an underrated skill set and can do many things; inside fighting, slipping punches, effectively maneuvering on the inside and pushing off with his shoulders to create separation and different angles, pull back counters, etc.
Brook is crafty in the trenches, can disguise punches effectively and it can be argued he is more fluid – from a punch combination aspect compared to Spence. Brook also looks a shade quicker in regards to hand speed.
Brook has been here before, participating in five world championship bouts. He is the reigning IBF welterweight champion and held his own against the current unified middleweight champion of the world.
He has experience fighting in front of his hometown fans in Sheffield, Yorkshire. Brook has familiarity fighting in front of a large, ruckus audience, as he fought in front of 19,000 at the O2 Arena in London. Last thing he wants to do is loose in front of the hometown crowd for the second time.
Brook may want to use the elements at play to his advantage and jump on Spence early to create a level of doubt in his mind. Establish himself as the champion and control the fight. This will be key in defending his crown.
Brook and Spence Set To Rumble, Crawford To Face Diaz
Brook and Spence Set To Rumble, Crawford To Face Diaz
By: Sean Crose
The long awaited IBF world welterweight title throwdown between champion Kell Brook and rising star Errol Spence Jr has been set for May 27th in Brook’s hometown of Sheffield, England. Many felt that Brook, an excellent 36-1 titlist, might move away from the welterweight division after a crushing loss to middleweight honcho Gennday Golovkin last year. Brook proved game, however, showing a willingess not only to return to welterweight, but also to take on a menacing challenge in the 21-0 Spence. “I’m an expereinced fighter,” Brook said at a Wednesday press conference, “I know what I need to do. I’ve done it before. I’ll do it again.”
Brook refused to pay homage to Spence at the conference. When Spence was referred to at one point as a “brilliant American,” Brook scoffed. “Brilliant American,” he quipped. “Yeah. We’ll see how brilliant he is.” Spence, however, wasn’t about to show deference to Brook, either. “Dude had two good rounds with GGG,” the Texas native snapped. “Willie Monroe did the same thing.” To be sure, there was a lot of back and forth at the press conference – mainly, it seemed, between the two fighter’s trainers. Such things make for good drama, however, and Brook-Spence promises (at least on paper) to be a very interesting matchup.
For Brook is a big, strong welterweight who knows how to let his strength be felt while throwing impressive straight punches. Spence, on the other hand, comes across as something of a wunderkind, a fact evidenced by his dismantling of former junior welterweight champ (and Manny Pacquiao opponent) Chris Algieri. Spence simply went through the Long Island native, much as he has most of his opponents to date. Can he get by the skilled and expereinced Brook, however? Can he do so in Brook’s hometown, no less? Those questions are what make this match so intriguing.
There’s also intruiging news to be found in the division below Brook and Spence, for Bud Crawford, the 30-0 king of the junior welterweight division is all but set to face 19-1 Felix Diaz May 20th in Newark, New Jersey. People have been waiting for a while to find out who the highly lauded Crawford’s next opponent would be. And while many want to see the WBC and WBO super lightweight champ against the likes of Adrien Broner or Manny Pacquiao, Diaz, whose apparently wanted this fight for a while, looks to be the man. While he’s no household name, Diaz has managed to best the likes of Adrian Granados and Sammy Vasquez. Some also feel he got robbed when he fought Lamont Peterson back in 2015. In other words, the guy’s no slouch.
Errol Spence, Jr. to Get Title Shot in May
Errol Spence, Jr. to Get Title Shot in May
By: Eric Lunger
In late May of this year, American welterweight Errol Spence, Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) should be on his way to Sheffield, England, for a world title clash with Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs), the charismatic and popular British IBF champion. Brook suffered a broken orbital bone last September during a brave, if reckless, move up to middleweight against feared Kazakh brawler Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. The Spence vs. Brook clash is still in negotiations, although Errol himself seem confident that the fight was going ahead. Interviewed last weekend on the CBS prefight broadcast, Spence promised the bout would take place in late May, and sources at PBC hope to make an official announcement soon.
I hope the two sides can sort out the details because this is a very attractive fight. Spence is a young and talented southpaw looking to make a statement in the ever-exciting welterweight division, while Brook is a seasoned pro with a huge following in his native England. Brook won the IBF strap from Shawn Porter by majority decision, in a rough and scrappy bout at the StubHub Center in California back in August of 2014. He has defended it three times since, all bouts taking place in England, but Spence will clearly be a step up in opposition and class.
I like the symmetry of this fight, as well. Brook came to the US and fought in Porter’s backyard to win the belt, and now Spence would travel to England to try to bring the belt back here.
Objectively, Brook is a complete fighter: cagey defense, excellent footwork, can score with both hands, difficult to hit. His willingness to fight Golovkin testifies to his courage.
