By Matt Bevan (@MBevs68)
So, I’m a bit earlier this week with my column, but that is so I can respond to the stunning news that Kell Brook will be stepping up to middleweight to face, perhaps, the number one fighter on the planet at this current time Gennady Golovkin at the O2 Arena in London on September 10th.
I was sat in a bar in Leeds when the news broke last Friday and I nearly fell off my stool when I saw it. To say it was unexpected is a huge understatement, as we were all expecting Brook to face Vargas, whilst Golovkin would be trouncing Chris Eubank Jr instead.
It’s a big fight in the UK, but let’s be honest it is a mismatch. I’d love Brook to do the unthinkable, but there is no way I can see it going past six rounds, whether the Sheffield man carries his power through the weights or not.
First and foremost this is a chance for British boxing fans, casual or not, to see a truly great fighter in “GGG” on display. Brook will put his all in and it will be nice for him to not worry too much about a weight cut, in fact he might even nick a couple of the early rounds, but let’s be frank. This is over when Golovkin decides.
The Kazakh terror toys with his opponent and then when he’s bored and given the fans what they want, he ends matters swiftly. Brook is a big welterweight, there is no getting past that and I’ve personally stated I’d love to see him in the mix at 154lbs, however he has no chance here and should just be looking forward to a career high pay day.
“The Special One” deserves credit for taking the fight and following on from his bitter rival Amir Khan’s move up to middleweight in May. Khan, despite getting flattened in the end by Canelo Alvarez, reminded us that it is all right to test yourself against the best and move up for a bigger, literally, challenge.
Brook is now taking that one step further away and taking on the best in the division, ignoring the fact Canelo is the linear champion. There are no catchweights, unlike Canelo who has his own weight at 155lbs, and he is trying to show that he can run with the big boys.
He has a solid jab, which will be interesting to see if he can establish at all, whilst the Ingle style will be something that Golovkin hasn’t come across before. But that same style struggled to keep Shawn Porter at bay for stretches when he won the title back in 2014, so I can’t see a way he copes with GGG.
As well as that, there are some doubts about his chin. It hasn’t been tested since 2013, where both Carson Jones and Vyacheslav Senchenko briefly wobbled him, whilst Porter’s marauding style smothered his own work, so when Golovkin lands it could be an early night for Kell.
Golovkin’s chin has never really been tested in the pros, although Lucian Bute did plenty of damage in an amateur fight, because he has an aura similar to a pre-Buster Douglas Mike Tyson. It does seem like people don’t want to go near him and the “everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face” is perfect for him. Needless to say I can’t see Brook pulling off a Douglas.
But, why is Brook fighting him in the first place? Well the first people to thank are the Eubank’s, who were desperate to fight him, but thanks to Senior’s antics at the negotiation stage, Junior has lost out on a seven figure sum that could set him up for a long time.
Promoter Eddie Hearn is all about life changing money for his fighters and he offered the same deal to Eubank’s as Carl Froch got and Anthony Joshua is currently getting. Senior decided Junior deserved more, so they miss out, whilst Brook jumped at the opportunity.
Senior, as well as being a top notch pain in British’s boxing’s arse, should now disappear. He is about a massive hindrance on his son’s career and this is a perfect example of it. He wanted more, including total control of the whole event, but can you imagine him running it!? It would be like the circus has well and truly come to town.
I’m amazed the BBBOFC haven’t banned him from going in the corner yet anyway. He does nothing to help and is allowed to use his name to cut corners. If the board had any integrity they’d just do us all a favour and tell him to get out of the way.
Junior has already been making plenty of noise in the aftermath on social media, which Brook has responded to, but let’s be honest he is so defensively inept, he would have less of a chance than Brook. The only thing he may do better than Brook is sell more PPV’s off the back of his name, which has more recognition with the casual fan.
The other men that Brook has to thank are the rest of the 154 and 160lb divisions. All have either overpriced themselves, claimed they are waiting for the right time or flat out ignored Golovkin. It’s like “GGG” is that weird kid in the playground who goes mental if anyone goes within 10 metres off him, the way they have all behaved when his name was mentioned.
Canelo gave it the big one in May, then promptly vacated his title and said he was waiting till next Autumn. Daniel Jacobs, who could force matters as he holds the Regular WBA, which is rated below Golovkin’s super title, but he has also said he’d rather wait.
Billy Joe Saunders has priced himself out and would prefer to wait on the sidelines, instead of fight at all, whilst Peter Quillin flat out refused to fight him when he was a champion. The only one that would have actually gone through with it is Andy Lee, who sadly lost to Billy Joe last December.
As for the 154lb’ers, most are with Al Haymon, although I don’t buy that excuse, because you should want to fight the best regardless of your promoter. The HBO link for Golovkin is a problem, but not something that be a huge stumbling block.
So that rules out Erislandy Lara, despite his shouts, both Jermell and Jermall Charlo, who shouldn’t go within a 100 feet of “GGG”, whilst the other champion Liam Smith is taking on Canelo. I think Demetrius Andrade would take on the challenge, but he hasn’t made any noise as to whether he is prepared to or not.
So Brook is the only man with any legitimacy or name recognition to actually jump at the chance. Credit where credit is due and thank god for the Eubank’s who have made themselves look like first class clowns and the embarrassment to boxing that they are.
It is a mismatch, but get yourself to the O2 on September 10th to watch the top fighter on the planet at the moment. He will stop Kell Brook in six rounds and his star will continue to rise. As for Brook, his stock could very well rise in defeat, although I can’t see him ever going down to 147 ever again.
It’s a mismatch, but like I said in the title, it’s a high quality one.