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Brook-Spence & Groves-Chudinov – Official weights

Errol Spence Jr George Groves Kell Brook

By Scott Gilfoid: After weeks of anticipation, Kell Brook, Errol Spence, George Groves and Fedor Chudinov all made weight on Friday’s card on Sky Box Office PPV and Showtime on Saturday night at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) weighed in at 146 ½ pounds and looked completely dried out of water weight.

Brook looked emaciated. Spence looked thin as well in coming in at 146 ¼ pounds. They both looked awful. It’s good that Brook and Spence made weight, but seriously, these guys probably need to move up to 154 sooner rather than later. Spence, 27, looked supremely confident on stage, especially during the face off. Spence stared through Brook, looking at him like a shark about to have his evening meal. As the two fighters were about to break away, Brook mouthed off, saying something that only Spence could hear.

Spence glared at Brook with a slight smile, which seemed to say, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to smash you to bits on Saturday night.’ The thin-looking Brook then turned to the audience and threw a flurry of punches, which looked slow and weak. I guess the idea of Brook throwing air punches was to intimidate Spence. But I don’t think he was at all afraid, as he looked at Brook from the corner of his eyes, and showing any worry at all. Brook looks weak to the point where he could have problems finding energy on Saturday. We could see Brook rehydrate into the 170s. Spence should be close to 175 lbs. He looks like he’ll carry a little more weight than Brook due to his longer frame.

“This is something I’ve been waiting for and I can definitely knock him out in front of his home fans,” Spence Jr. said to Sky Sports News HQ. “It’s nothing but motivation, they’ll be cheering for me at the end of the night. It’s wartime, all the talking is over, it’s time to glove up and see who is the best welterweight in the division.”

Yes, it’s very good that Spence is thinking knockout. That’s a smart thing for Spence to do. He doesn’t need to leave it up to the judges to decide the winner of this contest. What will likely happen during the fight is Spence dominating the rounds with his better shots, but Brook stealing rounds by landing 3 or 4 punches that get the pro-Brook crowd worked up. Unfortunately, judges appear to be easily influenced by cheering from boxing fans.

If Brook’s fans go mad after he lands a small handful of shots in each round, we could see the kind of crazy scoring that we had for the Brook vs. Gennady Golovkin fight. Who can forget how one of the judges for the Brook-Golovkin fight had it 3 rounds to 1 for Brook after 4 rounds, while the other two judges had it 2-2 after 4. The scoring for that fight was SCARY bad.

Brook is getting staggered, pelted with shots, and running like mad and he’s still give rounds. If I was Spence, I wouldn’t be letting the judges decide anything on Saturday, because we could see the same crazy scoring in favor of Brook. When you’re the visiting fighter, you’re in a bad position sometimes when it comes to scoring. I just hope we don’t have the oddball scoring like we did with the Brook vs. Golovkin fight.

Spence obviously won’t be getting cheered if/when he knocks Brook out on Saturday. Believe me, there will be some angry British boxing fans if Brook knocked out by Spence. Some of the fans will take the high road and show class by cheering Spence, but I see the majority of them booing Spence to show their displeasure at him beating Brook. Gennady Golovkin was booed after he knocked out Kell last September at the O2 Arena in London, England. To be fair, some of the boxing fans might have been booing Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle’s decision to throw in the towel in the 5th round while Brook was still on his feet. Brook was smiling and taunting Golovkin at the time, showing him that he couldn’t land his power shots in the final seconds.

I know Brook has been bragging something fierce in the last couple of weeks about how he was fine, and how he was going to make the weight, but man, he looked terrible. I guess the last few pounds really did it to the 31-year-old Brook, because he did not look well at all. I hope for Brook’s sake that he’ll be fine once he rehydrates tonight and tomorrow, but I have my doubts. Brook is going to need to make sure he doesn’t put too much water weight back on. We sometimes see that with dehydrated fighters like Brook. They go overboard when they start putting fluids back into their system. The body holds onto the added water weight rather than losing it sometimes, and you end up with a beach ball of a fighter out there on fight night. I’m just saying.

