Hearn: Kell Brook’s career is over if he loses to Rabchenko on Saturday
By Tim Royner: Former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) will have a lot of weight on his shoulders this Saturday night on March3 in his fight against Sergey Rabchenko (29-2, 22 KOs) for the vacant WBC Silver light middleweight title at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.
If Brook wins this fight, he could be the mandatory challenger to WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo. Once that happens, the World Boxing Council will undoubtedly order Charlo and Brook to face each other. The big question is will Brook take the risky title fight with Charlo or duck the fight and take soft opposition until he gets his cash out fight with Amir Khan in December.
Brook lost his last 2 fights to Errol Spence Jr. and Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin. Those were fights that saw Brook suffer broken eye sockets. But even without the eye injuries, Brook would have likely lost just the same. Brook was getting worn down by GGG and Spence in those 2 fights.
Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn was surprised when the 31-year-old chose the hard-hitting Rabchenko as his opponent for his March 3 fight, as Kell is coming off of his second straight stoppage loss. Hearn says Brook’s career will be over if he loses to Rabchenko. In hindsight, Hearn should have been assertive and talked Brook out of fighting Rabchenko, because there’s so much he can lose if he’s beaten.
Rabchenko isn’t one of Brook’s standard opponents. For most of Brooks career, he’s been beating fighter like Carson Jones, Kevin Bizier, Jo Jo Dan, Alvaro Robles and Frankie Gavin. Rabchenko is a much different animal from those guys. This is a fight that could finish Brook’s chances of facing Amir Khan in a big money fight.
A loss for Brook against a limited fighter like the 31-year-old Rabchenko would finish him. If Brook does lose to Rabchenko, it won’t be Hearn’s fault for making the fight. This isn’t the guy that he would have chosen for Brook to fight. This was Brook’s decision to fight Rabchenko, and he’ll have to accept that he made a mistake in picking him.
“His career is on the line. If he loses on Saturday, it’s over,” Hearn said to skysports.com about Brook’s career being over if he loses to the Belarusian slugger Rabchenko.
Besides a potential fight against Khan in December, Hearn says Brook has a chance to fight WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo, Manny Pacquiao and WBO junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali. Just where along the line Hearn will look to match Brook against Pacquiao, Charlo and Ali is unclear.
If Brook defeats Rabchenko on Saturday, his next fight will be in the summer In June or July against possibly one of the above names. However, Hearn will likely steer Brook in the direction of a beatable opponent for his summer fight just so he doesn’t blow his chances of fighting Khan in December. Brook will have the last word in the opponent he faces in June or July. He might not want to face one of Hearn’s choices, because he’ll probably match him against non-contender or a bottom feeder level opponent like we’re seeing with Khan facing Phil Lo Greco on April 21.
Brook is unquestionably taking a big risk with his career. If he loses to Rabchenko, the only chance he would have of turning things around would be to move back down to 147. Brook, 5’9”, is probably too small for the 154 lb. weight class to defeat the bigger champions like the 6’1” Jarrett Hurd and 6’0” Jermell Charlo. Erislandy Lara is the same height as Brook, but he’s a southpaw and he’s got tons of boxing skills. There’s no money in a fight for Brook against Lara.
The plan is box again quickly, it could be June or July,” Hearn said. Then to jump in the deep end towards the end of the year, in an ideal world against Amir Khan. Whether it’s Khan, Charlo, Sadam Ali, Manny Pacquiao.”