Does Kell Brook get the credit he deserves?
By Gavin Howie: Kell Brook looked slightly ring rusty in his latest comeback last night against Mark DeLuca, but shown enough to suggest he can still be a force in the light middleweight division.
For the first time in a while there was no mention of his arch nemesis Amir Khan following his post fight interview, and he looks almost certain his next fight will now be against Liam Smith who was watching at ringside.
Brook is now entering the last chapter of his career and I firmly believe he is more than capable of winning a legitimate world title in the 154lb division now he seems to have finally dropped the idea of a fight against Kahn.
I have always felt Kell Brook has had a hard time of it, in and out of the ring. He has never shied away from facing anyone, and that itself is perhaps what has cost him achieving more in this sport. Brook stepped in at the eleventh hour to face, at the time the monster that nobody else wanted to face in Gennady Golovkin, who was at his absolute peak and Brook stepped up 2 weight divisions to attempt the impossible.
Unfortunately for Kell, this turned out to be a bridge too far, and ultimately derailed his promising career following that defeat. Brook had his moments in that fight and certainly did not look out his depth, but he suffered a horrendous eye socket injury and could not continue against one of the hardest hitters this sport has ever known.
The WBA had actually withdrew its sanction for this fight, as they believed it was too dangerous for Brook to move up 2 weight divisions and fight the biggest puncher in boxing. I have nothing but respect for anybody trying to achieve greatness and risking it all.
Following the Golovkin defeat, Brook again showed he was not scared to face anyone and just 8 months later drained himself back down to the welterweight division to fight against Errol Spence Jr and defend his IBF world title. Spence was undefeated and hailed as the next best thing, but this did not faze Brook and he was again not ready to give up his world title without a fight.
Brook would go on to eventually lose by an 11th round stoppage due to yet another eye injury, but this time was the opposite side to his previous injury he suffered against Golovkin. Brook was well in the fight at this time, and although Spence was coming on, I had Brook slightly ahead at the time of the stoppage. Was the weight a factor, or was the injury he suffered against Golovkin to blame? Who knows, but I do not think either helped him in any way.
Brook has only 2 losses on his record and to my recollection. I have never seen him outclassed in any of his fights. This is a man who has not had the best of luck outside the ring, including not one but 2 separate stabbing attempts. One in 2007 and one again in 2014.
This could have seriously hindered any athlete in their career, but it did not stop Brook from trying to be the absolute best he could possibly be. He won his IBF world title against all the odds going over to America and facing the then undefeated champion in Shawn Porter. Brook stuck to his game plan and won a close, but deserving majority decision to capture his first and only world title to date.
Can Brook look back on his career and say he has achieved everything he dreamed of? Possibly. Could he have done anything more? Possibly not. Can Brook win another title in a second weight division? Yes. Does Kell Brook get the credit he deserves? Unfortunately not.
Opinions and feedback are welcomed and encouraged.