By Allan Fox: Shawn Porter is picking Terence Crawford to outbox Kell Brook tonight and win by a decision in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Porter, who lost to Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) in 2014, isn’t ruling out an upset. Brook’s size power and could prove to be too much for Terence.
What former IBF welterweight champion Porter didn’t discuss is the massive step up in class for Crawford. He’s been managed his entire career carefully by his promoters at Top Rank, who have shielded him from the harsh realities of taking on dangerous opposition like Brook, Errol Spence Jr, and Porter.
Now all of a sudden, Top Rank is letting Crawford finally face his first dangerous opponent.
Is it a coincidence that Top Rank boss Bob Arum lets Crawford take a risky fight now that his contract is expiring in 2021? It’s no secret that the 33-year-old Crawford is believed to be on his way out of the company, heading towards PBC.
Porter feels that Brook won’t bring anything to the ring tonight that will give Crawford problems. He suspects that he’ll deal with everything that Brook shows him.
Porter: This is Terence Crawford’s time
“This is one that I don’t have to put a percentage on it. I do feel like this is Terence Crawford’s time,” said Shawn Porter to The Porter Way Podcast Clips. “I feel like this is his fight, and I feel like there’s going to be some challenges throughout the fight.
“And I don’t think it’s just going to be early on. Kell Brook is a consistent fighter; he’s a good boxer.
“Of course, he’s strong and big for the weight class and things like that, but I think Kell is going to bring a conventional boxing style that can give Terence Crawford problems simply because he’s not just going to let Terence have his way.
“Kell is the type of guy that rises to the occasion, but what has he done for me lately?” said Porter. “Everyone remembers the GGG execution, and everyone remembers the Errol Spence slaughtering.
“Both fights were very hard for him, and I think most people wrote him off right after that. Kell is structurally sound, and he stays within that.
“I don’t think there’s anything that Terence is going to get him out of doing, but I don’t think there’s anything that he can present to Terence that is going to give Terence fits,” Porter said.
It sounds like Porter hasn’t watched Brook’s fights with Golovkin and Errol Spence before. He might be getting his information secondhand for what took place in Brook’s fights with GGG and Spence. Both of those fights were competitive until the end when Brook’s eye injuries led to him bowing out.
As I mentioned, Porter lost to Brook in 2014, and you have to wonder whether he’s a little bitter still about coming up short in that fight? If so, then his comments about Brook’s losses to Golovkin and Spence make sense.
If Brook can stay in the fight with Crawford until the later rounds, he will do a lot of damage in the fight.
Basically, Crawford will be fighting a junior middleweight tonight, and that’s not going to be easy for him. This isn’t Jeff Horn, Amir Khan, or Jose Benavidez Jr that Crawford is fighting. He’s facing a quality former world champion who has power, size, and experience.
Crawford won’t receive respect if he bulldozes Kell
“Kell has had some injuries, but Kell is not injured,” Porter continued. “Oftentimes, I see a fighter that has been in the ring too many times, has taken too many punches, and after a few rounds, I know that guy isn’t going to be who he was. I.e., [Yuriorkis] Gamboa.
“I think Gamboa has been through too much, and it catches up to him in every fight that he’s had and every fight that he’s going to have.
“And I don’t think Kell Brook is injured to the point where it’s going to be a certain amount of time goes by and then all of a sudden, everything comes whooshing in on him, and then he’s not the same fighter.
“I think it goes the distance, and Bud wins. My boy, Terence, in every fight, he’s left holding his hands up. ‘What do you want me to do? I put them in front of me, and I beat them. What do you want me to do?’
“He’s still fighting to get the credibility that I personally feel he deserves, but the boxing world hasn’t given him and won’t give him.
“I think this is that fight [against Brook] that is going to give him the credit that he’s looking for, and everybody is wanting to give him but is holding on. However, if he goes out there and bulldozes Kell Brook and it ends in two or three rounds, everyone is going to have reasons why it ended.
“I feel like they’re still not going to give him that respect,” Porter said.
The worst thing that Crawford can do is beat Brook by an early stoppage because boxing fans will say that he beat an over-the-hill fighter.
Since this fight was first made, many fans have been critical of it because Brook hasn’t done anything with his career since his losses to Gennadiy Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr in 2016 and 2017.
Brook can hurt Terence, says Porter
“I think so; I think Kell can hurt Terence,” said Porter. “He stood up to all of it, and pushed me back and hit me and fought me,” Porter said of his fight with Brook from 2014.
“He’s a tough, courageous fighter. The thing I said earlier, if he’s there mentally, he could give Terence Crawford some problems. I don’t remember his speed. It would be either him or Errol,” Porter said when asked if Brook is the strongest guy he’s fought.
“Keith [Thurman], we didn’t get in enough for me to feel Keith. Crawford uses it [the ring] great, and Kell’s thing is his timing with me. Terence Crawford, he’s got to mix it up.
“I’d like to see him try both orthodox and southpaw, and see where [you’re more comfortable].
“In his last fight, he had a little bit of a brain freeze where he was forcing something, and once he saw that it wasn’t giving him what he wanted, he decided to make the change to southpaw and got that guy [Egidijus Kavaliauskas] out of there.
“I don’t expect him to wait in terms of finding that recipe for success. I think he’ll find it soon, and he’ll win a decision. This is a great fight, and boxing needs it,” said Porter.
It’s only obvious that Brook can hurt Crawford. The guys that have hurt Crawford in the past aren’t in Brook’s league power and talent-wise. Brook is a step up for Crawford from the mostly middle of the road opposition he’s been fighting.
If Crawford tries to fight Brook the way he did his last opponent Egidijus Kavaliauskas, he’s going to get pummeled. Crawford likely won’t dare to punch with Brook because he doesn’t have the chin for that type of a fight.
If Crawford wants to become a star, he needs to go to war with his opponents and not win in a boring way like we’ve seen from him in the past.