Kell Brook wants Khan, Spence, Thurman, Porter & Garcia

Image: Kell Brook wants Khan, Spence, Thurman, Porter & Garcia

By Scott Gilfoid: Despite having burned up an entire year fighting tune-up level opposition at the ripe age of 32-years-old, former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook says he wants to go after the top guys [Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia & Amir Khan] at welterweight after he defeats Michael Zerafa next month on December 8.

Brook’s dream of running the table at welterweight to go through Khan, Spence, Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter are likely going to bump into the harsh reality that he probably will lose to all of them but Khan. Brook can forget about fighting Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), as he’s already been told by the talented IBF welterweight champion that the only way he can get a rematch against him is if he wins a world title at 154. Since it that Brook has zero interest in fighting any of the world champions at junior middleweight, that rules out a rematch against Spence. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing might be able to line him up for fights against Porter, Thurman and Garcia, but those are still fights that he would have a good chance of losing. Brook beat Porter four years ago in 2014, but it was a controversial decision.

Brook gamed the system in the Porter fight by clinching nonstop and was allowed to do it by the referee without losing points. Brook used the old punch and grab technique against Porter to keep him from throwing punches. A good referee would have taken points away from Brook, but he lucked out on the night with a referee that stood by and let him clinch as much as he wanted. Brook still appeared to lose the fight, but somehow the judges gave him the victory. Boxing News 24 had Porter winning by an eight rounds to four score. A rematch between Brook and Porter now would likely be similar to the first one. Brook would clinch, hope the referee does nothing about it, and try and limit as much as possible Shawn’s punch output.

The sudden interest from Brook to fight the lions in the 147 lb division is a bit of a surprise. It was thought that Brook is looking for a cash out fight against Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) on March 23, and then after that he’d be retiring from boxing. What furthers that idea is how Brook has thrown away 2018 by fighting nothing but tune-up level fighters in Sergey Rabchenko and Zerafa.

Brook claims that he feels like a new man since teaming up with trainer John Fewkes, who has been taking him through his paces to get him ready for his tune-up fight against 26-year-old Zerafa. Brook had previously been trained by Dominic Ingle. It’s unclear what precisely Fewkes has done to make Brook feel so revitalized. Is Fewkes giving Brook pep talks and smothering him with compliments to make him feel so inincible all of a sudden? Whatever the case, Brook has still got to prove that his fragile body can hold together for an entire fight without breaking apart. More specifically, Brook’s fragile eye sockets are a major question mark for any future fights against quality opposition. No amount of pep talks given by Fewkes is going to keep Brook from suffering injuries if his body can’t hold up to the pounding from the talents in the welterweight division.

What’s interesting is all the top fighters that Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) is targeting are from the division that he supposedly has departed at welterweight. Brook is supposed to be a junior middleweight now but all of a sudden he’s targeting nothing but guys from the 147 lb weight class. The only thing one can conclude is Brook is going to continue melting down to 147 so that he can fight all these top welterweights that he’s talking about.

“The way I am feeling now I want to beat this kid [Zerafa], then Khan, then want a re-match with Errol Spence,” Brook said to “I want a fight with Shawn Porter and the other big names like Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia…I can come back to welterweight.”

What jumps out at this writer is how unbalanced Brook sounds in this interview. It’s as if he’s not living on planet earth. Brook hasn’t beaten a talented fighter since his controversial decision win over Shawn Porter in 2014, and he’s twice quit in the last two years in losses to Spence and Gennady Golovkin. For Brook to be blabbering about wanting to fight Porter, Thurman, Spence and Garcia, he seems out of touch with reality.

Brook had been bellyaching for the longest time about how hard it is for him to make the 147 lb weight division. But I guess with the combination of the talented lions at 154 and the lack of big money fights available in that division, Brook has suddenly had a chance of mind and now only wants to fight welterweight. It’s difficult to be surprised about that. Few boxing fans expected Brook to ever fight anyone good at 154 when he made the announcement that he was going to be moving up to junior middleweight to fight in that division from now on. It’s been a year since Brook moved up to 154, and the only names he has to show for himself is Sergey Rabchenko and Michael Zerafa. Those are both lower level fighters at junior middleweight. Brook will be fighting Zerafa (25-2, 14 KOs) on December 8 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. It’s not expected to be a competitive fight unfortunately. At 32, Brook has devoted the 2018 year to taking tune-ups. What a waste.

It sounds improbable that Brook will get all the fights that he wants against the top fighters at welterweight. The wheels will likely come off the Brook wagon as soon as he faces a talented welterweight like Spence, Porter, Garcia or Thurman. Brook will obviously beat Khan if he can face him without the 10 lb rehydration clause that he’s pushing. If the rehydration clause goes into effect, then it’s a 50-50 fight. Brook would still be dangerous to Khan for the first six rounds, but after that, he’d gas, lose power and be at the mercy of his speed, movement and power. If Khan sticks to his guns and insists on the rehydration clause, then he’s got a good chance of winning the fight. At 147, Brook is basically a six round fighter at best.

If Brook gets past Khan, his best chance to fight a top welterweight would be against Porter. Spence won’t want to waste his time fighting Brook yet again, as there won’t be any interest from the U.S boxing public in seeing a second fight between them. Brook hasn’t done anything with his career since his loss to Spence. The only fights that he’ll have had would be his tune-up matches against Zerafa and Rabchenko. Those fights might as well be exhibition matches, because those are guys that too low level to keep Brook’s name at the top. Porter might fight Brook again, as long as the match takes place in the U.S and a long as a good referee is assigned to the fight. It’s no use having a referee that has a Laissez-faire approach to policing the nonstop holding that Brook will likely be using to keep Porter from throwing punches.

Keith Thurman hasn’t fought in a year and half, so he’s not going to want to fight Brook anytime soon. Brook can forget about a fight against Thurman. If it does happen, it would be in 2020, but definitely not in 2019. Thurman has too much ring rust to get out of his sytem before he faces someone like Brook.