Jarrett Hurd wants Kell Brook fight in fall
By Scott Gilfoid: Junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) is hoping to defend his IBF/WBA junior middleweight titles against former welterweight champion Kell Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) for the fall in the U.S if possible.
Hurd, 27, sees Brook a great opponent for him to face, and he believes he’ll be a durable guy for him. However, Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn says Amir Khan is the opponent that they’re focusing on for the fall, but if they can’t get that fight then a match against Hurd might be an option. The way that Hearn talks, he makes it plain to see that Hurd is not a priority for Brook. Khan is the priority.
Khan is the fight that will bring Brook a lot of money from the UK side. It’s not going to do much business from U.S boxing fans. It’s the more winnable fight for Brook, who will have a real mess on his hands trying to deal with the size, punching power and pressure from the 6’1” Hurd. Brook has never fought anyone the same size Hurd despite the fact that he previously competed against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in September 2016.
“What we want is a fight with Kell Brook because we want a durable opponent, somebody who will be competitive and a fight with Kell Brook would be really competitive,” Hurd said to ESPN.com.
I don’t know if Hurd has the right idea about his belief that the 32-year-old Brook is what he describes as “durable.” I would say that Brook is kind of the opposite of “durable”. I see Brook as fragile, especially with his eyes. He suffered fractured eye sockets in both of his stoppage losses to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. Brook won his last fight in beating Sergey Rabchenko by a 2nd round knockout last March, but before that, he’d lost to Golovkin and Spence. Brook hasn’t proven that he’s “durable’ since his losses to Spence and GGG. The only thing Brook has proven is he can beat a fringe contender in Rabchenko.
Brook is fighting in July in what is supposed to be a step up opponent, according to Hearn. It’s a step up from his last fight against Rabchenko. Hearn is probably not going to want to take chances by matching Brook against s good junior middleweight contender. It’s likely going to be another fringe contender that he faces, but someone that is recognizable to the British boxing fans. That means someone like Tony Harrison, Liam Williams or Jack Culcay. If Hearn is shooting for a recognizable contender that will be a respectable choice for Brook, then he’ll fight one of those guys. If Hearn’s focus is just on selecting a guy that is merely a contender not necessarily recognizable or talented, then he has a lot of options for Brook to fight. The junior middleweight division is loaded with mediocre contenders with little in the way of talent. Brook can beat those guys all day long, without worry of losing or suffering an injury. The trouble for Brook is when he gets put in with someone with a decent amount of talent.
Hurd will be stuck fighting one of his mandatory contenders next in the fall if he can’t get a fight against Brook. The options are WBA mandatory Brian Castano (15-0, 11 KOs) or IBF mandatory Julian “J Rock” Williams (25-1-1, 15 KOs). Of those two, J-Rock is the more recognizable fighter and the one with more punching power. He’s the better option if Hurd wants to keep the momentum going in his career. Hurd has recent victories over these fighters: Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Tony Harrison and Ionut Dan Ion. Harrison, Lara and Trout were hard fights for Hurd in which he had to take a lot of punishment to get the victories. Hurd says he didn’t get hit that much in the Lara fight, but he clearly did. Hurd took a lot of shots until the very end of the fight. Lara was often the busier fighter, and he won a lot of rounds. Hurd turned it on in the end by controlling the championship rounds and knocking Lara down in the 12th. There’s a lot of interest from boxing fans in seeing a rematch between Hurd and Lara. However, Hurd doesn’t want to fight the 35-year-old Lara a second, because he views that fight as a backwards career move for him. Hurd ‘s not sure how much longer he can continue to make the 154lb limit. Because of that, Hurd’s goal is to make the remaining fights at junior middleweight count by facing Brook, if possible, his mandatory challengers and then WBC light middleweight champion Jermell Charlo. Hurd would also like to fight WBO champion Jaime Munguia in a unification fight. Munguia says he wants to fight the best, and Hurd definitely fits in that class.
Hearn is got to be strategic with the moves that he makes for Brook, because he’s not very big, and he might be durable enough to take the pounding that would be required for him to unseat one of the champions at 154. All three – Hurd, Charlo and Munguia – want to fight Brook, and if he faces those, he might not have much left to beat anyone. That’s like running a gauntlet. Can Brook beat at least one of those champions? I don’t know. I do know that if Brook fights all three of them, whether in a row or spaced out over time, he’s going to be worn down by them. Brook isn’t durable enough to take the shots from all three of those fighters and come out the other side in one piece ready to take on other top fighters in the 154lb weight class. It’s better for Brook if he follows Hearn’s vision for him by taking a soft opponent for July, and then hopefully a match against Khan in the fall on Sky Box Office in the UK. The fight will make a lot of money despite neither guy being a championship level fighter any longer. Khan isn’t capable of winning a world title any longer at 147 in my estimation, and Brook’s chances at 154 or equally poor.
Hurd shouldn’t wait around hoping that Hearn will let him fight Brook in the fall, because he’ll only have his hopes dashed when he sees him put in with Khan or someone utterly beatable like Sam Eggington. When Hearn makes fights for the guys in his Matchroom Boxing stable, he tends to make ones where his side wins. In other words, Hearn puts together fights that almost guaranteed victories on paper for his fighters. When there’s uncertainly involved, then you see situations like we’re seeing with Hearn’s fighter IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua dragging his feet over taking a fight against unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. If Hurd is going to get a fight against Brook, I see it happening in 2019 at the very earliest and maybe not even then. If Hearn has food for Brook to destroy, he’s likely to go in that direction rather than put him in with Hurd and watch him get chopped to pieces by the hulking American talent. Brook is technically a junior middleweight, but he’s really just a welterweight and he doesn’t have the frame to be fighting at 154.