By Chris Williams: Kell Brook says he’s 100% certain that he will hurt WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford when the two fight in November.
Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) is not worried at all about Crawford’s power, as he’s been in with much bigger punchers than him in Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr.
The talented Kell Brook has been more willing to take chances with his career than Crawford.
Kell wants to put Crawford in his place and expose the Top Rank-promoted fighter in the process. Although Crawford is ranked high on the pound-for-pound lists by the ultra-hardcore boxing fans, the reality is his resume is barren of talent.
You hate to say it, but Crawford has beaten a bunch of nobodies for the last 12 years, and he’s not proven himself to be deserving of all the praise he’s received.
Those two have power on a much more advanced level than the former lightweight champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs). Brook notes that Crawford wasn’t able to knock out fellow Brit Ricky Burns in their fight in 2014, and he views that as s sign that he’s not a big puncher.
Brook, 34, believes that he’s going to hurt Crawford by sticking around in the fight and having a lot of chances to land his shots on him. Kell is the naturally more prominent and more powerful fighter of the two, and he’s far better opposition.
Crawford is turning 33 next week on September 28th, and he still hasn’t cut his teeth on his first high-quality opponent. That’s more than a little disturbing, given that Crawford has been in the professional ranks for 12 years since 2008. The best guy Crawford has fought is the much smaller 5’5″ Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014.
Kell ready to rock against Crawford
“I think because I’ve been in with Spence and everyone’s talking about Spence and Crawford now,” said Brook to Max On Boxing when asked why he deserves to be in with Terence. “It’s the perfect fight. I’m a free agent, I’m ready to rock and roll, and I’m in great shape, and it’s a fantastic fight for the fans, this one.
“Kell, to me, you’re like from the files, ‘no good deed goes unpunished,'” said Kax Kellerman. “You’re undefeated; you’re a big welterweight. You take on Shawn Porter at a time when he was very hot.
“I thought you decisively won that fight. If you beat him, you beat him by the skin of your teeth, but I thought at the end of that fight, ‘Yep, Kell brook won that fight.’ You got the win, and then you moved up two divisions.”
The power alone that Brook has makes him a very, very formidable opponent for Crawford, and that’s just one area. Brook has these things going for him against Terence:
- Superior experience
- More rugged
- Bigger frame – a true welterweight/junior middleweight
- Better jab
- A lot more entertaining to watch
Crawford can be fun to watch at times, but he’s essentially a counter puncher with his DNA, and those guys are mostly dull to watch. In contrast, Brook comes forward and attacks his opponents. He’s not like Crawford, waiting to counter his opponents.
Crawford likes to move around when attacked, and he won’t stand and fight the way Brook does. That’s another checkmark against him. Last and certainly not least, Brook doesn’t waste time changing stances 24/7 during his fights the way that Crawford does. Brook knows what works for him, and he stays in the orthodox perspective to overpower his opponents.
Brook’s career derailed after losses to GGG & Spence
“Not one division, two divisions because you were the only name fighter that had the guts to get in the ring with GGG [Gennadiy Golovkin] at the time,” said Max about Brook moving up to 160 for the GGG clash. “I mean, Andre Ward did, but GGG didn’t want him, and he’d have to move up, right?
“I’m talking about a middleweight or below. You gave GGG a great fight for five rounds, wound up with, and eventually succumbed to the naturally bigger man. I thought after that, ‘Kell Brook, take a confidence fight. Take a build yourself up back fight,’ but no, you get back in the ring, drop two divisions down.
“As a big welterweight, I’m sure that’s not easy, and you get back in with Errol Spence. So it’s like, ‘This guy will fight the biggest name, baddest dudes in front of him, but you lose that fight too, and that seemed to derail your career for a while.
“You’ve had some wins then. [Mark] DeLuca had a regional belt. He’s not a bad fighter, but you haven’t been in with world beaters since then. So I want to go back to the GGG, Errol Spence fights.
“Why did you decide to get right back in it after a courageous loss that you had no business winning two divisions above your weight class against GGG? Why get right back in with Spence?” said Kellerman.
