By Charles Brun: Kell Brook will be returning to the ring in June or July against possibly middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. in a catchweight fight. Promoter Ben Shalom wants to match the former IBF welterweight champion Brook (40-3, 28 KOs) in a massive battle, but we’ll see if that’s possible.
Brook is coming off a big sixth-round knockout win over 35-year-old Amir Khan in Manchester, England. That was a fight that Brook had been chasing for over ten years, and he finally got it, albeit when Khan was badly washed up and coming off a three-year layoff.
According to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, the 35-year-old Brook priced himself out to fight against welterweight contender Conor Benn by asking for too much money.
Brook was rumored to have asked for $10 million for the Benn, which is a considerable amount of money to face a non-world champion who may never rise above the contender status.
Benn would be the ideal opponent for Brook because he’s limited, highly hyped, and he’s matched carefully by his promoters.
Brook would have an excellent chance of exposing Benn as a hype job, a carefully crafted creation by his promoter Eddie Hearn.
It would be in Brook’s best interest to revisit the talks for a fight against Benn, if possible because that would seem to be his best option if it’s only money that he’s looking for.
With the 32-year-old Eubank (32-2, 23 KOs), Brook and his team would need to come up with an agreed-upon catchweight.
If the weight is 157 or 158, Brook might as well go all the way up to 160 to fight Eubank Jr because that’s silly. The weight is too close to 160 for it to be worthwhile.
Given Brook’s horrible experience at middleweight from the last time he fought at 160 against Gennadiy Golovkin, it’s a mistake for him to fight Eubank Jr.
With Brook’s history of eye issues from his fights with GGG and Errol Spence Jr, he shouldn’t risk it by facing Eubank Jr at middleweight. Even if the money is good, Brook should focus on fighting either a welterweight or a junior middleweight.
There are a lot of viable contenders that Brook could and should be looking to fight at 147 or 154 that are doable contests.
Options for Brook:
- Keith Thurman
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Conor Benn
- Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis
- Danny Garcia
- Mikey Garcia
- Josh Taylor
- Erickson Lubin
- Tim Tszyu
- Israil Madrimov
- Shawn Porter
“He [Kell] wants to fight in June or July,” said Ben in an interview with Sky Sports News. “It’s going to be a big fight. We’re going to work it out.
“I think Eubank wants the Kell Brook fight. We’ll sit down with Kell, work out the weight, work out if we can get there, and work out if it’s right for Kell Brook.
Brook should let Eubank Jr. fight for a world title at 160 rather than going in that direction. Eubank Jr. has too much of a size and power advantage over Brook for the fight to be worth pursuing.
Kell can do better than fighting Eubank, whose career has been disappointing. Eubank Jr’s career has stalled out after his loss to George Groves in 2018. That was four years ago.
Since the loss to Groves, Eubank Jr. has focused on fighting British-level fighters exclusively and has seemingly stayed away from the talented 160 and 168-pounders.
The notable fighter Eubank Jr. has fought in the last four years is former IBF super-middleweight champion James ‘Chunky’ DeGale in February 2019. Still, he was severely over-the-hill at that stage, dealing with a shoulder problem.
Eubank Jr’s wins since his loss to Groves:
- Liam Williams
- Marcus Morrison
- Wanik Awdijan
- Matt Korobov
- JJ McDonagh
“Chris also potentially has a world title opportunity that could come in June-July. So both of them have options, and I expect to get to the bottom of it in the next week or so,” said Shalom.