Brook: The fans don’t know who Errol Spence is

By Boxing News - 01/14/2017 - Comments

Image: Brook: The fans don't know who Errol Spence is

By Scott Gilfoid: Kell Brook hasn’t officially vacated his IBF welterweight title yet to avoid the dangerous an incredibly talented Errol Spence Jr., but it appears that he’s heading in that direction now.

On Friday, Brook dropped the biggest hint possible in showing his hand that he’s going to steer around the fight against the 2012 U.S Olympian Spence by saying that the boxing public doesn’t know who he is. Moreover, Brook also said that if he’s going to go through the trouble of going back down to 147 for a fight, it’s going to be a big money fight against one of the following names: Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao, Danny Garcia or Keith Thurman.

Spence’s name was not among the list of fighters that the 30-year-old Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) would be willing to come back down to welterweight to fight. That’s fine. It just means that Brook needs to quit wasting time holding onto the IBF welterweight title, because he’s been ordered to defend the title against Spence.

Brook can’t just keep the IBF title as permanent trophy that he has hanging around, and that only defends against who he pleases. The International Boxing Federation has ordered Brook to defend his title against his #1 IBF mandatory challenger Spence. If Brook doesn’t want to do that, then he needs to give up the belt and get out of the way.

All the big names that Brook wants for his next fight are not available to him right now. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is trying to convince Khan to fight him in May, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll agree to it. Right now, Khan is saying, ‘no.’ He wants to take a tune-up fight to test his surgically repaired right hand before he considers taking a fight against Brook.

Khan also wants Brook to defend his IBF title against Spence, because he wants to be able to respect him and he wants to fight for the title. It’s unclear why Brook is feeling undecided about whether to fight Spence or not. Khan has already given him his marching orders. It’s his job to do what Khan says, because he’s giving him the key to get the fight against him. If Brook wants the fight against Khan, then he’s going to need to do what he’s telling him to do and that’s to defend his IBF title against Spence.

Khan didn’t say he wouldn’t fight Brook if he gets whipped by Spence. He just told him to take the fight, because he wants the title on the line when he fights him and he DOES NOT wish to fight him next. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn needs to check it out with Khan whether he’ll still agree to fight him if Brook gets beaten by Spence. As long as Khan gives Brook the assurance that he’ll still fight him if he gets knocked cold by Spence, then he should go ahead and make that fight. While Hearn is at it, he might want to ask Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum if he’ll still be willing to make a fight between Pacquiao and Brook if he loses the fight to Spence. If Arum says ‘no,’ then Brook should think seriously about vacating his IBF title.

Brook is talking about wanting to move up to 154. I think he’s going to find out the hard way that life is not going to be easy in those shark infested waters at junior middleweight. The division is loaded with talent, big punchers, and fighters that weight as much Gennady Golovkin. As such, Brook’s weight advantage that he usually has over his welterweight opponents on fight night will disappear once he starts mixing it up against fighters in the 154lb division. That’s not to say that Brook will be smaller than his opponents in the 154lb division in terms of weight. He might in the 170s like them on fight night, but it means that Brook is going to be getting hit harder than he ever did in his welterweight fights. I wish Brook a lot of luck if he chooses to fight Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara and Julian Williams.

Brook said this to about his choices for his next fight:

“I think everybody knows I can fight,” said Brook. “I’m a world champion. I’m one of the names in world boxing. I want what all the fans in world boxing want, me and Amir Khan fight and put it to rest. He has nowhere else to go. You tell me, who do you want me to fight next? Fight Khan. Fight Spence. Fight Thurman or Garcia. Who? That’s why I want to give that fight to him [Khan]. I’m struggling to make 147. Khan wants to drag me down to 147. I’m willing to down there just to make this fight happen. Everybody wants me to move up to 154. I’m still down at 147 for the big money fights. I’m willing to come back down. His ego is too big. I’m going to listen to my team around me. If I’m going to make 147 again and I’m going to come back down, it’s got to be worth my while money-wise. It’s got to be worth my while excitement-wise, as in [Manny] Pacquiao, as in with Khan, and [Keith] Thurman-Garcia; those kinds of fighters. Spence is a very good fighter. Spence is my mandatory. People aren’t knowing who the guy is. I don’t want to give that title up. I’m in a situation where I’ve got to ask myself, what are you going to do now? If you can’t make these other fights, you’ve got to fight this Spence kid. That’s where you’ve got to be,” said Brook.

I disagree with Brook about the boxing public not knowing who this “Spence kid” is. I think they do know who Spence is, but I can understand why Brook if he didn’t want them to know who he is. It would take a heavy burden off his shoulders by allowing him to avoid fighting him. Brook could then vacate his IBF title without guilt or worry, because the boxing public would give him a free pass. The problem is the public won’t give him a free pass. They’re going to skewer Brook if he vacates his IBF title to avoid Spence. The fans will point out that Brook had no problems defending his IBF title against Kevin Bizier, Frankie Gavin and Jo Jo Dan. It was only when a tough opponent in Spence was ordered for him to fight that he started having second thoughts about whether it was worth it to stay at 147.

Speaking about Khan once again, Brook pleaded, “Come on, let’ make it happen for the world.”