Errol Spence is last option for Kell Brook

By Boxing News - 11/11/2016 - Comments


By Scott Gilfoid: Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) made news on Thursday with his promoter Eddie Hearn saying that he plans on staying at welterweight and defending his IBF 147lb belt against his mandatory challenger Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs). However, that’s not exactly what Brook is saying. Brook wants a unification fight against one of the other welterweight champions first and foremost.

Brook, 30, wants to fight WBO belt holder Manny Pacquiao, WBC champion Danny Garcia or WBA champ Keith “One Time” Thurman. Brook also wants a fight against Amir Khan at 147. Khan is currently recovering from hand surgery, and he’s expected to be back inside the ring in the early part of the year. Brook would take a fight against him next if Hearn can make it.

If Brook can’t get any of those fighters to face him next, only then will he face Spence. In other words, Spence is the last ditch option for Brook if he can’t get any of the other mouth-watering fights to take place. It’s funny that Hearn was yapping about how Brook was ready to fight Spence, because that doesn’t appear to be the case. Brook is still talking about him wanting to fight a unification fight or face Khan next. Spence is basically the equivalent of the nuclear option for Brook.

Yeah, Brook will fight Spence possibly, but ONLY if he cannot get any of the other fights he wants. It’s not as heroic as Hearn makes it sound with Brook saying he’ll fight Spence. He’ll fight Spence, but ONLY if no other options are available to him. I mean, it’s not as if Brook is chomping at the bit and volunteering to get his mandatory defense out of the way by fighting Spence in the way that he was eager to fight his previous mandatory challenger in Jo Jo Dan and Kevin Bizier.

Brook took those fights in a second against those guys as soon as the IBF made them his mandatory. But with Spence, one gets the sense that Brook is dragging his heels and avoiding what must be done if he wants to hold onto his IBF 147lb strap.

Brook said this to about him choosing to keep his IBF welterweight title and possibly face Spence if no other options present themselves to him:

“I had a meeting with Eddie Hearn on Wednesday and told him I am not prepared to give up my title,” said Brook. “I know there are options at 154lbs and I may even be more suited there but I am not willing to give up what I fought so hard for. I want the unification fights but if they aren’t there then it will be Spence next for me in a big UK show.”

I never thought for a second that Brook would actually move up to junior middleweight to try and campaign as a 154lb fighter. I thought it was something that Brook said out of frustration at how difficult it is for him to melt down to 147.

It’s obviously hard work for Brook to get down to the welterweight limit for him to continue to fight in that division, but the alternatives are much harder for him. If Brook moves up to junior middleweight, it means that he’ll need to take on beasts like the Charlo brothers, Julian “J-Rock” Williams, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto and Erickson Lubin.

Do I think Brook could beat all of those guys? Nope. Do I think Brook could beat some of them? I am not sure about that. Lubin reminds me a lot of Brook. He’s like a younger and bigger version of Brook. I can’t see Brook beating Lubin. Jermell Charlo would be vulnerable to Brook, but it would be a very, very hard fight for Brook, because Jermell is starting to sit down on his shots a lot more now like his heavy punching brother Jermall. If Brook were to move up to 154, he would have problems against all of those guys.

Even Liam Smith would be a serious problem for Brook. If Brook were to win a paper title like he has now at welterweight, I can’t see him holding onto it for long.

If Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is able to work with the sanctioning bodies to help him avoid facing his mandatory challenger for a couple of years, he might be able to milk one of the titles if he can get his hands on one. It would be like with WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew, who instead of fighting his mandatory challenger Mairis Briedis, he’s fighting fringe contenders like BJ Flores, and talking about wanting to move up to heavyweight to fight David Haye. In the meantime, Bellew’s mandatory challenger Briedis is the equivalent of the forgotten man. He’s just sitting and waiting and waiting until he finally gets his title shot.

It would be helpful if the World Boxing Council forced the issue in making Bellew facing Briedis, but thus far, they’re not doing it. If Brook were to move up to 154, he would need to find a vulnerable champion for him to beat, and then he would need to be very careful in whom he faces in order for him to keep his title.

Like I said, its pretty much what’s happening now with him as the IBF champion at 147, and him dancing around Spence instead of fighting him. Brook appears to be just looking for a big cash out fight against one of the champions in the welterweight division instead of doing what he should doing and facing his mandatory in Spence.

What’s interesting is that Brook wasn’t making a big production when he had to face his previous mandatory challengers in Jo Jo Dan and Bizier. But now all of a sudden when Brook has to fight talented contender in Spence, he wants to fight a unification or face Khan next instead of fighting him. It just makes me think Brook wants no part of fighting Spence.

Unless the IBF is going to let Brook freeze his IBF title until July or August of 2017, he’s not going to be able to sit and wait for the winner of the Garcia vs. Thurman fight to get free and clear. Those guys are fighting each other in March of 2017. Brook wants to fight Pacquiao, but that’s not an option. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum wants him to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., Terence Crawford of Vasyl Lomachenko in that order.

Brook would be behind all of those guys as a potential opponent for Pacquiao. In other words, he shouldn’t hold his breath waiting for a fight against Pacquiao in 2017, because it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. One way for the IBF to freeze Brook’s title is if he can get them to give him another 60-day medical extension.

If Brook can get another 60-day medical extension from the IBF for his broken right eye socket problem from his fight against middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, then that might give him enough time to steer around the Errol Spence fight. By the time the second 60-day medical extension expires, then Brook might be able to get the winner of the Thurman vs. Garcia fight.

They should be about to face each other by then. Brook could then have Hearn arrange the deal with the winner of the fight. He would still need to make a deal with the Garcia vs. Thurman winner for the unification fight, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. I think they’d face him for the right amount of money.