But here’s the thing. With the exception of Anthony Joshua, British fighters have been on a skid recently, at least against US or Mexico based opponents. Brook got blasted out by Golovkin in five rounds, albeit after landing a few good shots on the middleweight boss. Liam “Beefy” Smith took a number of vicious body shots from Canelo Alvarez, and was stopped in the 9th round. Smith spent most of the fight in survival mode, guard up and not throwing. Highly touted Amir Khan looked ordinary and outmatched by Canelo from the opening bell in their bout in Vegas, and when Canelo landed a perfect right on Khan’s chin, it was lights out.
So Brook has some questions to answer, and he (unfairly or not) needs to be the face of British boxing in May. He needs to make a big statement as THE British welterweight, as a fighter who can compete with Garcia, Spence, Thurman, etc. In addition, he has to answer the question: did the Golovkin loss damage him or make him stronger? My guess is the latter, but you never know what a tough defeat like that the Golovkin loss will do to a fighter’s psyche.
Errol Spence has some questions to answer, too. Is he ready to move up to this level of opposition? Can he travel? How will he handle the pressure of fighting in Brook’s home ground, in front of the rabid British boxing public? Is he ready for a fighter of Brook’s savvy and ring experience?
We will find out the answers to all these questions in May, hopefully, with the winner of this bout in position to further unify the red-hot welterweight division.
Kell Brook Serves the Haters Some Humble Pie
Kell Brook Serves the Haters Some Humble Pie
By: Matt O’Brien
Boxing is a tough sport, and boxing fans are a hard bunch to please. Opinions dished out from die-hard behind-the-keyboard fans are usually harsh, though often these criticisms are eminently fair and promote the better values and traditions of the sport (the backlash against Canelo Alvarez and Golden Boy for dropping his WBC middleweight belt like a hot potato in order to avoid facing Gennady Golovkin, after publicly stating they would do no such thing, would be one example). Often times though, the messages spouted on forums and over social media cross the line into the unreasonable, unnecessary or just plain nasty. Sometimes, it seems, a fighter can do no right – even when they’ve already exceeded expectations and dared to achieve far more than most fans ever believed they would.
Welterweight champion Kell Brook is a case in point. Brook is a man who has been widely doubted in his career and forced to overcome numerous setbacks on his way to title glory. After fighting his way into the mandatory position for the IBF belt, he was frustrated by a series of injuries that repeatedly scuppered his bout with then champion Devon Alexander. To some, the explanation was obvious: he didn’t have the balls to face a genuine world-class opponent away from home; he was just another British pretender content to box for easy wins in his backyard.
Then, in August 2014, 19 months after he was first scheduled to fight for the belt, Brook finally travelled to the States and won a majority decision over top-rated American champ, Shawn Porter. The vindication was short-lived, as he was sidelined again when suffering a severe injury from a knife attack while on holiday. Following a series of title defences against largely underwhelming opposition upon his return, the critics were again out in force: Brook’s résumé was full of “bums”; he was not interested in facing any of the big names out there.
The riposte from team Brook was swift and strong, silencing even the most ardent of his detractors. Far from being afraid of the biggest challenges at welterweight, they’d go several steps higher and take on one of the most feared men in all of boxing, middleweight ruler Gennady Golovkin. Clearly, for taking on such a daunting task it would be impossible to ever again question the Englishman’s ambition or the integrity of his fighting heart. Or so you’d think.
After acquitting himself well versus the fearsome 160lb champion – trading on even terms in the early rounds and even bloodying Triple G’s nose, before being surrendered by his corner after suffering a fractured eye socket – it didn’t take long for the haters to come crawling back out of the woodwork. As team Brook explored their options and sought to secure the most lucrative follow-up bout possible, amazingly the “D” word was already doing the rounds: after jumping two divisions and stepping straight into the lion’s den against Golovkin, he was then accused of “ducking” the mandatory challenger in his own weight class – the talented, undefeated American Errol Spence.
Spence, to be sure, is a difficult proposition. A highly skilled former Olympian, he is a worthy mandatory challenger coming into his own as a world-class professional. That being said, it was unsurprising that after such a high profile contest, the Spence fight was not team Brook’s first priority. Instead, a more financially rewarding showdown with longtime British rival Amir Khan was discussed, and there was also the possibility that weight issues would make a move to light-middle a more sensible alternative than returning to defend his 147lbs strap. Neither of which seem unreasonable, unless of course you are in the business of denigrating fighters and calling them cowards, despite all evidence to the contrary.
On Monday night, it was announced that the camps had reached an agreement, and that Brook will defend his title against the dangerous American challenger, probably in his hometown of Sheffield at the end of May. This not only runs contrary to his own promoter’s advice, who was keen to see Brook avoid the struggles of squeezing his body back down to the welterweight limit, it also pulls the rug from under the feet of those who questioned his willingness to take on all comers. Unfortunately though, it’s unlikely to have much of an impact on the derision thrown at fighters from behind the safety of a keyboard more generally.
