Crawford vs. Brook: What can Terence prove against Kell?
By Matt Lieberman: WBO 147-pound champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is in a tough position with his next defense against Kell Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) on November 14th at a still to be determined venue in the United States.
Brook, 34, has already been beaten by Crawford’s nemesis Errol Spence Jr three years ago when the British fighter was at his career height.
Three years later, Crawford is finally getting around to facing Brook, who only rarely fights nowadays.
Brook is unquestionably the first real fighter for Crawford since he moved up to 147 in 2018. That’s why this is a match that could go wrong for Crawford if he’s not a true welterweight.
Brook is big for the 147-pound division, and Crawford will be facing the best opponent of his career.
Crawford won’t receive credit for beating Kell
This means that Crawford will need not only to beat Brook, which won’t be easy, but he’ll also need to do a better job than what Spence did with his eleventh round knockout in May 2017. But here’s the kicker: Even if Crawford does TKO Kell more efficiently than Errol did three years ago, he won’t receive credit from many boxing fans.
Top Rank has put Crawford in a situation where no matter what he does against Brook, he’s going to be skewered by the boxing public.
If Crawford struggles to win, it’ll reinforce his critic’s opinions of him being a product of soft match-making.
The kind of power and toughness that Brook brings to the table, he could make it very hard for Crawford, who has never faced anyone like him at 147. Crawford’s opposition at welterweight has been pedestrian level fighters with limited talent.
Terence’s opponents since moving to 147:
- Jeff Horn
- Amir Khan
- Jose Benavidez Jr
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
Kavaliauskas is perhaps the best of the bunch Crawford has faced at welterweight, but he’s a fighter who arguably deserved a loss in his previous fight against Ray Robinson. Egidijus was given a controversial 10 round draw, but most boxing fans had Robinson winning
What does Crawford prove against Brook?
“Terence Crawford will be entering the ring next month,” said Chris Mannix at DAZN. “According to Bob Arum, Crawford will face Kell Brook on November 14th. Crawford currently sits at 36 and ‘0’ and hasn’t fought since December of 2019. What can Crawford prove in a fight against Brook?”
“Bud Crawford can prove in a terrible year that we’re having, especially for boxing, that he can have a meaningful title defense against a former champion that has only been stopped by two top fighters in Gennadiy Golovkin and Errol Spence,” said Sergio Mora.
“So if Crawford can be the third elite name on that list to stop Brook, he can go into 2021 and focus on the fight that he really wants, the mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence.”
“It’s not a terrible fight to me,” said Mannix on the Crawford vs. Brook fight. “Brook has rebounded from those back to back losses, and he’s won three straight. Most recently, the destruction of Mark DeLuca.”
Brook is a good opponent for Crawford, but he just won’t get credit no matter what he does. We’ll be able to see ho Crawford stands up against a welterweight with some ability, which we haven’t seen as of yet.
If Brook is 90% of what he was three to five years ago, he has an excellent chance of unseating Crawford. That’s not a knock on ‘Bud,’ but it’s more of a reality check that he’s not looked great since moving up to 147.
Crawford struggled against Amir Khan before taking him out in what looked like a move of frustration with his low-blow stoppages on the 6th in April 2018. Jeff Horn was too mediocre to show us whether Crawford was a for the 147lb division.
Jose Benavdez Jr was just a fringe-level guy who clearly had no business challenging Crawford for a world title at 147. Benavidez’s main thing was the same company promoted him as Crawford with him being signed to Top Rank.
Apart from that, Benavidez was a poor challenger, and that fight told us nothing about Crawford.
Will Kell be weight-drained at 147?
“He’s a good fighter, a former champion. My question is, can Brook make 147 pounds, and if he can, what kind of condition will he be in,” said Mannix?
“He went all the way up to middleweight to fight Gennadiy Golovkin, and then he shrank back down to welterweight to fight Errol Spence and then swore he would never come back down there again,” said Mannix of Brook.
“One of the issues that came up in negotiations between Amir Khan and Kell Brook was, ‘what weight would it be at?’ Khan wanted to fight at 147, but Brook didn’t want to go there.
“I think it’s interesting that Brook is willing to go to 147 to fight Terence Crawford. On paper, it’s good names. Crawford will have the chance to beat two of the biggest names in British boxing in Amir Khan and Kell Brook.
“I just wonder if Kell Brook has anything in the tank when he’s fighting at welterweight?”
“I don’t think it’ll be a big problem for Brook to get down to welterweight because he’s not a tall fighter,” said Mora. “He is a muscular fighter.
“I think he should lay off the weights a little bit because he is a little slow, and that’s what happens when fighters fluctuate in weight. When they go from 147 and jump all the way to middleweight, they put too much muscle on.
“When they have to shrink back down, it’s a problem. Considering that Brook isn’t a tall fighter, if he lays off the weights, I think he’ll be fine at 147.”
There’s a perfect chance that Brook will b weight-drained from his efforts at getting down to 147 for the Crawford fight. You have to remember that Brook hasn’t fought at 147 in three years since 2017.
The last time Brook fought at welterweight was against Spence three years ago, and he was weight drained for that fight. In 2018, Brook weighed in at 150 lbs for his fight against Michael Zerafa, and he looked less than 100% for the contest.
Porter, Taylor & Ramirez options for Crawford
“I’m starting to see a path for Crawford to get some exciting fights,” said Mannix. “This Brook fight, it’s not a bad save for a pandemic. It’ll probably do a decent rating on television.
“If he [Crawford can get one of the PBC fighters into the ring in the first quarter of next year, that would be huge. It doesn’t have to be Errol Spence.
“We’d love to see Errol Spence, but if that doesn’t happen, then whatever. But if it’s Shawn Porter or somebody else…and if he could fight in the first quarter of next year, and then go into the fall of 2021 against maybe the winner of Josh Taylor against Jose Ramirez, you could get some momentum for Terence Crawford.
“He really hasn’t had much in the last few years.”
“That’s exactly what we all got to look forward to in 2021, but for right now, let’s get past this miserable year,” said Mora. “If he [Crawford] can get a defense against a solid name against Kell Brook, let’s concentrate on the future later.”
Shawn Porter was anoption for Crawford in 2020, but he chose instead to take the Brook fight. You can understand why. Porter is a much more advanced fighter than anyone Crawford has ver fought before, and it’s obvious why he chose not to fight him.
Brook is the safer choice for Crawford, but not someone you can say for certain that he beats on November 14th.
It’s more likely that Top Rank will set-up a fight between Crawford and Jose Ramirez or Josh Taylor in 2021 as they promote both of those fighters. Crawford will have problems with Taylor if he chooses to fight him, but Porter would be a nightmare for him.
More Boxing News:
- ESPN ranks Terence Crawford #1 pound-for-pound, above Errol Spence
- Hearn livid, reacts to Kell Brook’s comments
- Kell Brook – The Last Dance!
- Crawford vs. Brook on Premier Sports in UK on Nov.14th
- UK BROADCAST DETAILS: Crawford-Brook to Air LIVE on Premier Sports 1