27000 fans will be at fever pitch on 27 May as defending world welterweight champion Kell Brook clashes with the man who is being dubbed as America’s next boxing superstar, Errol Spence Jr at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England, UK.
Tall, rangy and powerful. The word through the grapevine is that Spence is the real deal, ‘The Truth’ is no lie. He has so far backed it up in the ring dispatching 18 of his 21 opponents by knockout. He will enjoy a slight height and reach advantage in this fight which might prove to be a pivotal factor when it comes to the jab exchange. His body punching is vicious and with Kell having publicly stated he is tight at the weight he may well be looking to invest to the body early.
I would also add the fact that he is a southpaw into his list of assets but facing a southpaw should not be as tricky for Brook as it would be for a lot of other fighters. Brook has come up in the infamous Wincobank gym famous for its unorthodox styles. Brook will have had plenty of experience sparring southpaws over the years spent in the gym in Sheffield.
Errol comes across as a very calm, composed and assured character who is very confident in his ability as a boxer and this temperament will certainly help him. Spence Jr has elected to fight in the proverbial lions den and deserves credit for it. He is not looking to wait for an easy opening for a vacant title but rushing towards his goal of title glory.
However it could be said that he doesn’t really have that option due to the fact that he is in a stacked 147lb division where Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao are the other two current beltholders. Is he looking at Brook as the easiest of the three?
One thing is for sure this will really be an intense cauldron for a young and relatively inexperienced contender at world class level. A partisan crowd in the United States or the crowd that were in attendance for the 2012 London Olympics in which Spence boxed is simply no match for the atmosphere that will be generated at Bramall Lane on the 27th. Every punch that Brook lands will cause the fans to shake the foundations of the kop end.
Kell Brook wrestled the IBF title off Shawn Porter in Carson, California in August 2014 and really did not get the credit he deserved for that. Many onlookers pointed to his holding but in in reality Porter is very aggressive and comes in with his head low at times so really it was just a smart way to deal with him.
‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter has been busy since then validating his elite level credentials to the world, taking ‘One Time’ Keith Thurman to the wire in a pulsating 12 round clash and beating the likes of Adrien Broner and Andre Berto. His successes of late have only validated Kell Brook as a seriously strong beltholder at 147lbs.
In the press conerence in Sheffield Errol and his team were keen to point out that Brook was recieving too much credit for his efforts against Gennady Golovkin up at middleweight. He was right to an extent.
Brook produced a valiant effort and showed his boxing skill in spells but ultimately he was stopped on his feet with a timely intervention from his cornerman. Although he had injured his eye, his eye injury was caused by a Golovkin punch and therefore that is simply a testament to how hard Golovkin hits, not how unlucky Brook was.
On the flip side of the coin Brook’s statements about Spence are also true. He has not faced anyone of the elite level yet. He has not yet proved that he can win at the elite level. The best names on his record are Chris Algieri and the tough but aged Leonard Bundu. Sure he has dispatched them in good style which suggests he is of elite calibre. But how will he cope when Brook, a power puncher himself, lands a shot on him?
Skill, aggression, atmosphere. On paper this fight has all the ingredients required to be a firecracker. With two seriously quality operators with differing factors in their favours nobody can say for sure who will be victorious. It could well be who is the best on the given night. At welterweight both men are undefeated.
The winner will likely go on to clash with Keith Thurman in a mega unification showdown. Its a fight that could take precedence over his mandatory challenger Shawn Porter.