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Jermell Charlo says Kell Brook a possibility for June 9th

Kell Brook boxing photo

By Scott Gilfoid: WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo has called former IBF welterweight champion Kell ‘Terminator’ Brook out for his next fight date on June 9th if he gets past Sergey Rabchenkoi in 6 rounds or less this Saturday night in their fight at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.

Brook is saying he could be fighting for a world title in the summer at 154. However, Brook isn’t saying which of the champions at junior middleweight he’ll be targeting. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn said he could be fighting WBO 154lb. champion Sadam Ali or WBC belt holder Jermell Charlo.

Ali is supposed to be defending his WBO title against Liam Smith next in May. So, the only way the WBO belt would be a possibility for Brook is if he faces the winner of the Ali vs. Smith fight. It’s possible that fight could happen. If Ali-Smith fight takes place in May, the winner would have 3 months to get ready to defend the WBO belt against Brook in August. That’s likely the fight that Hearn will be trying to setup for Brook. Smith is from the UK, and fight between him and Brook is a no-brainer.

It would likely attract more interest from boxing fans than a Charlo-Brook fight. It doesn’t matter that Charlo is considered a MUCH better fighter than Liam Smith. The casual boxing fans in the UK are more familiar with Smith than they are with the unbeaten 27-year-old Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs). More importantly, Charlo is a VERY, VERY dangerous fighter for Brook or anyone in the junior middleweight division. Given that the 31-year-old Brook is new to the 154lb. weight class, he’d be at a great disadvantage against the bigger, stronger, faster and younger Charlo. In the case of Smith, he’s a vulnerable fighter that Brook would have a good chance of beating. I don’t figure Sadam Ali to still have his WBO title by the summer. Smith will likely beat him with ease. He’s too big and too strong for Ali.

Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) and Rabchenko (29-2, 22 KOs) are fighting for the vacant WBC silver light middleweight title this Saturday on March 3 in the 31-year-old Brook’s hometown of Sheffield. The WBC Silver strap is a trinket title the sanctioning body puts on the line for fights sometimes to pick an opponent to push up the rankings to the top spot. That could mean that the winner of Brook-Rabchenko will be the new #1 challenger for Charlo’s WBC 154lb. belt. I don’t think it matters though.

Charlo seems to be willing to give Brook a title show anyway, as long as he gets rid of Rabchenko within 6 rounds. That’s a tall order. Rabchenko has a good chin. His only knockout loss of his career came 2 years ago in losing a 9th round TKO to the 6’1” Tony Harrison in July 2016. Harrison is a bigger puncher than the 5’9” Brook, and a lot taller. Rabchenko will likely be able to hold up under Brook’s shots for a lot longer than 6 rounds, especially if he runs around the ring like he did against Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. in his last 2 matches. By the way, those were both knockout losses for Brook.

“I see myself doing that,” Brook said to Sky Sports News when asked if he could win a world title at 154 in his next fight. I want to be fighting again in the summer. A real quick turnover and then at the end of the year. I don’t want to look past this kid, but I want to be active. I want to be fighting again in the summer,” Brook said.

Brook came out on the losing end in his last fight against Errol Spence Jr. on May 27th at Bramall Lane in Sheffield. Spence wore Brook down with body shots in the first half of the fight. In the second half of the contest, Brook was fighting on fumes and taking terrible punishment to the head and body. In the 11th round, Brook took a knee and was counted out.

Brook weighed in at 153 ½ pounds during Friday’s weigh-in for his fight this Saturday night against the Belarusian Rabchenko. For his part, Rabchenko weighed in at 154 ¼. Rabchenko I ranked #5 by the WBC at junior middleweight

Rabchenko is coming off of back to back wins over Siarhei Krapshyla and Robizoni Omsarashvili. Before that, Rabchenko lost to Tony Harrison in 2016. You can argue that the Harrison fight is Rabchenko’s only real loss of his career, as his 12 round split decision defeat at the hands of Anthony Mundine in November 2014 was a controversial one that took place in Melbourne, Australia.

Rabchenko fought the Australian Mundine in his home country and found himself on the receiving end up a questionable decision. The main negative one can say about Rabchenko is he hasn’t fought quality opposition during his career apart from his fights with an old Mundine and Tony Harrison. Rabchenko’s best win of his 12-year pro career is a 7th round knockout win over a shot Ryan Rhodes in June 2012. It was the last fight of Rhodes’ career after he’d been beaten up and stopped in the 12th round in the previous year by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in June 2011.

Rabchenko’s other important wins were against Cedric Vitu (12 round split decision) and Bradley Pryce (12 round unanimous decision) in May 2011. Those are the only 2 names that stand out on Rabchenko’s resume. He lost against the best fighters he faced in Harrison and Mundine. Rabchenko hasn’t got the most out of his boxing career unfortunately. His management hasn’t put him in with the better fighters in the weight class for some reason. It would have been nice to have seen Rabchenko already having fought Erickson Lubin, Jermell Charlo, Jermall Charlo, Austin Trout, Jarrett Hurd, Maciej Sulecki, Julian Williams, Magomed Kurbonov, Vanes Martirosyan and Michel Soro. It’s unclear how Rabchenko couldn’t have fought at least one of those fighters during his career by this point. Is it accidentally that he wasn’t matched against any of those guys or intentionally.

Also, on Saturday’s Brook vs. Rabchenko card are the following fights:

• Super bamtamweight Gavin McDonnell (18-1-2, 5 KOs) facing unbeaten Gamal Yafai (14-0, 7 KOs) in a 12 round fight for the WBC International 122 lb. title. Yafai, 26, is the younger brother of WBA super flyweight champion Kal Yafai. Gamal doesn’t have the same as Kal Yafai, but he’s probably good enough to beat the 31-year-old McDonnell

• Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Allen (12-3-1, 9 KOs) will be looking to avenge his loss to American Lenroy Thomas (22-4, 10 KOs) in a 12 round fight. Thomas, 32, beat Allen by a 12 round split decision last May on the undercard of Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. Although the fight was scored a 12 round split decision in favor of Thomas, it was a clear win for the American. Allen was easily out-boxed by Thomas. It’s likely we’ll see the same thing happen in the rematch on Saturday night with Thomas getting the better of Allen. Thomas may not get the decision, but he’ll get the better of Allen. That’s a given. Allen is a very limited fighter. He’s a crude, one-paced slugger. He struggles when he faces guys with boxing ability.

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