Brook spent too much time licking his wounds after he suffered a second eye injury during his clash with Errol Spence in 2017.
That was a mistake on Brook’s part, as he should have gotten right back into the thick of things after taking a tune-up. Instead of taking one warm-up bout, Brook has had three, and those fights consumed the last three years of his career.
Brook should have fought twice as many fights in the last three years, but he failed to do that. As a result, he’s hurt his career with his inactivity and inferior tune-up level opposition that he’s faced.
Kell’s fights since losing to Spence:
- Sergey Rabchenko
- Michael Zerafa
- Mark DeLuca
Forced to take risky fights
“The simple reason is it took all my career [to get the big fights,” Brook said. “The Devin Alexander, being mandatory and people pulling out.
“It was so much of a struggle to get to my shot to get my shot. It meant so much to me. There was no way, even fighting Golovkin, that I would give that tile up. They tried paying me to give the [IBF welterweight] title up.
“I’ve got too much pride, and I’m a big welterweight as it is. I went up two weight divisions, and then I had to boil myself back down in a short period of time to come back down to fight the new up and coming Errol Spence back at welterweight.
“It took a lot out of my body, and you saw in the fight that I started to. The eye didn’t help. I’m at a fantastic weight, and I’ve got nine weeks to go [before November 14th to challenger Crawford].
“I’ve grown wiser as I’ve gotten older. Before, when I was younger, I’d train, and I wouldn’t be resting. Now I’m getting older, I’ll train, and I’m looking after myself more because I’m no spring chicken anymore.
“So we need to have the rest to make sure that we’re preparing and go down the next day in the gym,” said Brook.
For some reason, Brook seemed obsessed with getting a fight against Amir Khan, who was a guy that had a large following in the UK for many years.
When Brook failed to get a match against Khan and some of the other popular welterweights in 2016, he made the hasty move of going up to 160 to challenge middleweight champion Golovkin.
Brook didn’t need to do that. He could have stayed at 147 and defended his IBF title against Spence or Shawn Porter.
Kell wants to prove everyone wrong
“The question I have is, when you beat a guy like Shawn Porter, you have to see yourself as a champion,” said Kellerman. A lot of the best fighters in boxing, what separates them is their self-view.
“They see themselves as the protagonist as the central character in a story as a star. I think you have to have that to win a fight against someone like Shawn Porter.
“Then you accept a challenge for Golovkin, and that’s amazing. Thank you for doing that, as a boxing fan. Then you got right back in with Spence, but hearing you talk about Terence Crawford now, you claim that you made earlier is, ‘Well, we saw how I did against Spence, and everyone is talking about Spence-Crawford. Let’s see how I do against Crawford.’
“To me, that doesn’t sound like the same guy who saw himself as the star. Why should I think you can beat Terence Crawford?” said Kellerman to Brook.
“Listen, you know boxing,” said Kell. “Look at what Tyson Fury did. Everybody wrote him off. We’ve seen this time and time again in boxing, and don’t get me wrong.”
The former IBF welterweight champion Brook wants to how the boxing world how wrong they are by saying that he’s over-the-hill. One way for Brook to do that is by beating the undefeated Crawford.
Suppose Brook beats Crawford, what a shocker that’ll be, and it’ll be a tremendous blow to Top Rank. They’ve been trying with no luck to turn Crawford into a star all these years, and those efforts would be wasted in one night with Brook beating him.
Brook: I can hurt Terence Crawford
“Terence Crawford is a hell of a fighter. He deserves to be top three pound-for-pound, but I know my ability, and I know what I can do. As I said, I would fight Terence Crawford in his backyard. Inside that squared circle is home for me.
“It doesn’t matter where the fight is. I’ve got the self-belief, I’m very strong, and I know what I can do in there. He boxed a guy, Ricky Burns, from England, that he couldn’t stop. He’s obviously grown and gotten a lot better, but believe you me, you’ll know when you see the fight, I can definitely hurt this guy 100%,” Brook said of Crawford.
