Crawford fight looking SLIM for Brook in 2020
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is not overly optimistic about Kell Brook taking on WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in 2020. Hearn states that Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) has been out of the ring since last February, and he’s going to need 20 weeks to drop the weight that he’s packed on during the lockdown.
Even if the 34-year-old Brook does lose the weight to get down to 147 for the Crawford clash, they would need a foreign country to pay a site fee to stage it there. Additionally, Hearn says the fight will need a pay-per-view model and a live crowd.
Crawford (36-0 27 KOs) already said it himself that he would need to be paid extra if he’s stuck fighting without a crowd during the lockdown. The only way that Crawford can get paid extra to cover what he’d be losing at the gate is if Hearn stages the Brook fight in a foreign country.
What foreign country would want to step forward to volunteer to stage Crawford-Brook in 2020? It’s doubtful that any of them will want to pay a site fee to host the Crawford vs. Brook fight.
Hearn not optimistic on Brook’s chances
“It’s got legs, but Kell obviously has had a long time out of the ring for his last fight in terms of not training,” said Hearn to Sky Sports Boxing. “As you know with Kell, he’s got to be in the gym training nonstop, especially to make 147 pounds.
“Kell will need 20 weeks when he comes out of this [lockdown]. So any fight with Crawford will need to come at the backend of the year, and that’s probably when Crawford will fight anyway,” said Brook.
Losing enough weight for Brook to make the 147-pound limit is going to be hard enough as it is. But when you look at all the other things that will need to fall in place for the Crawford fight to happen, it just seems implausible.
As far as pay-per-view goes, it’s not the type of fight that will sell in the United States. Brook isn’t a big name, and neither is Crawford. In Crawford’s two previous attempts at fighting on pay-per-view, he brought in poor numbers for his fights against Amir Khan and Viktor Postol. Brook is arguably less famous than Khan is in the U.S, which means it could be a disaster if Crawford faces him.
If they wait until 2021 to try and schedule the Crawf0rd-Brook fight in front of a live crowd, it would need for one of the states to allow live groups. The pandemic is still likely to be around in 2021, which could mean that any fight shown in front of a live audience will have low attendance.
Crawford vs. Brook needs PPV, live gate, broadcaster or site fee
“Everything comes down to the moment to the crowd, and the gate and what can be generated at the gate,” said Hearn in talking about the Crawford vs. Brook fight.
“It’s going to be very difficult to make a big fight without the help of one, a broadcaster or pay-per-view model, and two, a site fee for a country that might want to showcase themselves for a fight,” said Hearn.
In reading Hearn’s body language, when talking about the Crawford-Brook fight, he looked defeated, as if the contest has no chance of happening. It’s just one thing that’ll keep this fight from happening. It’s a witches brew of obstacles that makes this match all but impossible to put together.
In a perfect world, a site will be found to stage it in a foreign country, and there would be a tremendous amount of interest from fans in purchasing it on pay-per-view. In truth, there probably won’t be a fight that will volunteer to stage Crawford’s title defense against Brok, and it won’t sell on PPV.
Crawford doesn’t possess the personality to sell it, and his counter-punching style is hard on the eyes.
What foreign country would be interested in hosting Crawford vs. Brook? It’s not as if Brook is in his prime at age 34. His career has been sinking since his fifth-round stoppage loss to Gennadiy Golovkin in 2016.
Big fights being put on the backburner in 2020
“So everything I’m seeing from Top Rank at the moment is almost like give their guy’s marquee time fights until the crowds come back,” said Hearn. “You’re talking about Teofimo Lopez, maybe taking a warmup fight now. And you’re talking about Shakur Stevenson, the opponent that they announced for him yesterday.
“That’s what I just don’t want to do. I don’t want to come back with one-sided fights and get a load of criticism. I’m bored with that. So I want to come back almost to wipe the slate clean and say, ‘These are the fights for our upcoming return. Are you OK with that? On.” We’ve got to be tough in that short return.
As Hearn points out, the big fights from Top Rank involving fighters like Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko likely won’t happen in 2020.
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