By Scott Gilfoid: Kell Brook returns this Saturday night after a 14 month layoff to face 154-lb contender Mark DeLuca in a tune-up on February 8 on DAZN and Sky Sports at the Sheffield Arena, in Sheffield, England. Brook, 33, says he shouldn’t have a loss on his record if he’d been fully dedicated the way he is now.
Former IBF welterweight champion Brook is counting on his new dedication to his career will be enough to capture another world title, and make big things happen in 2020.
With that said, Kell claims he’ll “retire inside the ring” if he looks mediocre against DeLuca on Saturday. It’s unclear why Brook didn’t retire after his last fight against Michael Zerafa in December 2018, as he looked incredibly mediocre in that contest. It’s kind of hard to look good if you only fight every 14 month though. Brook’s dedication to the sport appears to have gone out the window since his 5th round knockout loss to Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin in 2016.
Brook says “I should not have a loss on my record”
“You’re going to see the difference on February 8th, a serious Kell Brook,” said Brook to IFL TV. “I’ve got more experience, and I use the experience over the youth. I know how to perform under the bright lights in big fights. Yeah, I do,’ said Brook when asked if he’s underachieved as a fighter. “I should not have a loss on my record.”
Well, Brook sounds like he’s got delusions of grandeur here, doesn’t he? Golovkin stopped Brook in 5 rounds in September 2016, and Errol Spence stopped him in 11 rounds in May 2017. Additionally, many boxing fans believe Brook was given a gift decision in his 12 round majority decision win over Shawn Porter in August 2014.
Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) faces little known 31-year-old DeLuca (24-1, 13 KOs) in yet another warm-up fight. This will be Brook’s third tune-up fight in the last three years. At some point, Brook has got to forget about tune-ups and start fighting elite level guys again or else think about retiring. Brook has been a professional for 16 years, and he’s only fought 3 talented fighters during all that time.
These are the good fighters Brook has fought:
- Gennadiy Golovkin – result: Brook stopped in 5 rounds
- Errol Spence Jr. – result: Brook beaten by 11th round TKO
- Shawn Porter – result: Brook wins controversial 12 round MD
When you look beyond those three names on Brook’s resume, there’s not much to see, is there? Those three guys stand out in a huge way on Brook’s resume.
Here are the next best names on Brook’s 16-year resume:
- Carson Jones
- Matthew Hatton
- Jo Jo Dan
- Kevin Bizier
- Vyacheslav Senchenko
- Alvaro Robles
- Frankie Gavin
- Sergey Rabchenko
- Hector David Saldivia
- Michael Zerafa
- Rafal Jackiewicz
- Lovemore Ndou
Kell says he’s no longer cutting corners with his training, and that he’s ready to become a three-time world champion in 2020. He just wants the opportunity to be given to him by one of the world champions at 154.
Unfortunately, with Brook’s inability to keep active with his career, it could prove next to impossible for him to ever get another world title shot. In the last 4 years, Brook has had the following gaps of inactivity: 8, 10, 9 and 14 months. For all intents and purposes, Brook has been a part-time fighter since 2017. In boxing you’re not going to stay relevant if you’re not active, and if you’re not facing high quality opposition.
Brook: I was only 50% Errol Spence fight
“Everything is for a reason. I’m in my best place,” said Brook in talking about how he doesn’t regret fighting Golovkin. “You’re going to have to see on the night that I’m in the past physical place I’ve been in my life. I’ve never been as serious before. I’ve always cut corners in my life.
“If I had lived the life that’s bred in me and living it, there’s no one that can beat me on my best day,” said Brook. No one. I was beating the pound-for-pound best fighter Errol Spence at the time, who got that car crash, and that was me at 40, 50%, and I was out-boxing him for six rounds.
“That’s why I’m back in the game,” said Brook. “I don’t need to fight ever again. I know what I got,” said Brook.
Kell got off to a good start against Spence in their fight in 2017, but once the talented American started landing body shots, he quickly wore Brook down. The injury that Brook suffered in the fight didn’t help matters, but it mostly the body shots from Spence that led to him quitting on one knee in round 11.
It’ll be interesting to see if Brook is about to turn things around with his career now that he supposedly is dedicated, and not cutting corners any longer. Brook will be turning 34 in May, and if he’s going to become a three-time world champion, it’ll have to happen soon.
Hearn is going to have work his magic in a hurry if he wants to get Brook a world title fight before he turns 40. Again, fighting only once a year isn’t going to help Brook get a title shot.
Kell ready to become 3-time world champion in 2020
“I will be a three-time world champion,” said Brook. “Just give me the opportunity this year. Whoever the champion is in front of me, I will beat them. It’s open, but there’s politics involved, but it’s open,” said Brook about the 154-lb being open for him to win world titles.
“Like I said, on February 8, I’m going to do the job, and there’s no time to waste,” said Brook. I want it now more than I ever wanted it. His stable has grown because of me, Carl Froch and Darren Barker,” said Brook about Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing stable being insignificant early on.
“Then people started jumping ship and wanting to be involved in Matchroom, and the next minute champions started coming,” said Brook in taking credit for the start of Matchroom’s success. “Look at his stable now. Indirectly, we’ve made him [Hearn] take over the game. Look at it however you want to look at it, that is the truth,” said Brook.
If Brook is going to win a world title at junior middleweight in 2020, his best bet would be for him to take either of these guys: Patrick Teixeira (WBO) or Jeison Rosario (IBF & WBA). It wouldn’t be a good idea for Brook to challenge the explosive WBC champion Jermell Charlo.
Teixeira is arguably the weakest link among the 154-lb champions, but it might not be easy for Hearn to set-up a fight between him and Brook in 2020. Although the 24-year-old Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) is beatable, the way he looked in destroying Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams in 5 rounds in their fight on January 18, Brook might be over his head against him.
Brook says Hearn will get excited after his performance
“It doesn’t count unless it’s a sensational performance on February the 8th,” said Khan. “I think I’ll get Eddie revved up again and excited, and he’ll definitely want to push me forward to where the big boys are now. If I go through the motions, I will announce my retirement in the ring. And if I look mediocre, I’m obviously not good enough.
“If I look average or if I don’t look like the person that is throwing chocolate brownies, if that’s what people don’t see on the night, then obviously I’ve not got it no more,” Brook said. “Of course, I’ve had a stop start, and I’ve had a full year out. I didn’t look fantastic in my last fight.
“So I need to come back with a bang. I’ve missed it,” said Khan. “I’m looking forward to walking out in front of the lights, and I’m looking forward to it. On February 8th, I’m expecting a sensational performance,” Kell said.
There’s no question that Hearn will get worked up if Brook destroys DeLuca on Saturday night. However, Hearn will likely waste time by getting everyone’s hopes up by banging the drum for a Amir Khan vs. Brook fight. That’s not going to happen, and hopefully, Hearn doesn’t start squawking about that tired fight. Khan obviously wants nothing to do with Brook, so it would be wise for Hearn to talk fights that have a realistic chance of happening.