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Hearn: Brook vs. Spence is best fight at 147

Image: Hearn: Brook vs. Spence is best fight at 147

By Scott Gilfoid: Kell Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is pretty excited about his upcoming May 20th fight against unbeaten #1 IBF Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs). Hearn is calling it the best fight in the 147lb division right now. That’s easy to say, because the next runner up is a fight between WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia and WBA champion Keith Thurman. Garcia is a good fighter, but he’s not really a true 147lb fighter, and he doesn’t seem like he belongs in the welterweight division.

Brook and Spence will be fighting on May 20 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England.
“Terms agreed for Special K Brook v Errol Spence Jr. Full announcement coming soon. Fght will take place in the UK. Best fight in the division,” said Hearn on his Twitter.

Brook, 30, looks really shaky going into the Spence fight. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered about Brook, starting with whether he’ll be able to make the 147 pound limit without being weight drained. You have to remember that Brook is a heavier fighter than middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin when he’s not draining himself.

Brook is a 190lb fighter when he’s not training. Getting all that weight off go get down to 147 is going to be a monumental task for “Special K” Brook for the Spence fight. Even if Brook does make the 147lb limit, and that’s a big IF, he could be like a zombie out there inside the ring on May 20.

It’s nice that Brook will be fighting in front of his home crowd on the night, but Spence is one of those seek and destroy fighters that gets energy from the crowd whether they’re against him or not. It might be the best thing for Brook if he tells his boxing fans to be quiet on the night, because he doesn’t need to make it worse for himself than it already is.

Here are the negatives for Brook going into the Spence fight:

– Brook’s right eye socket. Will it hold up under the pounding of the southpaw Spence’s huge power shots? Brook’s right eye socket was busted in his loss to Gennady Golovkin last September. When you have broken bones in your eye socket, there’s the potential for the eye to swell up and close once it starts getting hit. Is the eye going to be a problem for Brook in this fight? Heck, is Brook’s eye going to be a problem for him for the remainder of his career? Given that this is the fight for Brook since his eye socket was broken by Golovkin, you have to believe there is a real risk that the eye could close up on him once Spence hits him often enough to that eye. I’m not saying that Spence will intentionally target the eye, but how do you miss not hitting right eye when you’re a southpaw like Spence. We saw how Antonio Margarito’s previously fractured orbital bone gave him problems when he came off surgery to fight Miguel Cotto in a rematch. The eye closed up almost immediately for Margarito. I think we could see the same thing with Brook’s surgically repaired right eye closing up.

– Brook’s ability to fight on the inside is nonexistent. Brook doesn’t know how to fight on the inside. We saw that in his fights against Golovkin and Shawn Porter. Instead of fighting Golovkin and Porter on the inside, Brook tended to tie them both up. Golovkin didn’t seem to mind being tied up, because he knew he was going to just start over as soon as Brook let go of him. Spence is a very, very good inside fighter. He’s incredibly good at fighting at close range. If Brook chooses to try and hold Spence all night, he’s going to be getting hit with body shots. Spence is not going to just give up on the inside as soon as Brook holds him the way that Porter was doing. Spence is going to wind up and hail Brook with shots to the midsection.

– Brook doesn’t take body shots well. He can take a good shot to the head, but definitely not to the body. Brook quit fighting after Golovkin hit him with a body shot in round 5 of their fight on September 10. It took that long for Golovkin to stop Brook because he was wasting time trying to hit him with head shots. Spence is a different type of fighter than Golovkin. He thinks body attack first, and head shots second. Spence likes to throw punches to the body, and I think he’s better in that area than Golovkin. Spence winds up on his body shots. Golovkin doesn’t do that. For that reason, I believe that Brook could be stopped very early in this fight by Spence, especially if he’s weight drained.

– Brook has a history of getting hurt during training camp. Don’t be surprised if Brook fails to make it to the Spence fight. Who can forget how Brook was hurt repeatedly in training camp while getting ready for his fight against Devon Alexander years ago. Brook never made it to the fight.

– Brook is coming off a vicious beating against Golovkin. You never know how a beating like that is going to impact a fighter. Is Brook mentally out of now? Will Brook quit again like he did in round 5 against Golovkin? Oh yeah, Brook definitely quit in the Golovkin fight after getting hurt with a body shot. When you see a fighter not throwing punches after they’ve been hit, it tells you that they quit. Once the going gets tough for Brook against Spence, I see him quitting in the same way. He may not drop for the 10 count, but I think Brook will stop throwing punches like he did against Spence and wind up having his trainer Dominic Ingle toss in the towel to save him again. I know a lot of fighters would have a long talk with their trainer if they tossed the towel in during one of their fights, but I don’t see Brook as that type. I think he’ll be relieved if Ingle throws in the towel again to save his hide against Spence.

– It’s going to be hard for Brook in terms of his conditioning after he sheds all the weight that he’s put on for the Golovkin fight. Brook was able to eat freely for that fight because he only needed to take off 20-30 pounds rather than 40 pounds to get down to 147. It’s going to be hard for Brook to lose all the weight to get down to 147 without it hurting him on the night of the fight. Brook is likely going to be exhausted against Spence. Once Brook starts getting hit with body shot from Spence, the fatigue is going to make it even more of a problem for him.

– Spence stays in shape between fights and loves boxing. You don’t see Spence ballooning up in weight between fights like Brook. He’s not going to be weight drained during the fight. Spence is going to be highly motivated, because he knows that if he whips Brook, he’ll be the new IBF welterweight champion. Spence will then he able to face the winner of the Danny Garcia vs. Keith Thurman fight for the WBA and WBC 147lb titles.

“I said I was coming for it all in 2017… #StrapSeason #BrookSpence #MANDOWN,” said Spence.

I have a feeling that Brook may end up wishing that he had vacated his IBF 147lb title rather than choosing to face Spence. By the time Spence gets done with Brook, I think he might regret making the decision to fight the talented 2012 U.S Olympian Spence.

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