Hearn wants Kell Brook vs. Jessie Vargas in summer
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is working on putting together a unification fight between Brook and WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) for this summer. Hearn likes the idea of the soon to be 30-year-old Brook unifying the division one belt at a time.
Hearn would like to also match Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) against Tim Bradley, but he’s currently not available and the same with WBC champion Danny Garcia. Besides Vargas, #2 WBC Lamont Peterson is of interest for Hearn to match against Brook in the summer. Like Vargas, Peterson is not a stadium worthy opponent. I mean, neither of these guys are anywhere close to being big enough names to stick in a stadium with Hearn.
Hearn was doing a lot of talking about wanting to match Brook against a big name for a stadium fight this summer, but if this is all Hearn can come up with, then it’s pretty sad. It just means Brook is going to whiff again on trying to get a big name.
Hearn isn’t saying anything about wanting to match Brook against WBA champion Keith Thurman, so I would have to assume he’s someone that they’re not interested in for whatever reason. It could be that Thurman is too good, too dangerous and too hard hitting to take that risk. Vargas, 27, is considered by some boxing fans as the weak link among the four current welterweight champions. In other words, Vargas is seen as a paper champion.
A lot of fans rate the top welterweight champions in this order: 1. Keith Thurman 2. Kell Brook 3. Danny Garcia 4. Jessie Vargas. As such, Brook would be facing the weakest of the champions at 147, and he may not get any other unification fights after this one because he’s only got a couple of fights he can take before he’ll need to fight his mandatory challenger, which will likely be the talented Errol Spence.
“Vargas is the unification fight so that makes perfect sense. I want Kell to try and pick up the belts, [WBC champion Danny] Garcia is not available so Vargas is a great option for us,” said Hearn to skysports.com. “If he wants to come and make a load of money to box in the UK we can do that, if he wants to fight in Las Vegas, Kell’s willing to travel as well.”
Vargas has already said no to a fight in the UK, so I think academic at this point that if Brook wants a unification fight with him, he’s going to need to come to the U.S and likely fight him in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s not as if Brook hasn’t fought in the U.S in the past. He beat Shawn Porter in 2014 in a fight that took place in Carson, California.
Brook would probably need to fight a lot better against Vargas than he did against Porter because he was holding all night long and getting away with it. I think the referee working a Brook vs. Vargas fight will have been tipped off ahead of time to watch for Brook’s holding tendencies. He got away with it once against Porter, but I don’t think we’re going to see a trend here.
Normally the referees take points off and/or disqualify fighters that hold constantly. Brook got away with it against Porter, but he’ll probably need to actually fight this time around if he wants to walk away from the unification match with his IBF strap still in his possession.
“Kell Brook is ready to explode on the world scene,” said Hearn. “These guys know how good Kell Brook is so it’s either going to take for us to travel or a lot of money, which we’re prepared to pay, for them to come over,” Hearn said.
I don’t think it’s a case of the champions knowing how good Brook is in terms of them not wanting to travel to the UK. I think the champions recognize that they could wind up losing a controversial decision if they fight Brook in his home country.
Since it frequently takes these fighters years to become a world champion, it’s not a good idea to put them behind the eight ball by agreeing to fight in a foreign fighters’ hometown for a chunk of change. Yeah, they’ll get a little more money to fight Brook in the UK, but what good is it if they end up losing their titles in the process in a potential hometown decision.
As far as Vargas or Peterson being big fights, I don’t see it that way. I think Brook is wasting his time with either of those fights. Beating those guys won’t do much for Brook, because they’ve already been beaten, haven’t they? Heck, Vargas was just TOTALLY schooled by Tim Bradley last June.
If you saw that fight, you’ll know that Vargas looked gawd awful for 11 rounds until briefly staggering Bradley in the 12th. Before hurting Bradley in that round, Vargas was getting clowned like he had in all the other rounds. After staggering Bradley, Vargas missed a half dozen punches, was tied up by Bradley, and then the fight ended. It was a totally inept performance from Vargas from start to finish. He couldn’t finish off a hurt fighter in proper manner. Vargas won his last fight against an unproven fighter named Sadam Ali, but that guy was mediocre. I never rated Sadam Ali as being one of the top quality guys. As such, it didn’t mean anything that Vargas beat him. I don’t think Vargas has improved at all from his fight against Bradley. He’s just as flawed now as he was then.
I can definitely see Why Brook is targeting Vargas rather than the Thurman vs. Porter winner, or targeting Errol Spence, a fighter considered the future of the division. I think Brook and Hearn see weakness in Vargas. So instead of taking the tough tests that may leave Brook a beaten fighter, they’re heading towards the path of least resistance. How sad.
“Peterson is still in the running. I like that fight as well, he’s got wins over Khan and a very close fight against Garcia as well. If we can try and pick up another title that will be fantastic,” said Peterson.
Why would Hearn be interested in matching Brook against Lamont Peterson when he’s lost two out of his last five fights? I mean, Peterson was beaten just last year by Danny Garcia. In 2013, Peterson was destroyed in three rounds by Lucas Matthysse. In Peterson’s last fight, he struggled badly to beat the tiny 5’5” Felix Diaz last October in winning a very, very close 12 round majority decision.
Some boxing fans thought Diaz deserved the decision. I’m just saying. What’s the point in Brook fighting Peterson? How about Brook take on Errol Spence or the winner of Thurman-Porter? Spence already called Brook out after his recent win over Chris Algieri and said he would like to fight him next. It wouldn’t it be better for Brook to face Spence rather than Lamont Peterson or Vargas?
I don’t know of anyone right now who would pick Vargas or Peterson to beat Spence. I think the fans would overwhelmingly pick Spence by brutal knockout over both of those guys. So why is Brook and Hearn interested in fighting Peterson or Vargas rather than Spence? Hearn can’t say Peterson is a champion because he’s not. Hearn can’t say Peterson’s career is going swimmingly, because it’s not. Peterson has lost 2 out of his last 5 fights. That’s pretty much terrible in my book.
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