Weights: Brook-Gavin, Joshua-Johnson, Gradovich-Selby
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KOs) made weight on Friday for his title defense against an outgunned #4 IBF Frankie Gavin (22-1, 13 KOs) for their fight on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Brook weighed in at 146.25 pounds and looked like he hadn’t had to strip off too much water weight to make the 147lb limit.
That’s more than I can say about Gavin, who looked visibly drained in coming in at 146.75lbs. Gavin looked physically ill from draining down to make the weight. As bad as Gavin looked, it’s hard to imagine him being able to fight well tomorrow night. He’s likely to be sluggish, especially in the later rounds of the fight. I just wonder how much longer Gavin can continue to make weight for the welterweight division. He might want to consider moving up to 154 so he doesn’t look to bad in trying to get down to the weight.
WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares (38-3, 25 KOs) came in over the lightweight limit at 135.25 pounds for his title defense against #1 WBC challenger Kevin Mitchell (39-2, 29 KOs). Linares, 29, was given one hour to lose the .25 pound. For his part, Mitchell weighed in at 134.25lbs.
IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (19-0-1, 9 KOs) came in right at the featherweight limit of 126lbs for his defense against Britain’s Lee Selby (20-1, 8 KOs). Selby weighed in at 125.25lbs. Both guys looked good.
In what has to be seen as troubling, unbeaten heavyweight contender/prospect Anthony Joshua (12-0, 12 KOs) weighed in at 248lbs for his 10 round fight against American journeyman Kevin Johnson (29-6-1, 14 KOs). Joshua’s weight was three pounds over his previous high of 245 pounds for his last fight against Raphael Zumbano Love earlier this month on May 9th. Johnson weighed in at 225lbs, which is a good weight for him.
With the way that Joshua keeps adding more and more muscle weight to his frame, it won’t be long before he’s in the 250+ pound region. While that wouldn’t be bad if Joshua had speed and the agility of someone like Lennox Lewis, but the fact is he doesn’t move well. Joshua started his pro career at 225lbs less than two years ago. We’re talking a year and a half ago, and he’s already put on 23 pounds in that little time. If you extrapolate from that by going into the future another two years, we could see Joshua weighing in the neighborhood of 270 by 2017. We could be talking about Larry Olubamiwo-sized heavyweight. It’s unclear if Joshua is pumping weights to add muscle or if he’s just adding muscle from normal exercises. What is clear is he’s becoming very big and very slow. Whatever advantages that he had from turning pro could soon disappear as he starts to resemble more and more another Primo Canera or Olubamiwo.
Former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (28-2, 14 KOs) weighed in at 179lbs for his eight round fight against journeyman Tomas Man (13-8-1, 8 KOs). Cleverly, 28, will need to actually make weight for the 175lb division for his next fight against WBA World light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in September. Coming in at 179 isn’t going to cut it for Cleverly. Tomas Man weighed in at 172.25lbs, and showed good professionalism in making weight. Cleverly hasn’t done much to deserve a world title shot against Braehmer other than beating a couple of 2nd tier cruiserweights and then losing to Tony Bellew in his last fight. You certainly can’t see a win over Tomas Man as a proper springboard opponent to get Cleverly a world title fight.
Here are the official weights for the card:
Kell Brook 146.25 vs. Frankie Gavin 146.75
Jorge Linares 135.25 vs. Kevin Mitchell 134.25
Evgeny Gradovich 126 vs. Lee Selby 125.25
Anthony Joshua 248 vs. Kevin Johnson 225
Nathan Cleverly 179 vs. Tomas Man 172.25
John Ryder 159.25 vs. Nick Blackwell 159.25
Scott Cardle 136.75 vs. Craig Evans 133.5
Dave Ryan 139.25 vs. John Wayne Hibbert 139
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