“This is the biggest test. This is the fight that the fans need at this time with what’s going on in the world,” Brook added.
Brook has the power to do a number on Crawford and get him out of there quickly on November 14th. If Crawford stands and fights Brook, we could see the Nebraska native knocked out.
If Crawford runs from Brook as he did against Viktor Postol, it’s going to look bad, and the boxing public will in a sleep-inducing night. But there’s no question that Brook can hurt Crawford, and hurt him badly.
Crawford isn’t superman in the chin department. He’s an average fighter in terms of his ability to take punishment. As we observed in Crawford’s last fight against Egidijus Kavaliauskas, he can be hurt multiple times in his bouts.
Brook will need to chase Crawford down to finish him if he hurts him the way that ‘Mean Machine’ repeatedly did. If the little known Kavaliauskas had more talent, he would have knocked Crawford out last December after dropping him in the fifth round.
The Special One ready for Terence
“Old boxing heads will remember in the 1980s a welterweight named Donald Curry, said, Kellerman. “He was an American welterweight, who unified the championships against Milton McCrory.
“He was considered by some to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, while Marvin Hagler was still on top, and Donald Curry, after the McCrory fight, his defense started to look a little like it was slipping.
“Then he was upset by an Englishman, Lloyd Honeyghan, in a massive upset. Do you see when you look at Crawford, another undefeated American welterweight on the top of many top pound-for-pound lists, including on my by the way, and do you see any slippage in him that makes you think defensively he’s vulnerable?” said Kellerman.
“Listen, I’m 34, and he’s 32 himself, you know?” said Brook about Crawford. “People say I’m past it. I’ve never been in any grueling hard fights.
“I’ve been looking after myself for a long time. That’s why I’m in shape, and I’ve given myself the opportunity to have these weeks where I’m learning new things. It’s not just about making weight anymore.
“It’s about learning things in the gym and having that self-belief and that focus. Look what I did with Errol Spence and a drained Kell Brook in there. You’re going to see the best version of me.
“You’re going to see me down there. You know, growing up, I always dreamed of having a Saturday night with Cindy Crawford in the States.
“I’ll have to settle for Terence Crawford. Listen, I’m ready. You’ll know I’m ready, and you now I always come and bring it,” said Kell Brook.
Hopefully, Crawford will stay in the pocket and make a fight of it against Brook, because it’ll be boring if he stays on the move for 12 rounds, just trying to win an ugly decision.
Crawford-Brook close to being done
“Yeah, I don’t hear you making excuses,” said Kellerman to Kell. “When you say you now know how to make the weight, so you don’t have to concentrate on that. That sounds legitimate to me because, to me, you’re credible.
“When I say, no good deed goes unpunished. You could have built yourself carefully and taken easier fights and maybe made more money. A lot of the lessons boxers learn is don’t take risks, and they could use you as a cautionary tale.
‘Look, this dude took risks, and now he’s underrated, and now he didn’t maybe get paid over the last couple of years the way he should have done it. But you’re willing to go right back in there against the best, and whether or not that’s always the wisest decision as a fan, my hats off to you.
“How close is this deal [with Crawford] being made to your understanding to seeing you in the ring with Terence Crawford next?” asked Kellerman to Kell.
“It’s very close,” said Brook about his fight with Crawford. “We’ve agreed to the date, and we’ve agreed to the venue. We’re prizefighters.
“All we need to do is settle the money out. I’ll do it live on air, and I’m ready to sign. I’m ready to go. ESPN, I’m ready to fly. You know that. Let’s do it,” said Brook.
“Whether or not your career approach has been the wisest, it has certainly been very fan-friendly, and in my eyes, you’re obviously a top fighter and a worthy opponent to get a crack at the top,” said Kellerman to Brook.
Top Rank reportedly offered Brook $1.5 million for the initial offer to challenge Crawford, but that’s since gone up to $2 million. Even that amount is chicken feed compared to what some fighters are making.
Brook said he wanted $4 million to face Crawford, which is what Amir Khan received in 2019 to meet him.