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Hearn wants Kell Brook to face Crawford after Khan

Amir Khan Kell Brook Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: Promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s contacted Top Rank to let them know that former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook wishes to fight WBO 147 lb champion Terence Crawford in his next title defense after he faces Amir Khan on Saturday night on ESPN PPV at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn told IFL TV that Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) will be traveling to the U.S to be at ringside for the Crawford-Khan fight this Saturday night at MSG in New York.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum could have asked Eddie Hearn to have Brook face Crawford, but he didn’t do that. Arum wanted Khan, which suggests that he wanted the more vulnerable fighter for Crawford to face instead of someone that possibly beat him or make him look bad. Brook being inactive hurts his chances for a Crawford fight. Khan has been inactive as well, but he has a bigger name in the U.S than Brook, because he’s been fighting in the States for the last nine years since 2010. That’s why Arum chose Khan. Obviously, Khan having problems with his punch resistance, and being highly beatable helped him get the fight with Crawford. If Khan were looking sensational the way Errol Spence has, Arum wouldn’t likely have pulled the trigger on that fight. Arum name drops Spence’s name a lot in talking up a fight with Crawford, but he hasn’t made the fight.

Brook, 32, is tentatively scheduled to fight on the undercard of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s June 1 card at Madison Square Garden in New York. However, Brook prefers to take a BIG fight rather than be involved yet another smaller match, so he’s likely to pull out of the Joshua card if a fight against a big name like Crawford could be made.

For Brook, it’s important that he start taking chances with his career. He’s stalled it out in this last two fights in choosing to facing Michael Zerafa and Sergey Rabchenko. One can put the blame on Hearn’s lap for having Brook fight those two guys, as he wanted to keep him winning and looking good long enough to put together a big stadium fight between him and Khan in the UK. What Hearn didn’t know at the time he made those two fights is that Khan would choose to ignore Brook, and instead face Crawford. Khan recently admitted that if he beats Crawford, then a future fight with Brook would be dead in the water. Khan would move on, and fight unification matches against the other welterweight champions, and then swing back around to face Crawford for a second time.

Hearn has made some questionable moves with Brook’s career that hasn’t helped him one bit. The bad moves are easy to spot:

1. Matching Brook against former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. This was a poorly thought out idea by Hearn, who had been in the process of negotiating a fight between Chris Eubank Jr. and GGG at the time. When the negotiations for that fight slowed, Hearn quickly volunteered Brook to fight Golovkin in September 2016. The results were disastrous to Brook’s career. He suffered a fractured left eye socket from one of Golovkin’s huge left hooks, and his career hasn’t been the same since then. It’s believed by some that Hearn got the idea of having Brook fight Golovkin after seeing Khan move up to middleweight to challenge then WBC 160 lb champion Saul Canelo Alvarez for his title in May 2016. Khan got a big payday, and received a lot of attention from boxing fans. However, it didn’t workout well for Khan, given that he was knocked out cold in the sixth round by a hard right hand from the bigger, stronger Canelo Alvarez. Never the less, the payday was a nice one for Khan. The broken eye socket injury that Brook suffered against Golovkin led to him staying out of the ring for eight months before finally returning to defend his IBF welterweight title against his mandatory Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017 in Sheffield, England. Brook once again suffered a broken eye socket in an 11th round knockout loss, and this resulted in him being out of action for 10 months before returning in March 2018 against Rabchenko. It’s believed by some that the second eye socket injury by Brook was a result of the first one. The two eye injuries kept Brook out of the ring for a combined 18 months. We’re roughly talking about Brook missing out on three fights that he could have taken during that time frame if he fought every six months. In hindsight, it wasn’t a good idea for Brook to face GGG initially.

2. Putting Kell Brook in against Sergey Rabchenko and Michael Zerafa in 2018 instead of matching him in with better fighters at welterweight. Hearn should have had Brook come back down to 147, and put him in with one of the welterweight champions like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao or Terence Crawford. Brook is a much better fighter at 147, even when weakened from making weight, than he is in competing at 154. The guys are too big at junior middleweight for a smaller fighter like Brook to be competing against. Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, Tony Harrison, Jaime Munguia and Erislandy Lara are for all intents and purposes middleweights, who choose to melt down to 154 to fight in that weight class. When they rehydrate for their fights at junior middleweight, they’re HUGE fighters. Brook can’t compete against fighters that size nor should he. He belongs at 147. That’s where he’s a good fighter when he’s not dealing with eye problems.

Top Rank Boxing CEO Bob Arum is a shrewd judge of talent. While he talks up Crawford in saying he’s the best fighter in the welterweight division, if you look closely at the type of guys that he’s matched him against during his many years with his promotional company, he’s not put him in against the best. Brook might be deemed too risky for Crawford. Of course, Arum would never admit it that. He would reject the fight if he feels Brook is too much of a threat for Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs). Arum wants to make a fight between Crawford and Spence next, but that fight has almost no chance of being made. Spence is with Al Haymon, and he’s expected to put him in with WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter in his next fight. If Arum chooses to turn down Brook for Crawford’s next fight, he’ll likely match the Nebraska native against his WBO mandatory Egidijus Kavaliauskas (23-0-1, 17 KOs), who looked poor recently in fighting to a 10 round draw on March 30 against Ray Robinson in Philadelphia. Kavaliauskas would be a similar type of opponent as Jose Benavidez Jr. and Jeff Horn for Crawford to shine against. Arum has taken no chances with Crawford’s career. That’s the unfortunate thing. Spence obviously is a better fighter than Brook, but it’s one of those fights where Crawford would still do well, even if he loses the fight, because it would be a big pay-per-view match. There would be a lot of money for Top Rank and Crawford to make fighting Spence. Further, Crawford would become more popular, as long as he’s not wiped out by Spence. Crawford would make sure that wouldn’t happen by getting on his bike to run around the ring to avoid Spence during most of the fight. That’s how Crawford fights when he’s facing pressure fighters.

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