Leonard: Kell Brook needs to prove the doubters wrong
By Scott Gilfoid: It seems like the boxing world is giving Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) very little chance of beating IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 Kos), and you can add the great former world champion Sugar Ray Leonard among the doubters who don’t think “Special K” is talented enough to get the job done on September 10.
Like many other people, Leonard is skeptical about Brook having the mental and physical fortitude to take the big power shots to the body and head from Golovkin for 12 long rounds on the night. Leonard says that Brook needs to prove people wrong by going out there and getting the job done against Triple G.
It hasn’t escaped Leonard’s attention that Brook, 30, has talked a lot of trash recently about him being able to beat Golovkin in their fight at the O2 Arena in London, England. Leonard now wants to see Brook backup his tough talk by going out and getting the job done against Golovkin if possible.
Leonard proved himself over and over again during his own boxing career with wins over the likes of Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Tommy Hearns. Leonard wants to see if Brook can back up his own tough talk by getting inside the ring with Golovkin on September and beating him for the first time in his career.
“Kell Brook doesn’t care about being underdog against Triple G,” said Leonard. “He has special talent, and he wants to show the world. But what he has to really do is backup his words. You can talk trash but you’ve got to back that [expletive] up. Mayweather talked trash. He backed it up. I talked trash. I backed it up. Triple G is power. He throws incredible body shots that brings the hands down and that slows down the hands of a boxer. It’s going to take mental stability and spiritual stability to win,” said Leonard.
One of the reasons why Brook is so confident against Golovkin is because he’s never lost before. Brook has never fought anyone good enough to beat him. The closest thing that Brook has come to losing was in his fight against Shawn Porter in 2014. Brook used frequent holding and a referee that was lax in enforcing the excessive clinching rules in that fight to get the win. But Brook has never fought guys like Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao, Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman,or Danny Garcia. If Brook had fought them, then there would be a good chance that he would lose the fight.
“I’m leaning towards Triple G [winning],” said Leonard. The general consensus is Triple G. The book says Triple G. So, Kell, you have to make everyone a liar. You know what? You have to prove us wrong. I did it against [Marvni] Hagler and Tommy Hearns. You’re in for a big day, buddy. Alright, do your stuff,” said Leonard.
The smart money is on Golovkin to win by a knockout, because he’s been knocking everybody out since 2008, and he’s a natural middleweight. He’s not someone that has been boiling down to welterweight like Brook. Yeah, Brook is supposedly now fighting at his own weight at 160lbs now, but I don’t think it’s going to matter. Brook isn’t naturally more powerful as Golovkin. Brook can punch, but he doesn’t have the tremendous punching power of someone like Golovkin. He’s a moderately good puncher with slow hands and not much mobility.
It’s going to be a monumental task for Brook to try and beat Golovkin on September 10. It will take a super human effort from Brook for him to pull off the upset, because he hasn’t shown the type of talent in his past fights that suggest that he’ll do anything but lose to Golovkin. Brook looked decent at welterweight, but not at the level of Golovkin.
Brook doesn’t even look good enough to beat Spence, Garcia, Mayweather, Thurman or Pacquiao. Brook might be able to beat Porter again if he can go back to his playbook of clinching frequently, and if he has a referee that lets him get away with frequent holding. There are a lot of ifs there though, and I’m not sure that Brook would be able to accomplish the task a second time. Brook will likely never fight Porter again, so he’s not even among the discussion. But if he did, I think Brook would lose unless he was allowed to hold all night again to keep Porter from punching.
I honestly can’t see Brook doing anything in this fight other than going back to the Porter playbook and looking to hold Golovkin at any chance he can get. I think Brook is counting on the referee not doing his job by controlling his frequent clinches.
I think Brook will try and frustrate Golovkin by clinching 15 times per round to keep reduce his punch output to a trickle. If Brook can grab Golovkin over and over again to keep him from throwing punches, then he has a chance of winning the fight. Yeah, it’ll be ugly as can be, but I don’t think Brook cares about that.
For me, I just don’t think Brook has nearly enough toughness or dare I say talent to hang with Triple G for long in this fight. Each time in picture the Golovkin-Brook taking place, I see Golovkin landing a mean body shot in the 1st round that has Brook doubled over in pain. I then see Golovkin finishing Brook with the old couple de grace by nailing him with a head shot while he’s unprotected and still bent over. I mean, if Brook is going to be unprotected like that, he’s going to be put out of his misery quickly by GGG. I don’t see Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle being able to sail a towel into the ring to have the fight stopped in time to save Brook from the finishing shot from Golovkin. The fight will be ending so quickly in my mind that Ingle couldn’t possibly have enough time to reach over and pick up the white towel to throw into the ring before Golovkin finishes Brook off. That’s the thing with Golovkin. He hurts you so quickly that it doesn’t give trainers time to throw in the towel because his fights end with him landing one or two hard punches. It’s usually not one of those methodical beatings that Golovkin dishes out to his opponents that ends with a knockout. If that were the case, then Ingle would have plenty of time to alert the referee to have the one-sided beating halted to save his fighter Brook.