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Spence: I’ve got Kell Brook’s number

Errol Spence Jr Kell Brook

By Scott Gilfoid: Errol Spence has sized up Kell Brook and he believes he’s got the clear advantage over the 30-year-old as the two of them prepare for their fight on May 20 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England.

Spence has the Golovkin-esque type fighting style, but he’s an improvement over him in many ways. Spence is a body puncher, and perhaps the best that welterweight division has seen in many years. Golovkin is a great body puncher as well, but he rarely commits to the body for some reason.

Brook would do well to make sure he stays in the center of the ring for the entire fight against Spence instead of resorting to his spoiling tactics that we saw from him against Shawn Porter and Gennady Golovkin.

Not surprisingly, Spence (21-0, 18 KOs) sees weakness in the game of Brook. Spence isn’t revealing what the weakness that he sees in Brook’s game, but it might have to do with the fact that he tends to take off running when he’s met with aggression. We saw how Brook ran from the fight against Gennady Golovkin last September, and were taken out in the 5th when he could no longer run.

Spence obviously saw Brook’s performance against Triple G, and noted that Brook doesn’t stand his ground. He gives up his territory too easily and retreats rather than stands and fights. When fighters retreat like Brook did against Golovkin, it puts them in a situation where they have little chance of winning. It’s almost impossible to generate power when running backwards or laterally the way that Brook was against Golovkin. Golovkin looked gleeful as he chased Brook around the ring in that fight. Golovkin was always coming forward and never going backwards. That helped make Golovkin’s power even better than it already was.

“I don’t think Kell’s fought anyone like me before. I’m faster and hit harder than other welterweights he has faced,” said Spence to skysports.com. “I believe I may have Kell’s number, great champion that he is.”

I totally agree with Spence about him saying Brook has never fought anyone with the kind of punching power or speed like him during his career at 147. Yeah, Golovkin has more power than Spence, but he’s still the most powerful puncher than Brook will have ever faced at welterweight.

What hurts Brook’s chance of winning against Spence is that he’s going to need to take a lot of weight off to get down to 147 for the fight on May 20. Spence will need to do the same thing, but he’s not having the same problems dropping weight like Brook. If you look at how Brook and Spence both looked in their last fights at 147, it’s like night and day. Spence looked healthy and strong at the weigh-in for his fight against Leonard Bundu on August 21 last year.

Brook is somewhat of a spoiler when facing quality opposition. When facing the largely fodder opposition that Brook has built the vast majority of his resume on at the pro level, he’s a very aggressive knockout artist. But when fighting talented fighters, Brook becomes a spoiler. I don’t know why Brook does this. You would think that Brook would stick with his normal fighting style that got him to this level, but he just hasn’t done that against the only talented fighters he’s faced during his 13-year pro career in Golovkin and Shawn Porter. Brook’s main two spoiling tactics are A. running and B. clinching frequently.

On May 20, Brook is going to need to stand his ground and fight Spence, because he’s going to get shelled off the battlefield if he elects to run around the ring and clinch like mad like he did against Golovkin and Shawn Porter. Spence has got to be one of the best fighters in the 147lb division at cutting off the ring on his opponents. I rate Spence as a level above Golovkin at cutting off the ring. The reason for that is Spence has quicker feet than Golovkin. Spence is a very athletic fighter.

You’re not going to be able to run from him. The other thing that Spence is VERY good at is nailing his opponents with body shots when they attempt to clinch him to stall out the fight. Spence is so strong that he pries his opponents’ octopus-like arms off of him. Spence then reaches back and nails them with vicious body shots. He is able to do this while he’s still being held. Spence is one of the best in boxing at throwing body shots while being held.

This is not good news for Brook that Spence is able to STILL throw body shots while he’s being held, because this is going to take away the major form of spoiling for “Special K” on May 20. If Brook can’t revert to clinching nonstop against Spence, he’s going to be stuck with just his running. As I mentioned before, Brook is not going to be able to get away from Spence. It comes down to this: Brook cannot run from the battlefield with the white flag up on May 20 like he did in rounds 3 through 5 against Gennady Golovkin.

If Brook wants to win the fight against Spence, he’s going to need to make sure he stays in gear and is prevented from retreating. If that means that Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle needs to be forceful with him in the corner, then so be it. I think Ingle needs to do whatever he can to force Brook to stay in the pocket and not back up one inch to start running. Brook is at his best when he’s standing and trading with his opponents. When he runs and holds, he’s much less effective. Ingle needs to not baby Brook in the corner like he was doing between the 4th and 5th rounds in his fight against Golovkin. Ingle was talking to Brook in a way that made me think that we’d see him quitting in the next round, and sure enough, that’s what he did.

“I’m old school. I don’t care where I fight. I’ve got to do what Kell did when he came to America to beat Shawn Porter for the title and that is what I plan on doing,” said Spence.

The reason why Spence is so willing to fight Brook on the road is because he doesn’t have the type of fighting style that would lead him to become timid and indecisive when hearing the pro-Brook crowd making a lot of noise. The reason why Spence is immune to noise is because he comes right after his opponents, and he’s not listening to the crowd. Spence is looking to knockout his opponents from the word go. The crowd can cheer all they want, but Spence is going to be like Golovkin with the way he goes on the attack. Fighters like Spence can fight anywhere and still do well, because he doesn’t need boxing fans to cheer him for him to do well. Spence is on a seek and destroy mission each time he enters the ring.

I wish I could say that Brook will stand and fight Spence for the entire fight like he did against Kevin Bizier and Jo Jo Dan, but I don’t think he’s going to. Coming events cast their shadows before. When the heat is on Brook, I suspect he’ll revert to the spoiling that he did against Golovkin and Porter, and start running and holding like no tomorrow. Yeah, it’ll be ugly to watch, and it’ll most likely lead to Brook being knocked out. I would hope that Brook will change his stripes for this fight by being more aggressive but I don’t think he will. I see Brook losing his nerve during the battle and running from Spence until the white towel is thrown into the ring by his trainer Ingle. When you run once, you’ll run again. That’s how I see it.


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