Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence: The Truth Hurts
By Damian Poole: Saturday the 28th May will feature the strongest talent within the welterweight division – Kell “Special K” Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) fighting his mandatory – Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (20-0-18KOs). This will take place at the spectacular Bramall Line Football Stadium located in the United Kingdom in front of 27,000 screaming fans. Spence has stepped up his game lately when he faced Leonard Bundu (33 -2-2-12KO’s) and Chris Algieri (24-3-8KO’s) with impressive KO’s.
Though that is not really saying much, as Bundu is well past his prime in his career, and had lost to Keith Thurman some 3 years ago, and this was while he was still in his 30’s. As for Algieri, he has been soundly beaten by Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao. Just pointing out facts.
Crossing the pond to fight the “Special K” in his own back yard is not one of Spence’s teams’ smartest move. I would not want to be fighting Brook in front of a cheering crowd all wanting my blood. The UK crowd can really get behind and support their home fighters, as we saw with the epic sell out Heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley stadium in front of 90,000 fans. I personally think Spence would have been better off trying to win the purse bid and arranging the fight to take place in Texas where Errol was born and raised. At least this would have given Spence a better chance at lasting 12 rounds.
Over the last couple of years, the UK has been at the heart of the Boxing scene holding huge figures on PPV and stadium turn outs. Often with foreign boxers scoring little to any success. I can only see the home-grown talent within the shores of the UK extending their dominance over boxing, especially after this weekend with two belts on the line.
Terry Flanagan (33-0-13KO’s) retained his WBO title against the talented Petr Petrov (25-2-5-19KO’s) in April with a superb display winning by UD. Billy Joe Saunders (24-0-12KO’s) gave the Russian Artur Akavov (17 -2-7KO’s) a boxing lesson that he will never forget and made him look like an amateur in the process to retain his WBO title. Then there are those who are road warriors such as IBF Olympic Gold Medallist James DeGale (25-1-1-14KO’s), who recently had a controversial Draw against Badou Jack In New York after dropping the American in the 2nd Round. I personally scored the fight with DeGale ahead by 2 rounds. But when you have the influential “Money” Mayweather backing your corner as Badou did, a home town decision is always possible.
To be honest a lot could be said for Errol Spence needing a knockout to get a victory against Special K. But Spence does not possess the knockout power needed to take an elite boxer out such as Kell Brook. If GGG could not put Brook on the floor than I really cannot see how he is going to do it. The UK is not immune to some home cooking, we have witnessed in the past. But to be honest in this case the judges are not going to be a factor. I just see Kell Brook being too strong, too fast, and too experienced for the predictable Spence. And that is “The Truth”. Spence tends to come straight forward, back with no head movement, and very little active guard. That is going to set up Brook’s devastating double jab all night long off Spence’s head. As we have seen in previous fights, Spence does not like it when he starts taking punches to the head. For example, the Emmanuel Lartey (20-3-1-7KO’s) fight comes to mind. Spence was the dominant more aggressive boxer all night, until late in the 9th round when Lartey hit Spence to the side of the head with a right hook. That shot really buzzed Spence causing his legs to buckle beneath him. In round 10 Spence did not look the same, as he was still looking stunned from Lartey’s head shot. Spence was on the defensive and being pushing backwards with Lartey taking control of the round. If this fight was a 12-round match I could have seen Lartey knocking out Spence.
Indeed, Kell Brook has flaws in his boxing abilities as he is not the best or most effective fighting off the ropes and sometimes he is too brave for his own good. We saw this when he stepped up two weight divisions to face GGG. This was seen as suicide by some while others thought it was a business move. Personally, I thought Kell Brook came out a winner in that fight. Yes…he lost with a 5th round stoppage but in the process, he showed the boxing community he can go toe to toe with one of the world’s most dangerous boxer and exposed him. Even forcing GGG back, which no other boxers has been able to do. Kell Brook stocks rose sharply after that fight in my eye and many others.
Spence has mentioned in the past his sparing sessions with Adrien Broner, Charles Hatley and Floyd Mayweather, and bragging how he dropped them. Personally, I think this just shows Errol’s immaturity or lack of experience. There is a code of conduct within sparring – “What happens in sparring, stays in sparring”. Now putting aside who said what and who did what, sparring is totally different to the real thing comes fight night. We will be able to see if Spence’s sparring practice will save him.
As a fan of boxing, I can see there is huge potential in Errol Spence. He could easy dispatch anyone in the top 10, 147lb division, apart from Keith Thurman and Kell Brook. But Americans do have a habit of leaving their home fighters out to dry if they suffer a loss. The Dirrell Brothers are a prime example of this. Maybe this is a cultural thing or just the fast life style in America.
There are only two possible outcomes to this fight and none of them bode well for the young American. First scenario is a stoppage by Kell Brook in the middle to late rounds. As I mentioned earlier, Errol does not take punches to the head very well. But the Lartey fight could have been a one off, though I doubt it. Recovery speed and punch resistance is not something you can train for. You either have it or you don’t. The second scenario is a unanimous decision for Kell Brook. We saw this in the Shawn Porter fighter, Brooks jab was able to neutralize porters aggressive bum rushing tactics. I can see Errol employing similar tactics but with more class and skill. Regardless…the end result will be the same.
While many see Spence as the favorite going into this bout, mainly due to some serious question marks over Brook’s orbital eye socket that was seriously damaged in the GGG fight. Or if Kell Brook will struggle make weight, coming down from 170lbs to 147lbs in the matter of 2 months. If these are the reasons why you are backing Spence, then I am afraid you have been seriously misinformed. Brook’s eye socket is 110% ready. It is even stronger than before with a titanium metal plate holding everything in position and it’s been tested in sparring.
Yes…there is the weight loss issue, which is not an issue. Many boxing fans do not know a lot about Kell Brooks conditioning and the regime he goes through. Back in 2013 Brook had an unnecessary hard fight against Carson Jones – A fight which Kell won but was an ugly affair with Kell Brook gassing out after round 7. A rematch was inevitable, so to help Brook with his stamina and conditioning issues he enlisted the help of Sheffield Hallam University.
The rematch with Carson Jones was night and day compared to the first outing. Brook dispatched Carson within 6 rounds and hardly broke a sweat. For the Spence fight, Kell Brook has been in Fuerteventura before the start of a 10-week camp to get into a routine. He began a strict Keto diet that burns fat for two weeks. Then back at Sheffield Hallam University, Brook’s blood is tested to see how many carbs he is using. Lastly, he goes on a low-carbohydrate high-protein diet. As of the 24th Kell Brook has made weight according to his twitter page he looks in lean condition ready for this fight.
This weekend has all the ingredients to be a classic fight that could make or break a boxer’s career. Kell Brook has more to lose in this fight. If and that is a BIG if, Spence so happens to get the better of Brook, he would lose his IBF belt. This would be the second defeat in a row and he would no longer be a challenger in the 147lb division. If Spence loses, we can just chalk it off to the lack of experience. He has time on his side to work his way back to the top of the rankings. In this fight the real winners are the boxing fans. These are the types of events with great hype surrounding them only taking place once or twice a year. A young American eagle flying across the pond to steal the crown from the seasoned British Lion.
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