By Scott Gilfoid: In what could be an act of futility, WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) is calling out IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KOs) for a unification fight in what would be the battle of the unbeaten. Thurman sees Brook as a guy that is already 29-years-old, and clearly ready to be fighting guys at the top tier. However, Brook is currently scheduled to fight #5 IBF Frankie Gavin (22-1, 13 KOs) in what shapes up to be a mismatch this month on May 30th.
Before that, Brook had another mismatch against Jo Jo Dan. Getting Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn to agree to finally put Brook in with a live opponent not named Amir Khan, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao may prove to be impossible because Hearn is hoping that Brook will get a fight against one or more of those fighters someday.
“I want to fight the champ. Kell Brook is in his prime. What’s the boy, 29-years-old?” Thurman said via Thaboxingvoice.com. “He’s a strong welterweight, a true welterweight, and he understands the game. It’d be a great fight for all the English fans and for the sport of boxing in general.”
I don’t see a Thurman-Brook fight happening anytime soon if ever. Hearn is looking to match Brook against former WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios this summer if Brook gets past Gavin on May 30th at the O2 Arena in London, UK. If Brook beats Rios, then it’s quite likely that Arum will then match Pacquiao up against Brook for his title. But by that time, Pacquiao will likely have been beaten a second time by Floyd Mayweather Jr. because Arum wants to put that fight together next year as soon as Pacquiao’s surgically repaired right shoulder heals up properly. A Pacquiao-Brook fight would have to take place at the end of 2016 or maybe early 2017. Pacquiao’s stock will obviously be way down by that point if he gets beaten a second time by Mayweather.
Thurman is just too dangerous for Brook. That’s the way I see it. Hearn is not going to let Brook fight a guy that can potentially ruin his golden goose before it has laid eggs proper. We already saw how Brook had to clinch constantly against Shawn Porter to keep himself from taking punishment. That trick won’t work against Thurman because he’s taller and he fights on the outside.
If Brook tries to clinch all night long against Thurman, he’s going to be getting a mouthful of fist each time he charges forward trying to clinch. But this is neither here nor there because Hearn definitely won’t be putting Brook in with any risky fights until he gets Khan or Pacquiao. He isn’t going to get Mayweather for Brook because Mayweather isn’t going to waste any of his remaining fights facing a guy that doesn’t have a fan base in the U.S. The PPV sales for a Mayweather-Brook fight would be nothing short of disastrous if that fight was made.
Thurman and Brook are big welterweights. You can make an argument that both of them should be fighting in the junior middleweight division due to the weight they need to take off to get down to 147. But at 154, Brook and Thurman’s effectiveness would be limited due to guys like Erislandy Lara, Demetrius Andrade and the Charlo brothers lurking there. Brook and Thurman are too short to be fighting those guys, and once they’re eventually forced to move up in weight, I see them both dropping back down in the pack as mere contenders rather than world champions. They would have no weight advantage over their opponents at junior middleweight like they do at welterweight.