In a brilliant, impassioned response to internet trolls hurling abuse at UK heavyweight David Price following his recent knockout defeat, former British light-welterweight champion Curtis Woodhouse lamented the culture of criticism that permeates online. “Too many sit and criticise but he’s gone out and dedicated his life to something and taken his shot… give me 1 David Price ahead of the millions that never had the balls to chase their dreams all day long.”
Sadly, stepping through the ropes in one of the world’s toughest sports does not automatically shield you from being abused by those who lack the courage themselves. And judging by the “ducker” jibes thrown at Kell Brook in recent months, even tackling one of the most formidable obstacles in the sport does not prevent fighters from being labelled as cowards.
In boxing, it seems, some people are impossible to please. Perhaps though we can take solace in the fact that, with the fight finally being signed, the haters have just been served a nice big portion of humble pie. Bon appétit, fellas.
Kell Brook to Defend Title Against Errol Spence Jr.
Kell Brook to defend title against Errol Spence Jr.
By: Matthew N. Becher
While Manny Pacquiao was telling the world that he would no longer be fighting in Australia and was going to take his talents to Dubai, as well as letting twitter fans vote on the actual opponent for that fight, Kell Brook let it be known that he was ready to accept the challenge for his IBF welterweight title against the Undefeated Errol Spence Jr.
Negotiations for the Brook v. Spence Jr. fight have been going on for quite some time now. Spence became the number one contender almost six months ago, after defeating Leonard Bundu in Coney Island, NY. Unfortunately, the fight was pushed aside, since Brook decided to take on Gennady Golovkin for the Middleweight championship in England. This wasn’t just unfortunate for Spence, who would have to wait on his shot at the IBF title, but also unfortunate for Brook, who ended up getting his orbital bone broken in the 4th round, by the champion Golovkin.
After surgery to repair his broken face, Brook went in to negotiations with longtime rival, and fellow countryman, Amir Khan. The two should have fought already, but they still have not been able to come to an agreement on the monetary split. It seemed very close to final this time around, and again looked like Spence would be put on the back burner. Until Brook made an announcement on his Social Media page last night.
“All that work just to give it up? Never ducked a challenge in my life. Here to give the fans what they want. Errol Spence Jr. you are next”
To be honest, this is great news for the sport. With Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman fighting to unify the division on March 4th, the second best fight to be made in the weight class would be Spence v. Brook and just like that, it will also happen this year.
Brook should be commended for taking the challenge of a young undefeated Spence, right after coming back from facial surgery and right after fighting one of the top pound for pound fighters at a higher weight. This is definitely one that fight fans are not going to want to miss.
Hoped for Brook-Khan Matchup Ain’t Happening
Hoped For Brook-Kahn Matchup Ain’t Happening
By: Sean Crose
The truth is that many American fight fans would love to see British welterweights Kell Brook and Amir Khan throw down. In their homeland, however, a Brook-Khan bout could prove to be positively explosive (in a very good way). Unfortunately, those hoping to see the two talented Brits trading shots may be left disappointed. For, according to team Brook, the Khan camp is simply making negotiations too difficult to continue along with. Apparently, Khan feels he’s deserving of a significantly larger amount of money than Brook is. At least that’s how things are if Brook promoter Eddie Hearn is reporting the situation in a fair manner.
Truth be told, aside from a throwdown with Mayweather or Pacquiao, the biggest fight for each man is clearly against the other. Considering Brook is the IBF welterweight champion, it’s a bit silly for Khan to want a huge difference in purses. Khan, however, is Khan, and has always been aloof when it comes to Brook…or at least that’s how it’s seemed. Perhaps Khan sees himself as a top level pay per view fighter now. Or perhaps he simply wants no part of Brook. Or perhaps there’s things in play here that the public just isn’t aware of. Either way, a Khan-Brook match is now on the back burner, if not off the stove entirely.
Both Khan and Brook have recently earned fan’s high regard by truly challenging themselves against fearsome competition. Brook faced Gennady Golovkin for middleweight supremacy while Kell Brook stepped up to throw down with nominal middleweight kingpin Canelo Alvarez. Both men lost in exceedingly violent fashion, but handled themselves with enough courage and skill to earn universal nods of approval from the fight world. If the high demands Khan has reportedly made are true, however, the former Olympian’s reputation may take a trip a few rungs down the ladder.
As for Brook, he might now have to decide whether or not he wants to face his IBF mandatory, American Errol Spence Jr. To be sure, Spence may be more talented than Khan and may also end up being favored to best Brook – at least in the eyes of many observers. Indeed, Spence has appeared to be that promising. The Texan is knocking at the door and, with Khan off the table, Brook will have to ponder whether or not Spence is worth the risk/reward scenario the up and comer now represents.