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Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook on Nov.14 in Las Vegas, NV

Image: Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook on Nov.14 in Las Vegas, NV

By Chris Williams: Kell Brook will be taking on WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford for his title next month on November 14 on ESPN and ESPN reports. After months of talk, the Crawford-Brook fight was finally announced last Saturday night in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Top Rank is promoting the shot.

It’s too bad the Crawford vs. Brook fight wasn’t announced on a different date, as the attention on the news was drowned out entirely by Teofimo Lopez’s upset victory over Vasily Lomachenko.

The former IBF welterweight champion Brook will be looking to pick up his fourth consecutive win since losing his title to Errol Spence Jr three years ago in an 11th round knockout loss in May 2017.

Kell looking to upset Crawford

Image: Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook on Nov.14 in Las Vegas, NV

Brook, 34, has only lost twice in his career, and that was a result of eye injuries suffered in his fights against Gennady Golovkin and Spence. If not for the injuries, who knows who would have won those fights. Brook was clearly getting the better of GGG, even after he suffered a fractured orbital bone in round two.

If Brook is able to get back to the form that he had pre-Golovkin fight, he could beat Crawford on November. Both guys are the same age more or less with Crawford 33 and Brook 34.

While some boxing fans might see a Brook win over Crawford as an upset, it wouldn’t be. If you remember how good Brook was before he ran into Golovkin, he was arguably the best welterweight in the division.

The eye injuries and the subsequent time off that Brook have had in the last four years; it’s removed him from the limelight. We don’t know how good Brook is right now because he hasn’t had a serious fight since his loss to Spence in 2017.

You can’t say that Brook has a lot of mileage on him because he’s only had two fights against A-level opposition, and he had to give up the ship due to his eye problems. The rest of the guys Brook has fought during his career, he’s wiped out and dominated.

The action kicks off at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. Undercard fights begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

Arum putting Crawford-Brook on regular ESPN

Image: Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook on Nov.14 in Las Vegas, NV

Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) got his wish to fight Crawford in Las Vegas rather than in Bud’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Kell said he had dreamed of fighting in Las Vegas, and now he’s got his wish. Unfortunately for Brook, the nightlife won’t be the same as it was before the pandemic, but at least he’s getting his wish.

“Kell Brook is one of the elite fighters in the world. He has faced so many of the top boxers,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

“He is a real test for pound-for-pound great Terence Crawford. This is another premium fight that will be available to boxing fans for no extra charge live on ESPN.”

Brook’s tricky part is for him to make the 147-lb limit without being weight drained and too weak to fight. Brook fights at 154, and he hasn’t had a match at 147 since 2017. It’s unclear why Top Rank is pooling from the 154-lb division to find opponents for Crawford.

I mean, if Crawford is going to be fighting junior middleweights, it would be better if he fought them at 154. It’s not entirely fair to drag Brook down seven pounds to fight in a weight class that he was drained at the last time he fought.

Will Brook be weight drained?

Image: Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook on Nov.14 in Las Vegas, NV

If Brook was weight drained for the Spence fight, how would he be any better off three years later fighting Crawford? It doesn’t make sense. Brook looked weakened at 150 for his match against Michael Zerafa in 2018.  At the weigh-in, Brook looked depleted with his eyes sunken in and his body emaciated.

“You gonna make weight?” Crawford asked Brook.
“You’re running out of opponents,” Brook responded. “I’m here.”

“Terence isn’t too much younger than me. They know that I’ve never ducked a challenge, and they should know that I’ve never failed to make 147 on the scales,” said Brook.

There’s little doubt that Brook will make weight for the fight. He knows how to make weight, and he’s a professional when it comes to training. With that said, what e don’t want to see if Brook too weak to fight and getting worked over because he’s lost too much weight.

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It’s too bad Brook didn’t take a tune-up at 147 so that boxing fans could get a chance to see how well he handles making the 147 lb limit and performing. The way things are now, the fans only have Brook’s fight against Spence to go on by how he’ll perform after he makes weight for the Crawford fight.

Terence coming off a long layoff

Image: Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook on Nov.14 in Las Vegas, NV

Crawford will be coming off of a long 11-month layoff when he steps in the ring with Brook on November 14th, and we don’t know how he’ll perform. Crawford has been out of the ring, and he’s still not fought anyone good yet since his move up to 147.

He’s been fighting lower-level contenders in the 147-lb rankings and doing the job on them. But there’s a huge difference between Crawford beating fodder-level fighters and him trying to defeat a talented guy like Brook, who can both punch and box.

Brook is the equivalent of a Sherman tank with the way he walks down his opposition and wipes them out.

In Crawford’s last fight, he defeated fellow Top Rank fighter Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas last December. Kavaliauskas had been held to a draw in his previous fight against Ray Robinson last year, and he appeared to lose that one.

Top Rank should have matched Crawford against Robinson instead, but he’s not with their promotional team. Robinson would have given Crawford a lot of problems with his boxing skills and his busy work rate.

Can Terence handle a talent like Brook?

Image: Terence Crawford defends against Kell Brook on Nov.14 in Las Vegas, NV

You just don’t know what you’re going to get with Crawford because he’s still yet to fight a good opponent at 147. When Crawford fought at 140, he only fought one good fighter in Viktor Postol, and he had problems beating him.

That fight took place four years ago in 2016, and Crawford isn’t the same guy now. He’s gotten older, and he’s now near his mid-30s. Going up against a slugger like Brook could result in Crawford suffering his first career defeat, which would be a major blow to Arum.

He already saw Lomachenko, a fighter he often compared to Muhammad Ali, lose last Saturday night. Arum has compared Crawford to Sugar Ray Leonard in the past, which could be a bad omen that he’s going to lose too.

Hopefully, Arum hasn’t jinxed Crawford with his Leonard comparison because he could be Top Rank’s second mini star losing within a month of each other.

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Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney rematch

On the co-feature bout, WBA ‘regular’ super flyweight champion Joshua Franco will be defending against Andrew Moloney in a rematch of their razor-close fight last June in Las Vegas. Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs) pulled out the victory by scoring a crucial knockdown in the 11th round.

The scores were 114-113, 115-112, and 114-113. It’ll be interesting to see if Moloney can avenge his loss and capture the WBA 115-lb belt. If not, then it’s time to move on. It could be that the young 24-year-old Franco has the easy to hit Moloney’s number.

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