Kell Brook scouting Terence Crawford on Saturday
By Tim Royner: Former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) will be at ringside this Saturday night to scout WBO champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) in his fight against Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden in New York. Brook, 32, wants to be the next opponent for Crawford, and he believes he can give him first defeat. He’s already let his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing know that he wants to face Crawford next, and relaying that information to Top Rank after the fight, provided that Crawford wins the fight.
Crawford vs. Khan will be shown on Top Rank Boxing on ESPN pay-per-view. Although the fight has made some noise due to it being on ESPN, it’s not likely to bring in a lot of PPV buys due to the lack of popularity of the two fighters, and the belief that it’s a mismatch and sad money grab attempt. With arguably better fighters being streamed on DAZN and ESPN+, Crawford-Khan on ESPN PPV is seen by some boxing fans as a fight doomed to bring in low numbers. It’s unclear how many PPV buys and ticket sales need to be brought in for the fight to break even.
“I’m here to see Crawford fight Amir Khan,” Brook said to Fighthype in explaining his rationale for traveling from England to New York. “I think Crawford is going to win the fight, and I want to fight him. He’s [Crawford] called Errol Spence out, but obviously he’s with Al [Haymon], and I’m here ready to go. I’ve spoken to my nutritionist, and he’s said he believes I can make welterweight. He [Crawford] can switch and box like myself. I believe he’ll deal with Khan,” Brook said.
Brook is obviously not happy that Khan, 32, chose to fight Crawford, 31, instead of himself. Khan recently signed with Matchroom Boxing in 2018 for the sole purpose that he would be fighting Brook in the near future. But after two soft fights that Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn put Khan in with against Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas, he veered off course and opted to go with a fight against the unbeaten #2 pound-for-pound Top Rank promoted Crawford instead of Kell. Top Rank had a big hand in that though by offering Khan a lot of money to fight Crawford.
Although Khan could make more money fighting Brook, he wanted to be able to fight for a world title against Crawford, and get a second big payday. Instead of getting one big payday against Brook, Khan will be paid well for the fight against Crawford, and then he’ll look Brook’s way afterwards to face him for the second payday. Brook doesn’t like the idea that he’s being passed over by Khan, perhaps permanently, so he’s now looking to get a fight against Crawford as well. It might be better if Brook tried to get a fight against WBA champion Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia. The money that Brook could make fighting those guys would likely be less than what he can get against Crawford. Top Rank needs names for Crawford to fight, so they might jump at the chance to make the fight with Brook.
“I believe I’m going to win [against Crawford]. Others think I’m just going there for the payday,” Brook said. “I’m going in there to beat the guy. I only have two blemishes on my record. I got stopped with eye injuries with Golovkin and Errol Spence. Spence said I can punch very hard. I was beating the guy, but I couldn’t see after seven rounds. People don’t give me credit I deserve. I’m an elite world class fighter. [Shawn] Porter, he’s got the green belt [WBC welterweight title]. I took the red belt [IBF 147 lb title] off him. I could take the green belt off him. It would be like traffic lights. Give me the opportunity. I’ll beat these guys that stand in front of me. I’ll be back at #1 where I was not too long ago when I was the welterweight champion. Give me 12 weeks, and I’ll beat those guys,” Brook said.
Porter might give Brook a rematch, but not right now with a unification match against Spence likely taking place this summer in September. If Porter beats Spence, then it’ll make sense for Brook to fight him again. If Porter loses to Spence, then it would be pointless for Brook to try and get a fight against him. He would be better off calling out Spence, and look to avenge his 11th round knockout loss that he suffered against him in 2017. That was a fight in which Brook was winning in the first six rounds before suffering a broken eye socket. Now that Brook’s eye problems are seemingly behind him, he should be able to get big fights against Spence, Porter, Crawford, Khan and Danny Garcia. It was a mistake on Brook’s part to waste all of 2018 fighting at junior middleweight. That division is all wrong for Brook. The guys are bigger, stronger, younger and a lot more rugged than him.
“I think it’s going to be competitive,” Brook said about the Crawford vs. Khan fight. “I’ve been reading Amir Khan’s body language. I believe in his mind he’s just there for the paycheck. I don’t believe he believes he can win. I think he fights on fear and adrenaline. For four or five rounds, he’s going to be hard for any fighter to beat. It’s going to be hard for any fighter to beat Amir Khan, because he has very, very fast hands. He’s got fast feet. If you’ve got an elite fighter in there, it’s only a matter of time before the timing comes. You wear Amir out. You start breaking him down. I think it’s just a matter of time. After five rounds, he gets taken out. After five, it’s going to start unraveling. He’s going to start making mistakes, and he’s going to get punished by Crawford. Yeah, I do [think Khan is going to get stopped]. If he gets caught clean, he’s getting dealt with,” Brook said.