Brook: Rabchenko is 50-50 fight
By Tim Royner: Kell Brook says he’s sparred with Sergey Rabchenko in the past in what he refers to as “life and death’ sparring sessions, and he sees their March 3 fight as a 50-50 affair. This is Rabchenko’s big chance, according to Brook.
This is a very risky fight for Brook. If he slips on a banana peel and loses to the 31-year-old Rabchenko, then he’ll mess up his future prospects of big money fights. It would be Brook’s third straight defeat, and signal to many in the boxing world that it’s time for him to retire.
Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) needs this win to stay on course to face Amir Khan later this year in a catch-weight fight at welterweight. For Brook, the Khan fight will be a huge payday for him, and he can’t wait to make that happen. The closest thing that Brook, 31, has gotten to a big payday during his 14-year pro career was in his fight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in September 2016.
This guy, I’ve had life and death with him in sparring, he’s very tough,” said Brook to skysports.com in talking about his fight with Belarusian Rabchenko on March the 3rd. “It’s a massive threat. It’s a 50-50 fight, believe it or not. This is his golden ticket, him beating me. He’s coming to win, so I’m excited.”
Brook is trying hard not to look past Ranchenko, but he clearly is in focusing much of the time on his possible December catch-weight fight against Khan. That’s a fight that will make Brook a ton of money if he can get that far without losing. The fact that Brook has moved up in weight to the 154 lb. division puts him at great risk of getting beaten by one of the big punchers in the weight class.
Brook didn’t have to take on a risky fighter like Rabchenko. He could have had his promoter Eddie Hearn hook him up with a soft target for his first fight in the 154lb. division, but he opted to go after a fighter that would give him a test. Rabchenko is bad news for a fighter who has suffered broken eye sockets in his last 2 fights.
Brook can make a lot of money if he can get to the Khan fight later this year. He won’t get to that fight if he loses to Rabchenko or another junior middleweight before then.
Khan recently signed with Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport. Khan being signed with Brook’s promoter makes setting up a fight between them a lot easier than before. Khan will still need to want to make the fight with Brook for it to be a doable fight, however.
“We’re going to sit down, piles of money in the pot, and we sort it out when the time comes. When that fight is ready to happen,” said Brook.