Brook: ‘I’m the guy to beat Crawford’
By Jim Maltzman: Kell Brook is ready to come back down to 147 and deal Terence Crawford’s first career defeat if his promoter Bob Arum will give him the opportunity. Despite Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) not having fought at 147 since 2017, he believes he can make weight, and beat WBO welterweight champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs).
Brook even believes that Arum would agree to stage the Crawford fight in his hometown in Sheffield, England at Bramhall Lane Football Ground. You can’t rule out Arum agreeing to that idea because Crawford hasn’t been able to become a star in the States. Perhaps Arum could turn Crawford into a star in the UK if he were to begin staging his fights in that country starting with Brook.
So confident Brook is that he can beat Crawford that he walked up and talked to his promoter Arum, and told him that he’s the one that can beat him. Arum needs quality opponents for Crawford in the worst way, as he has a failure to launch when it comes to his career.
Winning world titles in 3 divisions not difficult as it used to be
Crawford has won world titles in three divisions, but he’s still not achieved stardom, thanks in part to the level of opposition he’s had. What Crawford has shown during his career is that it’s possible to become a three-division world champion without ever fighting anyone notable.
That’s the chief reason why Brook has a better than average shot at beating Crawford. Brook would be such a HUGE upgrade to the fodder that Arum has been feeding Crawford over the years.
Crawford has beaten these fighters to win his three division titles:
- Ricky Burns – WBO 135
- Dierry Jean – WBO 140
- Viktor Postol – WBC 140
- Julius Indongo – IBF/WBA 140
- Jeff Horn – WBO 147
Brook, even as faded as he is, would beat the aforementioned fighters that Crawford defeated to become a three-division world champion.
“I’m the guy to beat Crawford,” said Brook to skysports.com in recalling what he said to Arum when he spoke to him in Las Vegas.
Can Brook make 147?
Brook believes he can work hard enough to get back down to 147 without being drained, but we’ll have to see if that’s the reality. In Brook’s last fight at 147 against Errol Spence Jr. in 2017, he complained about how difficult it was to make weight. The payday that Brook will get in fighting Crawford may make it worth the trouble for him to take the weight off.
Brook isn’t in the position to get another big money fight, thanks to his inactivity and poor opposition since 2018. Kell has fought only three times in the last three years against Siarhei Rabchanka, Michael Zerafa, and Mark DeLuca. All of those fights were at 154.
Had Brook stayed active by fighting 2 to 3 times per year since 2018, he most probably would have gotten another big payday fight against a big name or one of the world champions. He chose to take it easy and waste time calling out Amir Khan, who appears to have no desire whatsoever in fighting him.
Kell needs a payday fight
Brook is now behind the eightball, and no longer popular enough to get the big fights that he wants. As such, if Brook can get a nice payday against Crawford, it will prove worth it, even if he loses badly.
Again, it’s hard to know if Crawford will beat Brook or not because he’s spent 12 years fighting guys like Dierry Jean, John Molina and Jeff Horn instead of good fighters. All we know is Crawford has beaten a lot of fighters that Brook and many other welterweights would have an easy time beating as well.
Brook has made it clear in the media that he’s wanted a fight against Crawford for the last couple of years. Surprisingly, Arum hasn’t taken Brook up on his offer all this time despite the complete absence of opponents for Crawford. In the last two years, Arum has matched Crawford against these fighters:
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Amir Khan
- Jose Benavidez Jr.
- Jeff Horn
Crawford is wasting his prime
With the easy money that Crawford has been making off of the soft opposition Top Rank has been putting him in with, he’s not complained. Why would he? That could be one reason why Crawford hasn’t been chomping at the bit to fight Brook or Shawn Porter. These guys would present a considerable risk to Crawford, and it wouldn’t be the same slam dunk victory that we’ve seen from him in the past.
Crawford doesn’t have much to show for what he accomplished in 2019 with his wins over Khan and Kavaliauskas. Those were two gimmes that Top Rank set Crawford up with, and they did nothing to increase his popularity. That’s the huge price that Crawford and Top Rank have paid with the matchmaking that’s been done for him.
Yes, Crawford is winning his fights, but he’s doing it against opposition that the casual and hardcore boxing fan aren’t impressed with. Boxing has changed a lot over the years. In the past, promoters could impress the casual fans by matching their fighters against gawdawful opponents, and fans would get excited after seeing them destroy these guys. Nowadays, fans understand when they’re seeing a mismatch, and they’re not fooled like they used to.
Terence has few options for important fights
While Crawford might not be eager to fight a dangerous former world champion like Brook, he needs to do so. The PBC welterweights – Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Manny Pacquiao, and Shawn Porter – aren’t fighting him. It’s not going to do much for Crawford if he fights Mikael Zewski, Sergey Lipinets or Luther Clay.
Crawford has already had too many fights against over-matched obscure fighters, and he’s now reached the point where he’s getting older. He can’t continue to fight fodder and expect to become a star by gravity as if he’ll be transformed passively into a superstar. It doesn’t work that way nowadays, which is why it’s important that he take the fight with Brook.
If Brook is 80% of what he once was, he’ll have a good shot at beating Crawford, as long as face holds together. Brook has suffered two bad eye injuries in the past in his fights against Gennadiy Golovkin and Spence.
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