Brook vs. Spence: Quillin and Porter chime in
By Scott Gilfoid: Former WBO middleweight champion Peter Quillin sees Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) having it tough going against Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) in his next fight on May 20. Quillin says that Brook has a lot on his plate due to him having lost his last fight against middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, and now having to face one of the best prospects in boxing in Spence. It’s not good timing at all for Brook to have to face a fighter like the 26-year-old Spence right after the Golovkin fight.
Former IBF 147lb champion Shawn Porter also believes that Spence can beat Brook. Porter is well familiar with both fighters, and he thinks that Spence will emerge as the winner in the fight.
Porter lost to Brook by a 12 round decision three years ago in 2014. That was a fight in which Brook held Porter repeatedly over and over again in each round to keep him from throwing punches. The referee let the holding go on without disqualifying Brook, so it was a fight where we really see a true picture of what Porter was capable of doing. Porter and his father/trainer Kenny Porter were not happy with the holding that Brook did in the fight. They wanted a rematch with Brook afterwards, but apparently the interest wasn’t mutual.
“We’re going to look to campaign at a catch-weight between 160 and 168,” said Quillin to Villianfy about his next fight. “Me and Virgil are going to figure it out after I take my next fight. I think what they say about Errol Spence is true. I got to see him as an amateur fighting in the Olympics. I got the pleasure of being in there and seeing him with some top professionals. At the time he had no professional fights, and I thought very high of him. Now I expect great things. I think the boxing world should be amazed at what they see of the young kid as dedicated as Errol Spence is. Kell Brook is just stepping on the scene with a big fight against Gennady Golovkin, which he did prove to a lot of people that boxers can be tough. I think the most important thing about Kell Brook is he has a lot on his plate right now coming off a loss to Gennady Golovkin and now going in there to fight one of the best prospects in boxing right now in Errol Spence,” said Quillin.
Quillin is putting it lightly by saying that Brook has a lot on his plate with him coming into his fight against Spence. Brook was injured in the Golovkin fight with him suffering a broken right eye socket. He also took a beating in getting nailed by a lot of huge shots. The only way that Brook was able to make it to the 5th round was by him moving constantly and tying Golovkin up by clinching him. Without the movement, Brook’s last stand likely would have taken place in round 1, and the towel might have been tossed into the ring at that time by his trainer Dominic Ingle rather than round 5.
As soon as Brook could no longer move about the ring, he was quickly finished off by Golovkin. Brook says it was his eye that caused the fight to be stopped, but if you look at the fight in slow motion, it appears that Brook was hurt by a body shot from Golovkin. Brook stopped running and throwing his sporadic punches after he was hit by a body shot from GGG. The fight was then stopped. Going from Golovkin to Spence is a nightmarish scenario.
Brook is going to be facing what is arguably a smaller version of Golovkin in Spence, and it’s going to be very hard on him. Will Brook be able to find a way to stall out Spence’s offense by holding or running? Can Brook stand and fight Spence and blast him out like he did against Kevin Bizier, Frankie Gavin and Jo Jo Dan? We’ll have to see. It’s going to be hard, because Spence is considered the next star in the welterweight division. Brook is viewed by a lot of boxing fans as just a title holder at 147, and a fighter with an inflated resume built on wins over weak opposition.
“I maintained this for a long time, Errol Spence, he’s calling himself ‘The Truth,’ and I do really think he is,” said Porter to Tru School Sports. “He has everything that is required to be a champion. He really does. I do think that’s going to be a very good fight a fight that Errol Spence can win,” said Porter about the Brook vs. Spence fight.
Some boxing writers believe that Spence may have a problem getting a win in Sheffield on the night, as it’s Brook’s hometown. I don’t agree with that. I think it’s going to help Spence having the fight in the UK, because he’s going to wanting to knock Brook out even faster. This means Spence is going to be putting a great deal of pressure on Brook, making him either fight or flee. The flee response is one we’ve obviously seen from Brook when he fought Golovkin.
The question is will Brook stay in motion to avoid Spence? After all, Spence is in the same division as Brook, so there should be no reason for Brook to stay on the run against him like he did against Golovkin. However, Spence is the same weight as Golovkin in the low 170s for his fights. Brook will be basically fighting a middleweight in Spence on May 20. I personally rate Spence’s punching power to be close to that of Golovkin’s. The only difference is that Golovkin throws his power shots from odd angles and he’s better at punch placement than Spence. Can Brook stand up to Spence’s power? I don’t know. The past evens suggest that Brook won’t. Golovkin broke Brook down quickly in stopping him in five rounds. If Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle hadn’t thrown in the towel in round 5, we probably would have seen Golovkin knocking him out with a big power shot.
“I would say aside from him grabbing and holding me, I would say his best quality may have been his jab,” said Porter about what Brook did in his fight against him in 2014. “He was able to time me with his jab. I think I helped him a long with that.”
Former EBU junior middleweight champion Ryan Rhodes believes that Brook is catching Spence at a right time in his career before he’s picked up more experience. Rhodes thinks that if Brook waited 18 months to 2 years, it would be a lot tougher fight for him than if he were to take the fight now before the 26-year-old Spence has developed his game. We’re going to have to find out. Spence is seen as the next star in boxing by a lot of people. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is very high on Spence.
A talent like Mayweather wouldn’t be singing Spence’s praises if he didn’t see something in his game. We’re not hearing Mayweather blowing his trumpet for Brook, are we? Spence is the one that Mayweather believes in. For that reason, I don’t think it matters that Spence isn’t yet finished developing as a pro. He seems to have all the tools in his game already to be a world champion. Whether Spence is good enough to go through Brook or not will be decided on May 20. It’s just everything is working against Brook right now with him coming off a bad eye injury, stoppage loss to Golovkin, and having to take off so much weight to get down to the 147lb limit for the fight. It is good for Brook that he has a couple of built in excuses to tell the boxing fans should he lose to Spence.
Brook can always tell the fans that he lost the fight because of his eye injury, and his struggles to make the weight for the welterweight division. I don’t think Brook’s fans would hold it against him if he gets knocked out or if he loses by decision to Spence.
“Fantastic fight,” said Ryan Rhodes to secondsout.com about the Brook-Spence fight. “I never expected him to stay [at welterweight] for Errol Spence. I think it’s a tough, tough fight, but he said ‘yes,’ and it’s happening. It’s probably the toughest welterweight fight out there. To me, it’s a lot harder than the Khan fight. But the Errol Spence fight, has he got him at the right time? Is Spence going to be three to four times better the next year to 18 months? He’s got him now when he’s a bit green, a little bit raw. When [Floyd] Mayweather got [Saul Canelo] Alvarez, Mayweather got Alvarez at the right time. I think Alvarez is such a better fighter now than when he fought Mayweather two or three years ago. Has Kell got Spence at the right time, whereas if he fought him in the next 18 months to 2 years, Spence might be a different animal by then? So let’s see. As long as Kell is healthy, fit, strong, my money’s on Kell. But it’s not going to be an easy fight. Spence has been a big name coming through the American vision for a long time. When Floyd Mayweather came to Sheffield, he said the guy to watch out for is Errol Spence,” said Rhodes.
Spence looks ready to take Brook’s scalp judging by his last fight against Leonard Bundu last August. If that had been Brook inside the ring with Bundu instead of Spence, I think it would have been a very close fight with Brook possibly losing. Bundu is pretty tough, and he knows how to fight on the inside unlike Brook. Bundu doesn’t resort to holding continuously in his fights. Bundu was trying to fight Spence, and unfortunately him, it didn’t work out too well.