Spence: Crawford can fight Brook, but he’s “washed”
By Tim Royner: Errol Spence Jr. says he doesn’t mind if Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook in his next fight, but he thinks that Brook is passed his prime. Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum is said to be interested in making the Crawford-Brook fight next.
Brook isn’t ranked in the top 15 at welterweight. He’s highly ranked at 154, but he’s shown a lot of desire to challenge for a world title in that weight class.
Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) is a former IBF welterweight champion, but his career hasn’t shined brightly since his consecutive stoppage losses to Gennady Golovkin and Spence. Since losing those fights, Brook, 33, has fought twice, beating Siarhei Rabchanka and Michael Zerafa.
WBO welterweight champion Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) needs name fighters to increase his profile to build him into a star. Brook isn’t a name in the United States, but he’s well known in the UK. Crawford-Brook would play out well with British boxing fans, because they would want to see how well Brook does against the American Crawford. For U.S fans, it wouldn’t be as interesting. The casual fan in the States have never heard of Brook.
Spence in favor of Crawford fighting Brook
“He can, but Kell Brook’s washed. Look at his last fight, he got hurt and everything,” said Spence to Barbershop Conversations. “He washed, especially at 147. I think he’s been hurt. He can’t get down to 147 no more.”
Brook can probably still make weight at 147, but he would be weakened, and will likely lose to Crawford. But even if Brook was strong at making weight, he’d still struggle against Crawford. You can argue that a Crawford-Brook fight would be more about Brook getting a payday than anything else. Brook is on his way out the door, getting ready to retire soon from boxing, and he wants to get as many big fights before he leaves the sport.
Crawford vs. Brook: What’s the upside for Terence?
Bud Crawford fighting Brook next could give boxing fans the perception that Crawford is just looking to fight over-the-hill fighters. Crawford’s last fight was against Khan, another fading British welterweight. If Crawford is going to be seen as a guy that is fighting shot guys instead of relevant fighters, it probably won’t help his career in the way that he needs it.
Does Arum want to be seen as having no other options for Crawford to fight other than putting him in with washed up fighters? It’s unclear how Crawford would view the move if Arum makes that fight. Crawford recently re-upped with Top Rank for another hitch with them. Terence could have moved on instead of re-signing with them.
Is this as good as it gets for Crawford?
Presuming that these are the kind of fights that Crawford is going to be getting, then it’s kind of disappointing. Brook would have been a good alternative for Crawford two years ago before he lost to Spence. But since then, Brook has stalled out his career with two fights against Rabchenko and Zerafa at 154. Brook said he couldn’t make 147 any longer, and he wanted to go after the big names at junior middleweight. Instead of doing that, Brook has beaten two fringe contenders, and has been sitting and waiting for Khan.
Kell wants to fight Amir Khan, but that match isn’t there for him yet. Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) is fighting next month against Neeraj Goyat on July 12 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. If Khan wins that fight, then there’ a chance that he could be fighting Manny Pacquiao next.
Crawford might be better off forgetting about Brook, and instead focusing on fighting the best possible contenders in the World Boxing Organization’s top 15. Let Brook continue his long wait for Khan, because that’s clearly the fight that he wants. Crawford should focus on fighting active guys that are ranked highly in the WBO’s rankings.
It wouldn’t hurt obviously if Crawford took a chance in facing some of the top guys at 140 and 154 like Regis Prograis, Maurice Hooker, Jose Ramirez, Josh Taylor, Jaime Munguia, Jermell Charlo, Tony Harrison, Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd. Since Crawford is trying to increase his popularity, he needs to be flexible in the same way that Paul Williams used to be willing to take chances in fighting guys outside of weight class.