Brook-Spence and Groves-Chudinov will be televised on Sky Box Office PPV in the UK on Saturday. The fights can also be seen on Showtime Championship Boxing in the States starting at 5:15 p.m. ET/2:15 p.m. PT.

“I’m stubborn. I want to fight the best,” said Brook to ”This is going to be one of the fights of the year. I can tell in his eyes he’s come here to bring it, and I always bring it. We are going to see fireworks on the night. If I beat Spence, it proves I’m the No. 1 welterweight.”

Brook can call himself stubborn. Some would say that Brook isn’t very smart, but what else could he do? If Brook vacated his International Boxing Federation 147 pound title and moved up in weight to 154, he’d only have it worse for himself in trying to beat guys like Jermell Charlo and Erislandy Lara. Brook sure as heck wouldn’t get a fight against Miguel Cotto. That’s not happening. Maybe after Cotto gives up the WBO 154lb title that he’s about to win against high level journeyman Yoshihiro Kamegai, Brook could move in and pick up the WBO strap against one of the gawd awful contenders in the WBO’s rankings, but that would make him a paper champion in a division filled with obscure fighters Brook would be back to square one, fighting little known guys with inflated rankings. We’ve already see Brook fight those type of guys in the last 3 years with wins over Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin, and Kevin Bizier. Few boxing fans took notice of those fights because Brook wasn’t facing quality opposition. If Brook moves up to 154, he could be in the same position if he takes the easy path by going after the WBO title rather than the much tougher WBA and WBC belts.

#2 WBA George Groves (25-3, 18 KOs) weighed in at 167 ¼ pounds for his fight against former WBA World super middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov (14-1, 10 Kos). Groves and Chudinov will be fighting for the WBA Super World 168 lb. title. Chudinov weighed in at 167 lbs. What was surprising to me was how healthy and filled out Groves and Chudinov looked. Both guys looked closed to their fighting weight. This tells me that neither of them will rehydrate much tonight. That’s good news because it means that neither of them will be weight drained and sluggish on Saturday. This is the way that boxing should be with fighter in the right weight class instead of them draining down from 2 weights classes above in order to gain an advantage over their smaller opponents.

Groves and Chudinov have little choice though. There’s no way on earth that either of these guys would do well a 175 right now with the division having dangerous fighters like Sergey Kovalev, Artur Beterbiev, Adonis Stevenson, Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Joe Smith Jr. at the top. Groves and Chudinov would be in a world of hurt against these fighters.

“I’m ready. I’ve done the weight well this time and I’m feeling really good. I will be at my best – and I will beat him,” said Groves to “It would mean everything (to win a world title). I’m going to win and become a world champion.”

I think there’s a good chance Groves gets knocked out by Chudinov. The Russian fighter has good power, a high work rate, and a fearless come forward type of fighting style. Groves doesn’t have the best chin in the world, and I cannot see him taking the shots that Chudinov is going to be hitting him with. Groves will initially try and slug with Chudinov. But if that doesn’t work, we’ll see Groves make some adjustments and focus on his boxing. Chudinov, 29, is cut from the same cloth as middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin with the way he pressures his opponents and nails them with thudding power shots to the head and body. Chudinov wears down his opponents with his relentless pressure until they’re eventually knocked out or forced to run from him for 12 rounds like we saw with Britain’s Frank Buglioni in 2015.

This will be officially Groves’ 4th time fighting for a world title after he failed on his previous 3 attempts. It’s incredible how Groves keeps getting chances at fighting for world titles. With as many chances as Groves has been getting, he’s bound to eventually become a paper champion. If Groves wins on Saturday, I won’t call him THE champion at 168. He’ll be a belt holder in my mind. For Groves to be the top champion, he’ll need to beat the winner of Callum Smith vs. Anthony Dirrell, James DeGale and Gilberto Ramirez. If Groves never fights those guys, then he’ll be just a belt holder for however long he keeps the WBA title.

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