Hearn tells Jermell Charlo: Make Kell Brook an offer for June 9th
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn wants WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) to make Kell ‘Terminator’ Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) an offer if he wants to fight him on June 9 in the U.S. Hearn says Brook is a bigger name than the 27-year-old Charlo despite the fact that he’s lost 2 out of his last 3 fights and only beat 1 quality fighter during his entire 14-year pro career in Shawn Porter.
Brook says he’s going to be a 2 division world champion by the end of 2018, but that doesn’t seem too likely. Since Hearn doesn’t seem interested in matching Brook against Jermell Charlo in June, he’s going to have to try and get the winner of the May fight between WBO junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali and Liam Smith. That’s probably what Hearn is going to do, but there’s little chance the winner of that fight will be available to face Brook in June. That would give them only 4 weeks to recover from their fight in May.
Sadam Ali is considered a beatable paper champion, who is arguably not in the same galaxy talent-wise as Jermell Charlo and the other 154 lb. champions Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd. If Hearn goes ahead and matches Brook up against the Ali vs. Smith winner in August, it’s going to look really bad in the eyes of the boxing world. It’s going to look like Hearn found a weak paper champion for Brook to beat in order to validate him at 154. To be a real champion in the eyes of the boxing fans, he needs to take on Hurd, Lara or Charlo in my view. That’s not a knock on Sadam Ali. He’s a decent fringe level welterweight, who took advantage of an over-the-hill Miguel Cotto to win the vacant WBO 154 lb. title last December.
Brook defeated Sergey Ranchenko (29-3, 22 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout last weekend in his debut at 154 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. Hearn was crowing after the victory, telling the boxing media that Brook Rabchenko is a world class talent, and that Brook can beat Errol Spence Jr. and all the champions at 154 – Charlo, Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd and Sadam Ali. Hearn sounded like he was drunk on Brook’s success from the mismatch against Rabchenko, who is arguably same level talent-wise as Phil Lo Greco.
“Rabchenko is a world-class fighter but he’s not elite level, Kell proved he’s an elite-level fighter and we need another step-up in June or July and then we’re ready for the big stuff in the winter,” Hearn said at the Brook-Rabchenko post-fight press conference last Saturday night in Sheffield.
Hearn mentioning Brook’s next fight being against a “step up” is code for him taking on another lower level fighter instead of talented guy from 154. In other words, Brook will NOT be fighting Jermell Charlo for his WBC junior middleweight title on June 9th or in 2018 at all, period. Brook confirmed that he will not be fighting Charlo in June, as he’s taking a step up opponent.
As far as Hearn’s assertion that the 31-year-old Rabchenko is a “world-class fighter,” he’d only fought 2 world class guys – Anthony Mundine and Tony Harrison – during his 12-year pro career going into the Brook fight, and he’d lost both of those fights. The rest of Rabchenko’s wins were against the same type of 2nd tier opposition that we’ve seen on Phil Lo Greco’s resume. As such, it takes a wild stretch of the imagination to call Rabchenko a world class fighter the way that Hearn was doing last Saturday. Rabchenko certainly didn’t look like a world class fighter. He looked like another Kevin Bizier and Lo Greco type of fighter. Hearn seemed to be upset at the media for them not getting excited about the Brook vs. Rabchenko mismatch. In an effort to try and build Rabchenko up after the fact, Hearn pointed out that the World Boxing Council has him rated at No.5 at 154, as if that in itself makes him a good fighter. What Hearn didn’t say is the WBC also has less than stellar fighters like Yoshihiro Kamegai and Charles Hatley ranked in their top 15. The WBC’s No.2 ranked contender at 154 is Vanes Martirosyan, who hasn’t fought in 2 years since LOSING a lopsided 12 round unanimous deicison to Erislandy Lara in May 2016.
“There are some world-class fighters at 154lbs, the champions are all elite and there are some brilliant other fighters in the top five, but Kell can beat them all and be the man, Brook is a bigger name than Charlo but he’s the champion, so make us an offer,”
Hearn telling Charlo to “make us an offer” is his way of trying to get cover for not matching Brook against him in June. Instead of the ball being in Hearn’s court to try and make the fight with Charlo, he’s putting it on him. So when Charlo’s management makes an offer for Brook to fight him in June, Hearn can then dismiss it by saying that it was too low. The reality is that Hearn already said that Brook is going to be taking a “step up” fight in June and then look to face Amir Khan in November or December. A step up is not Charlo. That’s more than a step up. Hearn is clearly not serious about wanting to make the fight between Brook and Charlo.
As for who Hearn will pick for Brook to fight in his second fight at 154 in June, it’s likely he’ll match him against someone like Sam Eggington, Jimmy Kelly or Liam Williams. It’s going likely be someone very, very slow just like Rabchenko was. That’s punches were glacially slow last Saturday night, and his reaction time to shots being thrown back at him was equally slow. Brook had nothing to fear from this fight unless he got caught with a shot that he didn’t see coming. In that case, Brook would have been in trouble, because he’s breaking apart in his fights lately.
Brook says he’s putting the 154 lb. division on notice after his win over the hapless Rabchenko, but that just doesn’t seem like it’s the case. Beating Rabchenko proved nothing other than Brook can beat lower level fighters with an inflated WBC ranking. Brook and Hearn have already made it clear that his June fight will be a nice little step up. It’s not going to be Charlo that’s for sure. Hearn is going to make sure Brook wins his next fight in June so he can get the Khan fight in November or December.