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Hearn to announce Kell Brook’s return next week

Image: Hearn to announce Kell Brook’s return next week

By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn will be making an announcement next week for Kell Brook’s return fight at 154. Kell (36-2, 25 KOs) is moving up to junior middleweight to make it easier on himself to make weight.

Brook, 31, has been struggling at making weight in the 147 lb. division. He’s hoping that by moving up to 154 he’ll have things a little easier. There’s 7 pounds difference between the welterweight and junior middleweight. If Brook still has problems making weight, he’ll need to move up to middleweight at 160.

”154! Announcement coming next week 👊🏼” said Hearn when asked on his Twitter about Kell Brook’s next fight.

154 is a high risk, low reward weight class for Brook. There are no big names at junior middleweight, but plenty of risk for Brook. Even if Brook’s eyes hold up under the pounding they’ll take at 154, there’s still little in the way of money fights in that weight class. Miguel Cotto is the only big name at 154, and he’s retiring after he makes his soft title defense on Saturday night against fringe level welterweight Sadam Ali. Even if Cotto were to stick around, he’s at the marinating stage of his career and not showing interest in fighting good opponents any longer.

This is a high risk weight class for Brook to be fighting in. 154 is loaded with big punchers, who can hit with enough power to continue to give Brook problems with his increasingly fragile eyes. In Brook’s last 2 fights, he’s suffered fractured eye sockets effecting different eyes. Brook suffered his first fractured eye socket in his ill-advised fight with middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin on September 10 last year.

Brook’s right eye socket was fractured in that fight, which resulted in the contest being stopped in the 5th round after he stopped throwing punches back. After taking 8 months off to heal from surgery on his injured right eye, Brook moved back down to welterweight and lost his IBF title to Errol Spence Jr. in a 11th round knockout defeat on May 27 in Sheffield, England. In that fight, Brooks left eye socket was fractured at some point in the contest.

There are some boxing fans who believe that Brook is not long for the sport due issues with his eyes. Moving up in weight to 154 could prove to be another unwise decision on Brook’s part. Brook’s main advantage as a pro has been his size. That’s what made Brook such a good fighter in the welterweight division. He was bigger and stronger than many of his opponents in that 147lb. weight class. But now that Brook is moving up to 154, he will no longer have that advantage. Brook will be fighting guys with equal or great punching power than himself at junior middleweight. Right away, you can argue that these top guys at 154 are bigger punchers than Brook:

• Jermell Charlo

• Liam Williams

• Erickson Lubin

• Erislandy Lara

• Liam Smith

• Vanes Martirosyan

• Jarrett Hurd

• Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams

• Maciej Sulecki

That doesn’t mean that Brook can’t beat some of those fighters in terms of his boxing ability, but with his eye problems, he might not even beat any of those guys. I mean, if Brook continues to suffer eye problems the way he’s been lately, it won’t matter if he can out-box any of those guys. All they need to do is stick around long enough for one of Brook’s eyes to break down on him again. Spence hardly landed anything in the first 6 rounds against Brook, and yet he still injured one of his eyes.
Brook’s success or lack thereof at 154 could come down to his eyes.

Brooks’ right eye held up for him against Spence, but it was the left that gave out on him. But if one of them goes out on him against the big punchers at 154, Brook is not going to last long in this division. Guys like Charlo, Liam Williams, Lubin, ‘J-Rock,’ Hurd, Lara and Martirosyan hit hard enough to cause Brook additional eye problems. I rate those guys as bigger punchers than Errol Spence. If Brook can’t even take the punches from Spence without suffering an eye injury, then what does that tell you about his future at 154? Those guys all hit hard. There are no soft touches at junior middleweight for Brook to beat to capture a world title. He can’t dodge the best fighters at 154 for any length of time and expect to do well.

It’s likely that Brook will soon realize that he doesn’t have the size or the eye strength to handle it at 154. I suspect that after Brook faces his first quality junior middleweight, and loses, he’ll be back down at 147, trying to make the best of it in that weight. It’s just that it would be better for Brook to skip the hardship that he’ll be experiencing at 154. Those guys are as big as Gennady Golovkin, and some of them hit as hard as him in my estimation.

Charlo and J-Rock both have tremendous power, as does Liam Williams. Those 3 are huge punchers, and Brook would have a lot of problems trying to beat guys like that. If anything, Brook would be better off going down to 140 if he could. I know he can’t make that weight, but it would better for him. If Brook’s eyes can’t hold up at 147 and 160, then it stands to reason that they won’t hold up at 154 either.

I give Brook 2 or 3 fights at 154 before he gets beaten and is forced to move back down to 147. It’s utterly predictable in guessing Brook’s future at 154.

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