Eubank slams Kell Brook for quitting in Spence fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Former world champion Chris Eubank did not like to see Kell Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) choosing to quit on one knee in his 11th round knockout loss to Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) last month in their fight on May 27 in their fight in front of 27,000 boxing fans at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. Brook took a knee twice in that fight in the 10th and 11th rounds.
Brook’s left eye had been injured, and he says his vision wasn’t 100 percent at the time. As such, Brook took a knee in the 11th round in what appeared to be him quitting. He then raised to his feet at the same time the referee Howard John reached the 10 count. Did Brook quit in that fight against Spence? Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn doesn’t think he quit.
Eubank feels that Brook should have gotten up to continue fighting, but he’s not surprised that he didn’t. Eubank thinks that if it’s not inside of a fighter to continue when the pain is unbearable, then they simply won’t do it. Eubank says that to become a great fighter, you’ve got to be able to take punishment and rise up and continue until the end. He’s not in favor of a fighter quitting or his trainer throwing in the towel to save them. We saw that with Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle throwing in the towel in the 5th round in Brook’s loss to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on September 10 last year.
Brook suffered a broken right eye socket in the Golovkin fight, and he clearly didn’t want to continue fighting in the 5th.
“Look, you can’t continue if it’s not within you,” “You will do what you are. If you do not have it in you, you will walk. You will give up. And when you do that, you will get what you deserve in the public, which is a pat on the back, ‘you did well,’ and your name will be forgotten. If you want the heart of the people, then you must go beyond the call of duty in this, what you call sport,” said Eubank.
Brook has taken a lot of heat from the boxing public for him quitting on one knee against Spence. Going into the Spence fight, Brook has seemingly quit in his previous bout against Gennady Golovkin last year. Brook didn’t technically quit. He didn’t take a knee or tell the referee that he didn’t want to continue fighting. What Brook chose to do was to stop throwing punches during the 5th round of the GGG fight. You can argue that Brook quit at that point in the fight, because when a fighter stops throwing punches, it forces the referee and sometimes the trainer to have the fight stopped. Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle felt that he had to throw in the towel at that part of the fight. The question is, did Brook quit in the Golovkin fight too? Not throwing punches makes one think that Brook did mentally quit. In Brook’s next fight against Errol Spence, he takes a knee not once but TWICE in the fight in the 10th and 11h rounds to escape taking punishment.
”When a man should be able to go on, as far as a fighter is concerned, and he doesn’t and the price they pay for quitting and stopping is lifelong,” said Eubank. ”Equally, when you go beyond the call of duty, when you carry on when you can’t or when you shan’t, you will win what fighters are truly after. It looks like fighters are after the belts. They’re not after the belts. They’re after the hearts, the love from the people, and you need to get that by going beyond the call of duty,” said Eubank.
For whatever reason, Brook wasn’t willing to go “beyond the call of duty” in the Spence fight. Perhaps it was a situation where Brook was worried about losing his eyesight permanently out of his injured left eye. Brook mentioned that the surgeon that repaired his right eye had told him that he could have lost the sight in his eye if he had taken more punishment. Eubank has a warrior’s outlook on boxing. In other words, a fighter is expected to go out on his shield by giving everything they got until the referee stops it.
Brook chose a different path in taking a knee in the Spence fight. In Brook’s fight with Golovkin, he stopped punching in the 5th round, which led to his trainer Ingle throwing in the towel. In both instances, did Brook quit mentally saving himself or was he simply unable to endure the pain to continue on? The thing you have to consider is that if Brook is quitting in back to back fights, will he continue to do so in his future fights? There’s a saying that once a fighter quits once, they will quit again when the going gets tough for them.
You can argue that there are various ways for a fighter to quit. They can take a knee, tell a referee they don’t want to fight anymore, or they can simply stop throwing punches. Some boxing fans feel that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. quit before he even entered the ring in his rematch with Saul Canelo Alvarez on May 6. Chavez Jr. had quit in the past in his stoppage loss to Andrzej Fonfara. Did Chavez Jr. quit once again in the Canelo fight?
With Brook’s last 2 fights ending with him seemingly quitting, will he do the same thing when he faces a good junior middleweight? If Brook faces someone talented in the 154 pound division like Jermell Charlo in 2018, will Brook take a knee against him when he starts taking shots? Will Brook stop throwing punches against Charlo like he did in the 5th round against GGG?
“Feel yourself lucky for taking a beating that is unbearable,” said Eubank. ”That is a lucky position to be in because it is at that point that you are able to show what you are really about. To be great at anything, when the opportunity to be great or show that you have the ability to step to the plate, it’s an opportunity and a curse at the same time, because it’s not like you want to be in that position. Greatness isn’t something you can get in a controlled state. It will come at a time when you expect it least, and it’ll be unbearable to endure, unbearable. And only in that moment will see a will. Here is how greatness approaches you. Someone knocks you down and you get up, you get up,” said Eubank.
It doesn’t appear that Brook believes himself to be lucky when he’s taking punishment. It looks to me like he doesn’t want to take punishment. If Brook was on board with absorbing punishment to try and grit out a win over Spence, he wouldn’t have taken a knee in the 10th and 11th rounds of that fight. Brook dropped to his knee in the 11th round without even getting hit. The referee had separated the two fighters. When Spence started advancing towards him, Brook took a knee and then stayed down for the full 10 count. It looked to some boxing fans that Brook decided that he just didn’t want any more from Spence.
Should Brook have gotten to his feet and carried on? I know what I would have done if I was in the same situation as Brook. They would have had to pull me off of Spence, because I would have been looking to knock him out. Brook could have taken the fight to the inside, and used his uppercuts to try and knock Spence out. It would have been difficult for Spence to land with a lot of power on his shots on the inside if Brook had smothered him. Yeah, Spence would have occasionally hit Brook in his injured left eye, but it wouldn’t have been with the same power he’d been hitting him with throughout the fight when the two were on the outside or at medium range.
”If a fighter goes down on a knee, you feel as if you’re beaten,” said Eubank. ”You feel like the punishment is too much to bear. You take your beating. There is no way you can win this fight. You believe you are truly beaten. If you can carry on, you have to carry on. If you don’t carry on, amongst the fighters and the code of fighters, it’s frowned upon. You’re not supposed to quit, because that’s not in the rule book. The rule book says no matter; I have to carry on. The only person who can stop a fight is the referee. The corner that is throwing towels in, they don’t have the right to do that. They’re taking away the most important thing a fighter wants in his career, which is respect; not by taking away he respect from a fighter by throwing the towel in. Taking a beating, it sounds odd, but it’s good, because it’s boxing. In boxing, that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to absorb punishment,” said Eubank.