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Errol Spence talks Kell Brook fight

By Scott Gilfoid: The talented unbeaten #1 IBF contender Errol “The Truth” Spence (21-0, 18 KOs) will be fighting for a world title against his next opponent IBF welterweight champion Kell “Special K” Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) in their fight on May 20 in Sheffield, UK. Spence, 26, says that his first knockout of his 5-year pro career came in 2012, and his next match will be in his 22nd fight against Brook.

Spence is coming off of a good tune-up to Brook’s fighting style in his match last August against Leonard Bundu. That fight gave Spence a good chance to face a wily fighter that he needed to pressure hard to get the knockout. Spence will need to apply much more pressure on Brook if he wants to knock him out, because he’s more of a mover/clincher than Bundu.

Spence has got the perfect opponent for him to score a knockout against in the 30-year-old Brook, who is coming off of a stoppage win against middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin on September 10 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Brook wouldn’t stand and fight against Golovkin. He was just moving and holding. Golovkin eventually chased Brook down, broke his right eye socket, and hurt him with a body shot.

Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle did the only thing he could do by throwing in the towel in round 5 to save Brook from taking senseless punishment. Brook had stopped fighting and nothing left but his head and torso movement by that point in the fight. Golovkin could have made his work a lot easier if he had chosen to throw body punches like his trainer Abel Sanchez had wanted him to do. He noticed that Brook can be hit with body shots, but he’s harder to hit with his shots.

“#TBT first #MANDOWN of my pro career came in the first fight. 22nd fight will be the first title shot,” said Spence on his social media site. “Hard work pays off! #StrapSeason.”

It’s going to be a lot tougher for Spence to get a knockout over Brook than his past opponents. As we saw in Brook’s last fight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, he can be elusive when he wants to be. Brook will not be a stationary target, and no, he will not stand and fight Spence like he did Kevin Bizier, Jo Jo Dan, Matthew Hatton and Frankie Gavin.

“I believe I may have Kell’s number, great champion that he is,” said Spence about Brook to skysports.com.

Brook will surely treat Spence like a slightly smaller version of Golovkin by staying on his bike for the entire fight and trying to steal rounds with his brief combination punching. For Spence to knockout Brook, he’s going to have to cut off the ring CONSTANTLY, spear him with jabs from the outside to his midsection, and ground him with body shots.

When you’ve got a runner/clincher like Brook, you’ve got to attack the body to make it hard for him to run around the ring. It’s very difficult to move around for three minutes of every round if your midsection feels like weak rubber from getting hit to the body. That’s clearly the major reason why Brook stopped running in the 5th round against Golovkin. When Golovkin stopped head-hunting long enough to sink a right hand to the solar plexus of Brook in the 5th, it resulted in Brook being grounded and unable to run.

The pain must have been severe for Brook, because he not only dropped his hands and let Golovkin tee off on him with his head shots, but he also stopped running around the ring. The fight was essentially over after Golovkin hit Brook with a right hand body shot in the 5th. Brook then used the ropes as a walking cane to get to the other side of the ring.

Golovkin easily followed the now slow-footed Brook, and finished him off after trapping him against the ropes. Brook didn’t even try to throw a punch in the last seconds of the fight. He was clearly hurt from the body shot and fully in the shutdown mode. It’s good that Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the towel to save him at this point because he was probably only seconds away from being knocked down by GGG.

Spence definitely has a GREAT chance of scoring a knockout in this fight against Golovkin. Everything is in Spence’s favor for this fight.

Spence has these advantages over Brook:

– Youth – Spence is the younger fighter than Brook at 26.

– Power – Brook doesn’t have the power that Spence has. One reason for that is because Brook tends to jump while throwing punches. I’m not quite sure why Brook does this, because it robs him of his power. His trainer Dominic Ingle should have taught Brook how to throw punches a lot time ago. Brook might want to think about getting a second trainer or a new trainer that can teach him to keep his feet on the ground while throwing punches.

