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Brook-Spence: Kell not worried about right eye

Image: Brook-Spence: Kell not worried about right eye

By Scott Gilfoid: Kell Brook has full confidence that his surgically repaired right eye will not be an issue for him this Saturday night when he gets inside the ring with Errol Spence Jr. in their long awaited fight at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. Brook has had eye surgery to repair a broken right eye socket that he ended up with in his last fight against Gennady Golovkin.

Spence sees Brook’s right eye as 100% healthy after his surgery to fix the problem. Spence feels that if he beats the 31-year-old Brook on Saturday, it’ll be fully because of his boxing ability, talent and power rather than because of his past eye injury.

Brook says he injured his right eye in the 2nd round against Golovkin in their fight on September 10 fight last year. However, in looking at replays of the fight, Brook was already dabbing at his right eye in the 1st round of the fight after getting shaken up by a monstrous left hook from Golovkin. Brook was doing fine before getting hit with that shot from GGG. But after the punch land, Brook was wobbled briefly and he started dab at his right eye.

Some boxing fans on various boxing forums think Brook came into the Golovkin fight with his right eye already injured from sparring. Only Brook knows for sure what the deal is with his right eye. Obviously, he’s not going to change his story at this point in tell the boxing world that he came into the Golovkin fight with his eye already injured, because the fans would shower him with abuse. You saw how much heat Manny Pacquiao took for fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. with an injured shoulder in their ‘Fight of the Century’ in May 2015.

“They took my eye out and went in through my mouth and into my eye to get the titanium plate put in place,” Brook said to “They then drilled in three or four screws. That’s what it were, pretty gruesome, but that’s what were necessary. Everything is fine now and there are no worries about getting hit there.”

This sounds really terrible what Brook went through. I can’t believe he’s fighting Spence in his first fight after surgery like this on his eye. It would have been far better for Brook to go back to fighting the guys he was routinely facing through most of his career. A nice domestic level fighter would be perfect for Brook to fight right now. He would be relatively safe and wouldn’t need to worry nearly as much about having his eye re-injured.

If the going gets bad for Brook on Saturday night with his eye twitching on him or starting to close up shop, we’re likely going to see him do one of these things to escape Spence’s pressure:

– Running like mad to try and escape from Spence. There are limits to how much running Brook can do against Spence. Brook isn’t a young fighter anymore. I think he’ll fade quickly if he’s forced to run from Spence because of a problem with his eye.

– Holding excessively to keep Spence from getting his shots off. We saw that from Brook already with him clinching Shawn Porter over and over in each round in their fight in 2014. We also saw Brook grabbing Carson Jones in clinch after clinch in their first fight in 2012. Brook was like a human octopus down the stretch in the first Jones fight.

– Using a lot of head movement to keep Spence from connecting on his right eye.

The eye surgery Brook had saved his boxing career. Had his right eye remained as it was, he wouldn’t have been able to continue in the sport. It’s good that the surgery was a success, but we do know if there is any residual damage that show itself on Saturday night when Brook gets inside the ring with what could be the welterweight division’s biggest puncher in Spence. Brook is going to be getting blasted with MAJOR shots to the head from Spence.

The American fighter isn’t going to hold back on Brook out of sympathy. It’s not as if Brook has been overly friendly with Spence in the weeks leading up to this fight. With Brook mouthing off each time the two fighters have been in the same room with one another, I think Spence want’s to beat the stuffing out of Brook on Saturday night in front of his British boxing fans at Bramall Lane. Brook has been given Spence some of his lip about wanting to hit him with his “chocolate brownie.” Spence is not pleased with all the yapping that Brook has been doing. Spence’s usual opponents are quiet and friendly in the lead up to his fights with them. I guess they didn’t want to awaken a sleeping giant by angering him unnecessarily.

“Boxers put themselves on the line, they put their lives at risk, so it’s up to the boxers to make sure they are healthy and sharp because we are giving the public what they want to see,” said Brook.

Well, I hope for Brook’s sake that he knows what he’s talking about and is 100 percent healthy, because I’d hate to see him pulled out of the fight in the 1st round after Spence hits him for the first time on his surgically repaired right eye. Can you imagine the number angry fans at Bramall Lane that will be voicing their displeasure at seeing the Brook-Spence fight stopped in the 1st round? If you thought the fans that paid a fortune to see the Mayweather-Pacquiao dud were angry, just imagine the British fans at seeing the Brook-Spence fight stopped in the 1st round because of a lingering eye problem for Brook. That’s why I think it’s a dumb idea for Brook to take an important fight like Spence without a tune-up first.

The problem is, Brook is the IBF welterweight champion, and the International Boxing Federation has already ordered the Brook-Spence fight. They weren’t going to allow Brook to take a tune-up fight at this point because they wanted him to fight Spence. That doesn’t mean that Brook couldn’t have vacated his IBF title and instead taken the Spence fight down the road in a year or two. I don’t know if Spence would have any interest still in fighting Brook if he gave up his IBF title, but there would have been a possibility if Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn found enough green stuff to entice Spence to take the fight with him.

Spence should put his focus on landing his punches to the body of Brook. The British fighter is really hard to hit with head shots because of the way he moves his head. Spence doesn’t need to get caught up in taking the steam off of his shots in order to connect to the head. Golovkin didn’t reduce the power on his shots at all against Brook in their fight on September 10. If you watch that fight, Golovkin wasn’t bothered that he was missing his punches repeatedly when aiming towards Brook’s head. Golovkin just wanted to make sure that he got a knockout from a head shot that would impress the boxing fans.

Spence would be better to aim his punches to the body of Brook, because those are easier ones to land. Also, Brook doesn’t seem to take body shots too well. Brook was clearly bothered by Golovkin’s punches to the body. Whenever Golovkin would land a hard body shot, Brook would look troubled, and he would speed up the pace of his running around the ring.

The Golovkin-Brook fight was over with for all intents and purposes in round 3 after Golovkin hit Brook with a right to the body that seemed to go completely through him. That shot doubled Brook over and took the air out of him. After that, Brook was running around the ring at quick time trying to escape Golovkin. The fight became really boring to watch as well. I kept wondering when the towel would be thrown in by Brook’s corner. Unfortunately, I had to wait 2 more rounds before Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the white towel of surrender.

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