Errol Spence closing in on Kell Brook
By Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten #2 IBF Errol Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs) will be taking his final step to get to a title shot against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook when he fights #6 IBF Leonard Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) in exactly one month from now on August 21 at the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn. Spence has wanted to get a crack at Brook for some time now, but he’s been made to wait because he wasn’t going to be given a voluntary shot at his IBF belt.
Spence, 26, and Bundu will be fighting in an IBF welterweight eliminator bout, and the winner will be the mandatory for Brook. At this point, it’s still too early to know whether Brook will even be coming back down in weight to continue to defend his IBF 147lb title. Spence reminds me of a welterweight version of KO artist Julian Jackson. He’s got the same type of power shots as Jackson. He’s just a little smaller.
Brook is in the process of bulking up for a title shot against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) on September 10 at the O2 Arena in London, England. If Brook wins that fight, then he’ll almost surely be staying in that weight class.
If Brook losses but makes it very competitive, then he might stay at 160 anyway. It’s hard to picture Brook moving back down to 147 if he forces Golovkin to go life and death with him for 12 rounds. It’s not as if there’s anyone down in the 147lb division for Brook to fight. Let’s be real. Amir Khan isn’t going to fight Brook. That’s not going to happen.
The same can be said about Danny Garcia and Tim Bradley. About the best that Brook can hope for in terms of big fights at 147 is Jessie Vargas, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. I don’t think Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants any part of putting him back in with Porter now that he knows how to defeat the nonstop holding that Brook did in their previous fight. Hearn has NEVER shown interest in matching Brook against Thurman, and I can’t see him changing in that regard.
“Spence is one of the most gifted young fighters in all of boxing and is on track to be a world champion,” said Spence’s promoter Lou Dibella. “He will face off against Leonard Bundu, in a final elimination bout, to become the mandatory for the IBF welterweight title, currently held by Kell Brook.”
I’d like to think that Kell Brook will move back down to 147 to face Spence to defend his IBF title, but I don’t think he will. I see Brook vacating his IBF title to either stay at 160 or maybe move down to 154 to start campaigning as a junior middleweight. By fighting at 154, Brook will be able to fight the best guys from 147 to 160. It won’t be as hard on his body to go from 147 to 160 if he gets a shot at the likes of Daniel Jacobs or Billy Joe Saunders at middleweight.
I think it would be a bad career move for Brook to take the fight with Spence and wind up getting run over by him potentially even worse than what Golovkin will do to him on September 10. Brook can’t afford back to back knockout losses. I’m just saying. He’s got to be smart about this. If I were Brook’s promoter, I wouldn’t recommend him going back down to 147 after the GGG fight, because he’ll be forced to fight Spence, and that’s not the fight you want to take when you’re coming off of a KO loss to Golovkin.
For Brook to have chance at all against Spence, he would need to be fresh and not recently battered. He would also likely need to use a lot of holding and moving to keep Spence from being able to land his big power shots. With Spence being the taller of the two with the longer reach, I think it would be a bad fight for Brook to take.
The Spence vs. Bundu fight will be televised on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC on August 21.
Spence just finished destroying former WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri in five rounds last April. Before that, Spence had whipped the likes of Chris van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas and Alejandro Barrera.
Spence is the future of the 147lb division, the new Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the eyes of many boxing fans. Spence is like a freight train right now and he’s not going to be stopped by nobody, least of all Kell Brook with him coming off of a likely knockout loss to Golovkin.