– Aggressiveness – You can compare Spence to Golovkin in terms of the aggression that he shows. Brook is more of a passive type of fighter, who tends to do a lot of spoiling with his running and holding tactics. Brook mainly just tries to win rounds by landing a few shots here and there, although he is capable of knocking out his opponents when facing weak opposition. Brook has never knocked out high quality fighters during his career. Of course, Brook has only fought two high caliber guys since turning pro 13 years ago and those fighters were Golovkin and Shawn Porter. Brook appeared to lose to Porter in the minds of many boxing fans. I also had Porter winning 10 rounds to 2. Brook was just holding all night. I thought he should have been disqualified by the 6th, because the holding was impeding Porter’s ability to throw punches. When it gets to that level, it turnings the fight from a boxing match to an MMA type of affair.
– Injury free – Spence isn’t coming off a busted eye like Brook.

– Fighting style – The body punching style that Spence uses is a bad style for Brook, who mainly is someone that is good at making his opponents miss with head shots. Brook IS NOT good at protecting his body, which is understandable. It’s hard to dodge body shots unless a fighter runs for the full 12 rounds. Spence has the longer reach and a powerful jab that he likes to throw to the body.

– No pressure – Spence has no pressure on him for this fight. The fight is taking place in Sheffield, UK, and there will likely be few Spence fans in the audience. On the other hands, Brook will have all the pressure on him because of the fight taking place in his hometown of Sheffield. That pressure that Brook has on him will likely make him try and exchange with Spence. Once that happens, it’s likely that Brook will be broken down quickly and stopped.

– Amateur pedigree – Spence has the better amateur experience than Brook with him having competed in the 2012 Olympics for the U.S.

– Weight – Brook is likely going to have a very hard time getting his weight down to the 147lb limit for the fight. He’ll obviously make weight, but the chances of him being weight drained are very high. There are fighters that Brook can be weight drained against without it hurting him, but Spence isn’t one of them. Brook was able to destroy Frankie Gavin, Jo Jo Dan and Kevin Bizier after draining down to 147 to defend his IBF title, but you can argue that none of those fighters ever rated to be ranked in the top 15 in the first place. None of them are ranked in the top 15. It was the International Boxing Federation’s call to rank Bizier, Dan and Gavin in their top 15. Surprisingly, the IBF had Bizier and Dan ranked No.1 with their organization, which was very odd, because neither of them looked remotely talented enough to be rated that high. Brook had it VERY, VERY easy with those title defenses as mandatory challengers. I compare it to Brook being allowed to fight two 2nd tier fighters. Yeah, Brook looked good beating those guys, but why in the world were those fighters ever rated in the top 15?

It’s going to be very hard for Brook to keep from getting knocked out by Spence in this fight on May 20. It’s a bad style match-up for Brook. Spence is the worst kind of opponent for a guy whose main defense is to use head movement when trapped. Brook’s running won’t help because Spence has long arms and he likes to spear runners to the midsection as the run around the ring. Like I said before, Brook can move his head all night long, but it’s not going to protect him from the body shots that Spence is going to be hitting him with. Spence is an old school body puncher, and he prefers to attack there. Brook’s tactics that he used against Shawn Porter and Golovkin – running and holding – don’t work against fighters that go to the body like Spence. If Brook is smart, he’ll toss out those two game plans, and instead surprise Spence by standing and going to war with him on May 20.

As of now, Brook vs. Spence will be taking place on May 20. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn spoke of wanting to change the date for the Brook-Spence fight to May 27, but it looks like he’s going to keep it on May 20. The location of the match is expected to be at the large football stadium Bramall Lane in Sheffield. The fight will likely be shown on Sky Box Office PPV, although it might not be a big enough fight for that vehicle unless Hearn loads up the undercard with a lot of talent.

Brook-Spence should be a good fight while it lasts. I think Brook is going to try and go the full 12 rounds in hopes that he can win a decision. I can’t picture Brook trying to get a knockout in this fight, because it will put him in harm’s way of Spence’s big power shots. Brook probably won’t last long if he tries to trade with Spence for any length of time.

The weight loss that Brook will need to go through for him to get down to 147 will be hard on his body. He’s not going to be able to fight Spence in a war if he’s feeling depleted from the weight loss. Right now, Brook is excited about the fight, but he hasn’t started losing the weight yet. Once he has to burn off the approximately 30 to 40 pounds that he’s carrying around to get to the 147lb limit for the fight, I think he’s going to be less excited about the prospects of trading shots with Spence. If Brook is fighting at 75% capacity against Spence on May 20, he won’t last long inside the ring with him.




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