Kell Brook says he’s NOT retiring
By Tim Royner: Kell Brook has dismissed rumors of him retiring by saying that he’s still looking for a big fight, and that he’s interested in facing Terence Crawford in the near future. Former IBF welterweight champion Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) says he has several big fights left in him before he retires from boxing.
Brook has hurt his career with inactivity
It’s unclear where the source of rumors have started from about the 33-year-old Brook retiring, but his inactivity has hurt his career. Some boxing fans feel that Brook is already semi-retired for all intents and purposes. Brook hasn’t fought against a talented fighter in two years since his 11th round knockout loss to Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017, and he’s not showing signs of fighting anytime soon. Since that defeat, Brook has fought just twice, beating Sergey Rabchenko and Michael Zerafa. Those were two fringe contenders at 154, and not the top guys fan expected to see him fighting. Brook’s match with Zerafa was a WBA junior middleweight eliminator, and he likely could have fought for a world title by now. Instead, Brook has been wasting time chasing Amir Khan, and getting nowhere.
Brook said this on his Twitter site on Tuesday in addressing the retirement rumors that have popped up:
“I just want to address some speculation circulating around about my retirement. I’m not sure where these reports have surfaced from, but I have NOT retired. I have had some time away from the ring, but me and my team have been proactively looking to secure them big fights. We went to New York because we want to fight [Terence] Crawford. These are the level of fights that get me excited, and I’d only ever want to bow out on a high, putting on an exciting show for my fans…If these exciting big fights can be made, then I’d love nothing more than to dance again under them bright lights. So unless and until you hear it from me, know that the Special One still has a few more special nights in store for you guys.”
Since it’s clear that Khan has no intention of fighting Brook, he should go after one of the top contenders at 147 to earn a title shot against one of the welterweight champions, but that’s not likely to happen. For some reason Brook isn’t showing interest in fighting some of the top contenders like Jessie Vargas, Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia or Sergey Lipinets. If Brook were to beat one of those guys, he’d immediately be in the title picture at 147.
Brook needs to stop chasing Khan, and focus instead on going after fighters that are interested in facing him. The money obviously won’t be as good fighting some of the top contenders at 147, but at least he can put himself in position to get a title shot.
Brook being inactive makes him less a desirable name for the top fighters
You hate to say it, but Brook being inactive makes him less appealing to the top welterweights like Spence, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Manny Pacquiao and Crawford. Why would any of those guys be interested in fighting someone that only sees action once a year? Sadly, Brook has been fighting once a year since 2017 against fringe contenders. It wouldn’t have been as bad if those fights were against world champions or elite level contenders, but Brook has chosen obscure fringe level fighters in Zerafa and Rabchenko. If the idea for Brook to fight these guys came from his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, then he should have said no to the fights.
The decision by Brook to just take tune-ups waiting for a Khan fight has been a major blunder on his part. Brook assumed that Khan was going to give him the fight, and that failed to happen. As such, two years have flown by, and all that Brook has to show for himself is his wins over Rabchenko and Zerafa. Brook should have fought former WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd when the fight was there for the taking. Instead, he sat and waited for Khan, and he’s now wasted two years of his career for nothing. The Khan fight obviously is never going to happen at this point. Khan is making good money in Indian fighting an unknown guy, and he doesn’t need Brook. Brook needs to move on, and focus on his career now instead of following Khan, hoping for that match to finally get made.
Brook’s career hasn’t been the same since losses to GGG and Spence
A huge mistake Brook made in his career was for him to face former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. in back to back fights in 2016 and 2017. Brook suffered fractured eye sockets in both fights, and his career has never been the same since. You can argue that the inactivity and poor match-making that followed those consecutive losses has done more to hurt Brook’s career than the eye problems he suffered in those fights.
Some fans think Brook copies what Khan does with his career
There’s a lot of belief from boxing fans that Brook can’t think for himself, and merely copies what Khan does with his career. For example, Brook’s decision to fight Golovkin came shortly after Khan moved up to middleweight to challenge former WBC champion Saul Canelo Alvarez in 2016. Khan was viciously knocked out in the sixth round by Alvarez, and his own career hasn’t been the same. Later that year, Brook moved up to middleweight, and was stopped in the fifth round by IBF/IBO/WBC champion Golovkin in September 2016.
The difference is, Brook quit against GGG, whereas Khan was knocked cold by Canelo. Khan recently unsuccessfully challenged WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford last April, and was stopped in the sixth round by the Top Rank promoted fighter. Brook is now looking to get a fight against Crawford, but has had zero luck in getting that match. The question is, why is Brook looking to fight the same guy that Khan just fought? Why not go after WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter or the winner of the Thurman vs. Pacquiao fight? Those would arguably be bigger fights for Brook.
Brook’s last performance against Zerafa was underwhelming
The way that Brook performed in his last fight against Zerafa left a lot to be desired. More than anything, that performance from Kell likely has hurt his chances of getting a top guy to fight him. Brook looked sluggish in struggling to defeat an obscure fighter that had been blown out in the past in five rounds by Peter Quillin in the past. After that performance, Brook should have quickly gotten back inside the ring to face a higher rated contender so that he could show the boxing public that he could still fight at a high level. Brook hasn’t done that, and it’s not surprising that fans are already counting the days until his the retirement announcement is made by him.