In the wake of Kell Brook’s defeat to Errol Spence Jr a raft of big questions have arisen amongst boxing fans and one of the big questions doing the rounds is whether or not Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn matched his former welterweight champion smartly over his last two fights.
Firstly we know Errol Spence Jr was a mandatory challenger so the only choice Brook had was to defend his IBF belt or to vacate the title and move to the 154lbs light middleweight division. This fight was a cracking fight between two elite fighters and the atmosphere at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium was brilliant.
Despite Hearn outlining that he would prefer to see his charge vacate his belt and move to 154lbs, there is no reason he should have swerved a fight with Errol Spence Jr. Physically they both entered the ring at a similar weight and both cut a lot of pounds to make 147. The fight was very evenly contested for the most part too.
So the real question is whether Brook was damaged by jumping up two weight divisions in his previous bout when fighting Gennady Golovkin.
There were no signs to suggest Kell was any less of a fighter over the first half of this fight against Spence Jr than he was pre-Golovkin and the fact that many astute onlookers had him winning the fight on the cards at least for the first half of the fight is evidence of that. In that respect the Golovkin fight was not a damaging blow for him.
However there are many that believe that matching him in with Golovkin at middleweight was a bad mistake. Maybe if he hadn’t taken the loss to Golovkin and broken his eye socket he would have continued on for the last two rounds against Spence Jr with the unwilting fight of an undefeated champion. Mentally he may have been prepared to fight on.
In hindsite more harm than good was done by putting Kell in with Golovkin. There was no real calling for Brook to fight Golovkin and he jumped up two weight divisions to take that fight. It was just too much of an ask. In reality Gennady was just too big and too strong for him up at middleweight.
A massive amount of credit has to go to Kell Brook for fighting two of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport back to back. He is a fighter eager to please the fans and should be given the respect he deserves as an elite fighter.
Bearing in mind the medical advice he received after Golovkin he made the right decision to bow out of the contest. He was actually losing on all three of the judges scorecards at this point anyway and was likely going to suffer a loss over 12 as Spence Jr came on stronger late on.
As fans of the sport, we want to see the best fighters taking on the best fighters without having to wait years on end to witness them and that is exactly what we got with this fight. To that end we can’t be over critical.
Golovkin was not a great match up for Brook’s career but his career is far from ruined. I believe the fight would have been very similar even if Kell had not fought Golovkin. He might have made it to the final bell but Spence Jr would have edged him out on points.
What do you think? Was Kell Brook matched badly?