Kell Brook wants Pacquiao unification match

By Boxing News - 11/06/2016 - Comments


By Scott Gilfoid: Upon learning of the highly popular Manny Paquiao capturing the WBO welterweight title last Saturday night, IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook wasted no time in requesting a unification fight with the 37-year-old newly crowned champion. Pacquiao captured the World Boxing Organization 147lb title in beating champion Jessie Vargas (27-2, 10 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in beating him by the scores 118-109, 118-109 and 115-113.

The last score was a very unusual one, because the fight was a clear victory for Pacquiao. For the judge to have the fight scored badly in Pacquiao’s favor, it makes you wonder if he was seeing things clearly last Saturday night or maybe watching another fight.

Kell Brook said this to Pacquiao on his Twitter last night:

“Manny Pacquiao TR unification fight at 147. Yes, please #2017,” said Brook.

Here’s the deal. If Pacquiao is going to be returning to the ring, he sure as heck isn’t going to want to go for the small money by fighting the 30-year-old Brook. Pacquiao probably didn’t make a heck of a lot of money for the fight against the non-popular Vargas last night, as he’s not well known with the casual boxing fans, and he doesn’t have much of a fan base.

If the Pacquiao-Vargas fight does turn out to be a disaster on pay-per-view that Gilfoid thinks it was, I do not see Pacquiao wanting another disaster in facing Brook and seeing that fight bring in poor PPV numbers. Yeah, Brook would bring in some buys in the UK for the fight, but not nearly enough to make up for the lost PPV money from the U.S, which is a far bigger market. That’s where all the sweet cash is made by Pacquiao.

Brook isn’t really in the position right now for him to be squawking about a unification fight against Pacquiao. Brook has a mandatory that he must get out of the way against Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) if he wants to retain his IBF welterweight title. Unless the IBF allows Brook to swerve Spence for a second time by taking on Pacquiao in a unification fight, he’s not going to be able to take that fight.

Brook already moved around the Spence fight once by moving up to 160 to take on middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin last September in a fight that saw Brook blasted out in five rounds. If Brook is allowed to sidestep the Spence fight a second time, it would be pretty sad to see. Unfortunately, I could see the International Boxing Federation allowing Brook to swerve the Spence fight due to the possibility of Pacquiao winning the fight and becoming their new IBF champion.

If Pacquiao wins the IBF title, I wouldn’t be surprised if Spence’s title shot ambitions are put off by the sanctioning body. I mean, I can’t see the IBF forcing Pacquiao to fight Spence. No way do I see the IBF forcing a popular fighter like Pacquiao to fight Spence. I think Pacquiao could put the Spence fight off for years if he wanted to. That would be the worst news imaginable for Spence if Pacquiao were to beat Brook to capture the IBF title. Spence’s career would potentially be put in suspended an animation while he waits for Pacquiao to eventually vacate or get beaten by one of the fighters he defends his IBF title against.

I hate to say it, but Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) has better opportunities out there in boxing than to fight Brook. In case you missed it, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was ringside last Saturday night to watch the Pacquiao-Vargas fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather has got to be kicking around the idea of getting inside the ring with Pacquiao to face him for a second time. Why else would Mayweather show up to see Pacquiao fight again? Mayweather would make $100 million for a rematch, and Pacquiao likely $50 million or more. Even after Pacquiao gives his promoters at Top Rank their large cut of the loot for the Mayweather rematch, he would still walk away with a lot of green for that fight.

In contrast, a fight between Pacquiao and Brook would be one that would be lucky to bring Pacquiao a small percentage of the money he would make against Mayweather. Fighting Brook would be like Pacquiao fighting Vargas for a second time or fighting Tim Bradley for a third time. I don’t think the fight would do even as well as those fights, because Brook isn’t American, and he’s not well known with the casual boxing fans in the States.

How do you sell a fight between Pacquiao and Brook? With Brook still licking his wounds from his knockout loss to Golovkin, how do you get the hardcore fans excited about a fight between him and a guy that was just blown apart by Golovkin? I hate to break this to people, but Brook lost the fight against Golovkin the last time I checked. It wasn’t close, unless you call running being a close fight.

If Brook comes back from his loss to Golovkin to beat some highly talented big name in the sport, then I could see a fight between him and Pacquiao being something that might interest the boxing fans. But with Brook having lost his last fight, how would Pacquiao’s promoters at Top Rank promote that fight? Would they pretend that Brook didn’t lose his last fight? Would they just skip over that part, and show clips of Brook beating Jo Jo Dan, Matthew Hatton, Kevin Bizier and Frankie Gavin? Do the U.S fans even know who those guys are? Honestly, Brook is totally unqualified to get a fight against Pacquiao right now. That would be a case of Brook backing into the fight against Pacquiao with a loss rather than a win.

I think the major problem that will keep Brook from getting a fight against Pacquiao is the Filipino fighters’ promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank. I see Arum wanting to match Pacquiao against his own fighters from his Top Rank stable in Terence Crawford. Arum is trying to make Crawford a star, and the only way that has any chance of happening is if he beats Pacquiao and looks good by not running around the ring all night long like he did in his last fight against Viktor Postol.

Arum appears to be willing to gamble by putting Pacquiao in that fight against Crawford and potentially watching it make less money on pay-per-view than what he would make if he were to fight a popular guy outside of his Top Rank stable. Brook isn’t with Arum’s Top Rank stable, so I don’t see the 84-year-old promoter considering him even for an instant. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brook never gets a fight against Pacquiao. I think Arum is going to focus on having Pacquiao fight as many of his Top Rank fighters as possible before he retires. If you look at Pacquiao’s last two fights, they’ve both come against Arum’s Top Rank fighters in Bradley and Vargas. Pacquiao could have made more money fighting non-Top Rank guys like Amir Khan, but instead he was matched against Arum’s fighters. I see the same thing happening with Pacquiao’s next fight.