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Macklin on Brook’s loss to Crawford: It smelled like a cash-out fight

Image: Macklin on Brook's loss to Crawford: It smelled like a cash-out fight

By Jeff Aronow: Matthew Macklin suspects that Kell Brook’s motive behind him challenging WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford last Saturday night as for him to “cash-out” before retiring from boxing.

‘Mack-The-Knife’ Macklin suspects that Brook (39-3, 27 KOs) was looking to make as much money as possible before getting out of the sport.

Brook didn’t use his long-time trainer Dominic Ingle or his old promoter Eddie Hearn for the Crawford fight in what some feel was a cost-cutting move. Brook arranged the fight with Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank and used a different trainer.

Kell, 34, lasted four rounds in losing to Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) by a technical knockout in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While Brook looked ripped like a bodybuilder, Macklin says it doesn’t mean he was in fighting shape. He looked good physically, but his sharpness and reflexes weren’t the same as when he was younger.

Brook wanted to cash-out against Crawford

“Yeah, I thought he’d get stuck, but I thought it would be later on,” said Macklin about Brook losing to Crawford. “I thought Kell’s motives for the fight. He didn’t train with Dominic Ingle.

“How old is Kell now? 34? He turned pro at 18, and he’s had a long career, hard career. He’s made plenty of money, and he’s become a world champion. At this stage, what’s he chasing?

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“It seemed to me that he’s been pretty inactive, and he’s been a bit hot and cold the last couple of years. I thought he’d done the deal [with Crawford] himself with Top Rank.

“It just seemed like he was trying to get as much money as possible and cash out. That doesn’t mean he didn’t train hard and give it his best.

“He thought, ‘Look, I’ll go and roll the dice and give you what I got. If I win, great. If I lose, well, you know, I got a lot of money, and I go against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world,'” said Macklin about his belief that Brook gambled with a cash-out fight against Crawford.

It’s easy to conclude that Brook cashed-out against the 33-year-old Crawford because he hadn’t fought a quality fighter in three years leading up to the fight.

Brook had fought a good opponent in his loss to Errol Spence Jr in 2017. Brook’s loss to Spence and his prior one to Gennadiy Golovkin appears to have ripped away his ambition to face world-caliber opposition.

Macklin expects Kell to retire unless he fights Khan

“I look fantastic now if I took my top off. I look in better shape now than when I was fighting,” Macklin said when told that Brook looked ripped to shreds for last Friday’s weigh-in.

Image: Macklin on Brook's loss to Crawford: It smelled like a cash-out fight

“What does it matter? It’s aesthetic. When you’re fighting, it’s not how you look aesthetically. Kell looked a million dollars physically, but you’re not a bodybuilder.

“You’re not standing on a stage and posing. You’ve got to fight 12 hard rounds. Even with that, it’s the reflexes, the anticipation, the sharpness. I know he didn’t train with Dominic Ingle.

“I think Kell was trying to get as much money in his last fight and seen it pretty much as his last fight. That’s not to say that he didn’t go in to try and win the fight, but he knew, ‘I’m up against it here. I’m going to roll the dice, and if I lose, I’m going to get as much money as I can, and I’m going to go out at the top.’

“I don’t see him boxing again unless it’s the Khan fight, but as you say, that’s so far past its sell-by date,” said Macklin about Brook likely never fighting again. “But that probably still sells; people would still buy it.

“It wouldn’t generate what it would have done, but there would be intrigue there, and I think it would still sell.

“They’re both big names. That would be a fight for money. I don’t see Kell, other than the Khan fight, I don’t see him fighting again,” said Macklin.

Brook might retire unless he gets an offer for a fight with Khan or another well-paying bout.

Crawford didn’t beat the prime Brook

“He didn’t beat the Kell Brook that beat Shawn Porter, and that’s timing and crossroads,” Macklin continued. “One guy is on the up [Crawford], and one guy [Brook] is on the down.

“I’d have loved to have seen that fight a few years back before Kell fought Golovkin. He had that loss to Golovkin and had the eye damage, and then he goes and gets back down to 147 and fights Errol Spence.

Image: Macklin on Brook's loss to Crawford: It smelled like a cash-out fight

“He gets stopped again and another eye injury. Something breaks inside of you, I think. I don’t know if he can come back from that and get that confidence and self-belief or a bit of an invincibility factor about yourself.

“Whatever you want to call it. There’s something inside you internally that breaks. You second-guess and hesitate a little bit. You’re a little bit gunshy, and you’re not as fearless.

That happens, and then you’re older and longer periods of inactivity. Then you’re not chasing dreams, and then your decision-making is quite often about money as well.

“It’s not just boxing; it’s professional boxing. It is your job, and it is your career, and you’ve got to get as much as you can,” Macklin said.

Brook was a better fighter when he took on Gennadiy Golovkin in 2016, but that makes sense because he was younger. Crawford isn’t the same guy he once was either, and we saw that with the way he had problems with Brook.

Kell wasn’t the same after losing to Golovkin and Spence

“I think early doors, you’re just chasing dreams and glory,” said Macklin. “You realize that money is secondary. I think where Kell has been at the last few years, I think money has been the main focus.

And I think those two loses back to back against Errol Spence and Golovkin; he was never going to go back to being the same fighter after that. Now the stoppage defeat to Terence Crawford.

“I don’t think he boxes again. But I’ve got to say what a fantastic career. At his absolute best, he was such a joy to watch, a fantastic fighter, super talented,” said Macklin.

Ideally, Brook will get the Amir Khan, and the two of them will be able to fight on pay-per-view before they both retire. That would be a storybook ending to both of their careers, but it’s not likely to happen.

Khan doesn’t want that fight, even though it’s his last hope for a well-paying match at this point in his career.

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