Kell Brook faces Mark DeLuca on Feb.8 in Sheffield, UK
By Charles Brun: Kell Brook will be coming out of his long 14-month hibernation to fight two months from now against #7 WBA junior middleweight contender Mark DeLuca (14-1, 13 KOs) on February 8 at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, England. The fight will be shown LIVE on DAZN in the U.S and Sky Sports in the UK. This won’t be pay-per-view.
Brook, 33, has been resting for the last 12 months since beating Michael Zerafa by an unimpressive 12 round unanimous decision on December 8 in Sheffield, England. Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) was supposed to have been able to make easy work of fringe contender Zerafa, but the fight turned out to be a tooth & nail affair for Brook. He won the fight by the following lopsided scores of 118-110, 119-109, 117-111. Boxing News 24 had Brook winning 115-113 in a VERY close fight.
Brook’s career hasn’t been the same since Golovkin fight
The momentum in Brook’s career was halted with his 5th round knockout loss to former IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin in September 2016. Since that fight, Brook has fought only 3 times in beating Zerafa and Siarhei Rabchenko, while losing to Errol Spence Jr. Whether it’s the money that Brook has made or the injuries that he’s sustained since 2016, his career has come to a screeching halt. It has to be more than a little upsetting to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who once had high hopes for Brook.
Brook was fighting in his backyard in Sheffield against Zerafa, which might explain the lopsided scoring. There’s no question that Brook deserved to get the ‘W,’ but it was by a razor thin margin. He failed to do enough to set himself apart from the fringe contender Zerafa.
Brook is basically at the same level as Zerafa in terms of talent at 154, which is why he really needs to think about moving back down to 147, because he’s too fragile, too old and too small to beat the much bigger fighters at 154.
Brook wants world title shot
“I’m so happy to be back and I can’t wait to put on a performance for my city on February 8 live on Sky Sports and DAZN,” said Brook. “I’ve had a year out, there has been some dark times but what I’ve realised is I love this sport and I know I have some of my biggest years left in the game.
“DeLuca is a strong, gutsy fighter who is always ready for war but I’m planning on putting on a statement and showing the world that I’m still a force at 154 or 147lbs.”
The fact that Brook is facing #7 WBA DeLuca suggests that he plans on targeting WBA light middleweight champion Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams for a crack at a world title in 2020 or 2021. That would be a hard fight for Brook, as Williams is big, strong and highly talented. Kell would be better off moving back down to 147, and going after WBA champion Manny Pacquiao. Kell’s chances of beating Pacquiao would be better, and the payday would be excellent.
Chief support: Kid Galahad vs. Claudio Marrero
Kid Galahad (26-1, 15 KOs) battles Claudio Marrero (24-3, 17 KOs) in an International Boxing Federation 126-title eliminator to get a title shot against IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington. Galahad, 29, lost to Warrington by a 12 round split decision in his last fight on June 15 in Leeds.
If all Galahad has to do in order to get another world title shot against Warrington is to beat Marrero, it could get ridiculous.
There needs to be some kind of break so that other contenders can get title shots against Warrington instead of seeing the same fighter recycled endlessly. You can argue that #7 IBF Galahad shot have been dropped lower by the IBF in their rankings, and they shouldn’t be sanctioning a fight between him and #8 IBF Marrero for a title eliminator.
What about the higher ranked #4 IBF Tugstsogt Nyambayar and #3 IBF Jhack Tepora. Those are the two fighters that should be squaring off in an IBF eliminator to get a title shot against Warrington.
Also on the Brook vs. DeLuca card is domestic level heavyweight Dave Allen (17-5-2, 14 KOs) facing a still to be determined opponent. Allen, 27, is coming off of a 10th round stoppage loss to David Price last July. There was a lot of hype about the Price-Allen fight leading up to that contest, but unfortunately for Allen, he was completely over-matched by the 6’8″ Price, and he took a royal beating.
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