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‘Kell Brook’s career is OVER if he loses to Mark DeLuca’ – Hearn

Image: 'Kell Brook's career is OVER if he loses to Mark DeLuca' - Hearn

By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn is saying that Kell Brook’s career will be over if he loses to #7 WBA junior middleweight contender Mark DeLuca next month in their fight on February 8 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.

Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) is the favorite to beat DeLuca, and it should be an easy fight for him. DeLuca is slow of hand and foot, and not a big puncher either. Mark recently lost to journeyman Walter Wright (17-8, 8 KOs) by a 12 round split decision in June 2018. Although DeLuca did avenge his loss to Wright in beating him by a 10 round unanimous decision in October 2018, it was a close fight.

Brook expected to beat DeLuca

Unfortunately, DeLuca doesn’t look like a fighter that rates his #7 ranking with the World Boxing Association, but that’s obviously why Hearn picked him for Brook to fight. He wasn’t going to match Brook against a good fighter, and watch him lose again.

This will be the first fight for the 33-year-old former IBF welterweight champion Brook in 14 months when he steps foot inside the ring to fight the little known American DeLuca (24-1, 13 KOs). Brook will be turning 34 in May, and he’s frozen his own career with inactivity following his loss to Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017.

Although Brook suffered an eye injury in the Spence fight, which contributed to some of his time off, but mostly it was just him choosing not to fight. Some boxing fans believe that the combination of things that led to Brook stalling out his career.

Kell got a couple of nice paydays in his fights with Gennadiy Golovkin and Spence, but then he wasted time trying to line up a fight with Amir Khan. Brook didn’t learn his lesson from the previous 10 years of his career in figuring out that Khan doesn’t fancy the fight with him.

Hearn: DeLuca is DANGEROUS fight for Brook

“I think it’s a really, really tough fight,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Brook vs. DeLuca. “Who was Tweeting about it the other day? TJ Doheny. He said, ‘You guys, this is a tough, tough fight. DeLuca can fight. He’s fit, he’s tough, and he can punch, and he’s coming to win. And he’s got all those Irish boys behind him. It’s a massive opportunity for him. If you beat Kell Brook in Sheffield, you are right there for a world title fight.’

“This is a dangerous, dangerous fight for Kell Brook, who is coming back after a year layoff in a fight that he didn’t look great in against [Michael] Zerafa,” said Hearn. “By the way, Zerafa went and beat Jeff Horn, and then just lost to Jeff Horn in an absolute war a couple of weeks ago. That win for Kell Brook over Zerafa actually looks a little bit better than it did at the time,” said Hearn.

Eddie is wearing his promoter shoes in talking about DeLuca being a threat to Brook, because he really shouldn’t be a threat. If Brook is even 25% of what he was in his last fight against Zerafa, then he’ll beat the slow-punching, slow-moving DeLuca with ease.

This is a fight in which Hearn is lobbing a softball to Brook for him to hit out of the part, and he should do very, very well. You can argue that DeLuca is Siarhei Rabchanka 2.0, and that’s someone that Brook destroyed in 2 rounds in March 2018. Rabchenko, who is very slow as well, would likely beat DeLuca without any problems.

How much does Brook have left at 33?

What we don’t know is how much does Brook have left in the tank at 33. He’s only fought twice in the last three years, and he’s not going to be the same guy that gave Spence a run for his money in 2017. Brook likely won’t be as good as he was in his fight with Zerafa in December 2018, and he wasn’t good in that fight.

For all intents and purposes, Brook retired after his loss to Spence in 2017, and he’s just been a fighter in name only since then. Only Brook knows why he stopped fighting on a regular basis after his fight with Spence.

It’s possible that he fell out of love with boxing due to his injuries suffered in his defeats to Errol and GGG. Before those defeats, Brook was highly motivated, and ambitious. You didn’t need to coax Brook into the ring to keep him active. He WANTED to fight, but that same eagerness to fight has been missing since Brook’s loss to Spence.

Brook doesn’t belong at 154, and he’s heading for oblivion if he stays in the division. He’s not quite big enough, and he’s not sturdy enough either to campaign s a junior middleweight. At 147, Brook would have a chance of beating the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Alexander Besputin, Terence Crawford and Vergil Ortiz Jr. But he’s too small to mix it with the junior middleweight champions like Jermell Charlo.

Brook will be in BIG fight in the summer

“I’m really intrigued to see Kell Brook back, because what does he have left in the tank,” said Hearn. “I believe he’s still one of the best fighters in the world. He looks good. When we talked of Conor Benn’s mindset, where sometimes you get to that stage where, ‘f—, I need to get my n— down, and get working.’ That’s where Kell Brook is at right now.

“So if Kell Brook loses to Mark DeLuca, his career is over,” said Hearn. “If he beats Mark DeLuca, and he’s the favorite to do so, but it’s a very tough fight. He will go on [and fight] Amir Khan. Who knows? He’ll be in a big fight in the summer, and he’ll be thrown into the biggest fight possible in the summer. He’s just gotta get that win on February the 8th,” Hearn said.

As I said already, Brook’s career is already over. He’s just playing out his string at this point, but he’s not going anywhere at 154.  It’s doubtful that Brook will retire if he loses to DeLuca, because he’ll still be able to get big paydays fighting the likes of Khan and Crawford.

As far as the big summer fight that Hearn is talking about for Brook, it’s likely that he’ll match him against Liam Smith or Jessie Vargas. Those are fights that Brook will be competitive in, but he won’t stand a chance against Jermell Charlo or Julian Williams.

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