Errol Spence denies turning down Kell Brook fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Undefeated #2 IBF welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs) refutes what IBF welterweight champion Kelll Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn said about Spence’s team turning down a fight against Brook.
Spence said that is not true at all. He says the International Boxing Federation ordered him to fight #3 IBF Konstantin Ponomarev (30-0, 13 KOs) in order to become the IBF mandatory challenger to Brook. There’s a purse bid scheduled this week on Tuesday, May 17 due to Spence’s promoters not having been able to negotiate the fight with Ponomarev’s promoters.
The Spence-Ponomarev fight is expected to take place in the summer. After Spence beats Ponomarev, who is very similar to Chris Algieri, then he’ll move forward as the mandatory to Brook. It’s thought by some that Brook will vacate his IBF title rather than face Spence and potentially suffer an embarrassing knockout loss.
What’s unclear is why Brook’s promoter said that Spence’s team turned down a fight against him because that makes zero sense at all. Why would Spence’s team turn down a world title fight against Brook so that they can jump through another hoop to get the fight by beating the light hitting Ponomarev.
It’s a waste of time for Spence to have to beat Algieri 2.0 fighter Ponomarev because the fight won’t help Spence prepare for Brook because he’s a completely different type of fighter.
“That’s bs I ain’t turn down [expletive]. IBF just ordered me to fight some Russian dude to become his mandatory,” said Spence on his Twitter in response to whether he had turned down a fight against Brook.
It honestly does sound like dream stuff from Hearn because why would Spence turn down the Brook fight because he’s obviously seen him fight and noticed how flawed he is. Spence had to have seen how helpless Brook was in his fight against Shawn Porter and how he had to hold nonstop because he didn’t have an inside game to compete. The referee didn’t stop Brook from holding in that fight when he should have taken points from Brook for the holding.
“He’s not ready yet. Whenever he wants it. Errol Spence is a fighter, but fighters don’t make the decisions,” said Brook’s promote Eddie Hearn to Thaboxingvoice.com. “They’re not phoning me up, telling me, ‘Eddie, Spence isn’t ready for Brook.’ I said to them, ‘You want to do that right now?’ [Spence’s management then said] ‘Oh no, that one’s down the line.’ They’ll fight [Konstantin] Ponomarev next, and then they’re mandatory for Kell Brook, which is 75/25. We love that. But honestly, Kell Brook is ready to fight anyone…Everybody knows in boxing how good Kell Brook is,” said Hearn.
Spence will be facing Ponomarev soon and I can’t see that fight ending in any other way but an easy knockout win for Spence. I mean, I’d like for Ponomarev to stick around to make the fight a competitive one, but he’s like a weaker, less talented version of Algieri in my view.
Ponomarev might stick around a little longer than Algieri to soak up terrible punishment, but sooner or later the fight will need to be halted in order to save Ponomarev for another day. Hopefully his trainer doesn’t leave Ponomarev out there to just take a beating like a punching bag because that won’t help him. He’s a decent young fighter that could give some of the weaker champions problems like WBC belt holder Danny Garcia or WBO strap holder Jessie Vargas. That would be a 50-50 fight.
What Top Rank should be doing it having Ponomarev fight Vargas rather than Spence because they could be doing an in house fight that Ponomarev would at least have a chance of winning. Vargas is similar to Ponomarev in that he can’t punch at all, and it might be a fight that Ponomarev can win if he doesn’t leave himself open for Vargas’ badly telegraphed right hands that he likes to throw from a mile away. But it’s a clear mistake for Top Rank to have the feather-fisted Ponomarev fight Spence because he doesn’t have the power on his shots to keep Spence from blasting him to smithereens.
It’s going to be interesting to see what Brook and Hearn’s next step will be once Spence has beaten Ponomarev to become the IBF mandatory for him. Will Brook vacate immediately and skedaddle to the safety of the junior middleweight division or will he stand and fight and hope for the best against Spence? I mean, Brook is the IBF champion and he’ll likely be able to force Spence to fight him in the UK.
If the fight goes to the cards, Brook would have a chance to win a decision. Unfortunately, I don’t see Spence letting it go to the cards. I also don’t see him allowing Brook to hold him 10+ times per round with clubbing him to the head each time he elects to hold. Brook won’t be able to hold against Spence because he’ll get clubbed with one of Spence’s free hands.
He’s not going to play passive like Porter did and wait for the referee to peel Brook off of him and do his duty in taking points off, because most referees don’t take points off for fighters that hold excessively. Only a small handful of them take points off, and when they do take points off, they do it once and then ignore the holding the remainder of the fight.