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Manny Pacquiao vs. Kell Brook possible for 2017

Amir Khan Kell Brook Manny Pacquiao

By Scott Gilfoid: IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s in talks with WBO 147lb champion Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum for a unification fight between the two fighters. However, Hearn says that they seem to be interested in unbeaten contender Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) being Pacquiao’s next opponent for April in Brisbane, Australia. As such, a fight between Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) and Pacquiao wouldn’t take place until the second half of 2017.

It would be a really big IF though, because Arum is eager to have Pacquiao fight another one of his Top Rank fighters in Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs). Horn is co-promoted by Arum, so that would be another fight in which Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) is fighting someone from his stable.

Brook is NOT with Top Rank, so I think the chance of the Pacquiao-Brook fight taking place in 2017 are quite low. If Pacquiao is still the WBO champion in 2018, then maybe a fight between him and Brook can take place. However, I can also see Pacquiao retiring after he loses to Horn and Crawford in back to back fights. I don’t think Pacquiao beats either of those guys, I hate to say.

Hearn said this to about the Brook vs. Pacquiao fight:

“I have been speaking with Bob Arum about a Kell Brook versus Manny Pacquiao fight,” Hearn said. “We are ready to go with that right now, but I think they like the idea of fighting Horn first, so we will now try and work for an Autumn fight. Obviously our priority is the big British fight with Amir and we also have the Errol Spence Jr fight. Either way, Kell’s future will be mapped out in the next month.”

I don’t think Hearn is seriously interested in matching Brook against Pacquiao in 2017. Why would he? Brook has a MUCH bigger money fight on the horizon against Amir Khan. If Hearn matches Brook against Pacquiao before that fight, then he’ll likely lose to him, and that will ruin the chances of a Brook vs. Khan fight.

I guess Khan and Brook would still wind up facing each other, but you have to expect that the pay-per-view buys from the British boxing fans would be WAY down from what they would have been had Brook not been whipped by Pacquiao.

Brook, 30, needs to make a decision by next month whether to defend his IBF welterweight title against his #1 mandatory challenger Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs). Brook and Hearn need to make a decision about whether they’re going to take that fight against the talented American by next month. That’s when the International Boxing Federation needs to know if Brook will fight the 26-year-old Spence or give up the belt and paddle away to safer, less shark-infested waters. Khan has already made it clear to the boxing world that he doesn’t want to see or hear about Brook vacating his IBF title to avoid Spence.

Khan wants Brook to do the right thing by taking on Spence, because he says he can’t respect him if he vacates his IBF title. Moreover, Khan says he wants to fight for Brook’s IBF title, and he wants to be on the line when/if he faces him in 2017. The question is will Brook vacate his IBF strap to avoid an almost certain knockout loss to Spence or will he do the noble thing and take on the talent and do his best? I mean, the outcome of the Brook-Spence fight is likely to be a repeat of the Brook vs. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin fight.

We saw Brook get literally broken down and stopped in the 5th round by Golovkin on September 10 last year. Spence can do the same thing to Brook that Golokvin did in my opinion, but in a more brutal fashion due to his body punching and vicious uppercuts that he likes to throw. It always looks bad when a fighter gets stopped by one of the 2012 U.S Olympian Spence’s body shots.

IBF Championships chairman, Lindsey E Tucker said this to about Brook vs. Spence fight:

“It was due on the December 26, but unfortunately Kell Brook got injured, so we have to give him some additional time,” said Tucker.

I sure wish Hearn and Brook would just get it over with and vacate the IBF title so that Spence can get closure on this. The IBF will need to make a decision on whether to just give their IBF 147lb title to Spence or have him fight the next available contender in their top 15 rankings that is willing and able to fight Spence. Since Jeff Horn is rated No.2 in the IBF’s ratings, I imagine he’ll be asked if he would like to face Spence. I doubt that Horn would take the fight even if he wasn’t on the verge of facing Pacquiao on April 22. It’s a BAD match-up for the very hittable and some would say chinny Horn, who has been knocked down in his last two fights against 43-year-old Randall Bailey and 38-year-old Ali Funeka. If old timers like that are knocking Horn down, then what do you think a young puncher like Spence will do to him? It wouldn’t be a pretty picture, believe me.

The next contenders in the IBF’s welterweight rankings are #3 Andre Berto and #4 Bradley Skeete. I see Berto turning the fight down, and Skeete likely accepting. I don’t see Spence vs. Skeete as being a real fight. Heck, the IBF might as well just bestow Spence as the IBF title straightaway when/if Brook finally gets it over with and vacates his IBF title, because Skeete would have little chance against Spence. That would be like a tiny speed bump for a runaway locomotive like Spence. It would be too easy for Spence.

From Pacquiao’s side, I think he would be better off fighting Brook if there was serious interest in the fight. Pacquiao could win another title, and bring in some decent PPV buys from the UK and the U.S side. It would also help Pacquiao’s boxing legacy. Brook is a world champion. Pacquiao would gain a lot more respect from the fans for beating Brook than he would a flawed contender with an inflated resume like Jeff Horn.

Unless there’s a lot of money for Pacquiao to make from the Australian market that Arum is interested in scooping up, I see it as a no-brainer for Pacquiao to fight Kell Brook rather than Horn. The Pacquiao-Horn fight seems like a dumb idea from Pacquiao’s side. I don’t know how it fits Arum though. Maybe it helps out Arum, because Horn is now one of his fighters. Would Pacquiao being doing Arum a favor in fighting Horn? Is that how it goes? I think Pacquiao did Arum a favor in fighting his last two Top Rank fighters Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley instead of pushing the promoter to match him against guys that the boxing fans would be interested in seeing him fight.

The only way I see Pacquiao and Brook facing each other is if Pacquiao doesn’t retire after he loses to Arum’s fighters Horn and Crawford in 2017. If Pacquiao whips both of them, which I highly doubt, then he probably faces Brook in 2018. But even then, I don’t see the fight happening. If Pacquiao beats Crawford, I think Arum will stick them back in together for two more fights at least.

The second Pacquiao-Crawford fight would be a chance for redemption for Crawford. The likely third fight would be the rubber match just like we’ve seen from Pacquiao in the past when he fought Erik Morales and Bradley 3 times, and Juan Manuel Marquez 4 times. He also fought Marco Antonio Barrera twice. Brook would likely need to wait for all of the Pacquiao-Crawford fights to play out before he would get a chance at Pacquiao.

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