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Hatton doubts Brook can beat Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin Kell Brook Ricky Hatton

(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME) By Patrick McHugh: Former two division world champion Ricky Hatton believes that welterweight Kell Brook will do well for a few rounds in his title challenge against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (35-0 32 KOs) in their fight on September 10, but ultimately, Golovkin’s size, power and punching ability will be too much for Brook.

Hatton doesn’t blame Brook for taking the shot against Golovkin, because it’s such a big payday for him. Hatton notes that the top guys in the 147lb division didn’t want any part of fighting Brook, so he had to do something to get a big fight. The parade was passing Brook by and he was watching his career move forward without him being able to get any of the big career defining fights.

“I think he’ll obviously have a few good rounds,” said Hatton to about Brook against Golovkin. “But Golovkin is what he is. He’s a punching machine, a lot bigger than Kell. I think he’ll have his successes and I hope he proves me wrong, but you think size will tell at some point in the fight. You have to give Kell Brook credit for taking such a big fight and obviously moving up,” said Hatton.

It’s hard to know whether Brook will be able to do well at all. It’ll depend on Golovkin. None of his opponents have had a ‘few good rounds’ in many years. Even the ones that are allowed to hang around for a while, they don’t do very well against him. Golovkin boxes them at times with his jab like he did with David Lemieux, but they don’t do well against him despite being kept in the fight. If the crowd gets Golovkin and Brook energized, then this fight could be over very fast on September 10 with Golovkin taking Brook out quickly.

If Golovkin unloads on Brook with one of his especially power shots that he’s capable of throwing, then it’s probably not realistic that Brook is going to be able to handle that kind of power. Brook hasn’t been fighting big punchers for the most part during his career. He fought Shawn Porter in 2014, and twice fought Carson Jones. Brook tied Porter up all night to keep him from using his power to any extent.

Carson Jones had Brook badly hurt and within an eyelash of a knockout in the 1th round in their first fight in 2012. Brook’s nose was bloodied badly and he was pretty well busted up. Brook will be facing a much bigger puncher than he’s ever faced before in Golovkin. Brook can be slippery at times to avoid getting hit, but he’s not going to be able to avoid the body punches that Golovkin throws in the fight. Brook can guard against either head or body shots. He can’t keep Golovkin from failing to land both.

Brook is actually bigger than Golovkin right now while the two of them get ready for the fight. Brook tends to bulk up between fights, and then take some of the weight off during training camp. The weight that he doesn’t take off, he loses by dehydrating the week of the fight to make the 147lb limit. in this case, Brook only needs to get down to 160, which should make it easy for him.

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn believes that he’ll be around five pounds lighter than Golovkin when the two guys get inside the ring on September 10. Being close to the same weight as Golovkin doesn’t mean that he’ll be as powerful as him or as good at the weight. It’s a tough fight for Brook, but he has little choice if he wants a big fight. The bigger fights involve a lot of risk, and it goes with the territory.

Brook’s bigger payday for this fight will come with him taking the most dangerous fight of his career. We just saw what happened with welterweight Amir Khan with him moving up to middleweight to face former WBC champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez last May. khan was knocked out in the sixth round. Now it’s Brook’s turn. He’s got a better china than Khan, so there is a possibility that he can go the full 12 round distance. Golovkin has knocked out everyone he’s faced in the last eight years of his career. That doesn’t bode well for Brook, because he’s not a middleweight. Golovkin has been knocking out middleweights and making it look easy.

“But at the end of the day who can blame him? It’s a massive payday,” said Hatton about Brook’s risky fight. “He’s come up with probably one of the biggest names in boxing (in Golovkin). He’s been watching the parade go by, Kell. The tests in his own weight division haven’t come so he has to take this one.”

Brook pretty much did have to take the fight against Golovkin if he wanted to get a big payday, because he’ll soon have to defend his IBF title against unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. There’s a very good chance that Brook loses that fight and loses it by a knockout. Once Brook gets beaten by Spence, he would need to look in another direction towards a fight against WBO champion Jessie Vargas, WBA champion Keith Thurman or WBC belt holder Danny Garcia. Those would be tough fights for Brook with him coming off fights against Golovkin and Spence. For Brook, his fight against Golovkin could be his only big payday of his career.

The good news for Brook is that even if he loses to Golovkin, he can always go back down to welterweight and continue to defend his IBF 147lb title. The bad news is that he’ll likely need to defend it against unbeaten Errol Spence in early 2017. The International Boxing Federation will probably give Brook some leeway before ordering him to take the fight. But they’re not going to put Spence on hold permanently. Brook is going to need to fight him if he wants to retain his title. Brook can move up to 154 and look to take on some of the champions in that weight class to pick up a belt. The 154lb division lacks big names and the money is likely less than what Brook can make at 147.

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