Last Saturday in a sold-out o2 arena, Kell Brook did what many fighters before him wouldn’t dare dream of, he stepped up two weight divisions and into the ring against the highly avoided middleweight wrecking machine – Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.
Unfortunately for Kell, it was to end just before the half-way mark as head coach Dominic Ingle waved the towel to call a halt to the bout after five brutal all-action rounds.
Welterweight champion Brook was complaining of seeing five Golovkins having had his eye socket broken by the Kazakh puncher in the second. No doubt Ingle’s decision was the right one, and ensures his champion lives to fight another day.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Kell’s stock rose last night through defeat, sure he will fell disappointed that he was pulled from the fight and that it didnt come to a natural conclusion, but if the fight were allowed to play out, things could have been a lot worse for the 30-year-old Brook.
For me, Dominic Ingle’s decision will probably go down as his ‘finest moment’.
What was upsetting for me, was that when he was given a chance to explain the reason why he pulled his fighter from the bout, the fans in the arena booed and jeered which was completely uncalled for, and fairly embarrassing for British boxing.
Matchroom head-honcho Eddie Hearn surely has to take some of the blame for post-fight fans reaction though.
Throughout the build up to this fight Eddie along with a few Sky Sports pundits manipulated the casual fans imagination anytime there was a camera put anywhere near their face, claiming this was an even fight, and their charge was going to ‘shock the world’, and who could blame him?
Its his job, and one that he is obviously extremely good at.
(Highlights of the fight via HBO)
You only need to look at the Sky Sports News poll previous to the fight which had a whopping 46% of people thinking that Brook beats GGG after 30’000 votes.
For the hardcore boxing fraternity in the UK, it was a little bit embarrassing to their knowledge of the sport that 13’000+ voters thought Kell Brook would win this fight, but with people like Spencer Fearon – who is the host of Sky Sports toe-to-toe podcast – claiming on social media that if you take Golovkin’s power away – he is just a ‘plodder’, its not hard to see how the casual could be influenced, from someone who refers to himself as ‘The Knowledge’.
It was them same casual fans that filled the O2 arena with boos and jeers – as the much respected Dominic Ingle attempted to take to the microphone – that Eddie Hearn and Sky Sports so badly wanted immersed in this fight.
Those fans probably wouldn’t have parted with their hard-earned cash on tickets and PPV had it not been for the Sky Sports hype train going into overdrive.
‘Kell’s bigger at the weight’, ‘GGG has never faced anyone like Brook’ and of course on weigh in day ‘Golovkin is ill’.
If you are reading this, and are one of those fans who were in attendance Saturday who booed Dom Ingle’s decision and attempt at an explanation, please do boxing a massive favour, and never attend a boxing event again.
There is absolutely no place for people like you in boxing. These prizefighters put their lives on the line every time they enter the ring.
Their coaches and cornermen are there to do a job, with the safety of the fighter being paramount.
Kell was in against the hardest hitting middleweight possibly in history, 33 of his 36 wins have came via stoppage, the only other three times he went the distance was in 8 rounders at the start of his career.
Had Kell been allowed to box on it surely would have ended up a lot worse than a broken eye socket.
No-one before had beaten GGG having to only deal with seeing one opponent in front of him, never mind the Sheffield native seeing five.
The most important thing is that Kell Brook will live to make another ring-walk.
But at what weight – I’m not too sure – but one thing I am sure on, is there are now many more options than there was before.
‘The Special One’ took the fight to GGG on Saturday and put up a courageous and valiant effort.
Although the bout only lasted a mere five rounds, it was more about the quality than the quantity and there was plenty of that on show.
Both fighters put there all into those five rounds, and I for one was not disappointed with either of their performances, and was especially impressed with how well Brook looked at middleweight having jumped from welterweight.
After the bout – Billy-Joe Saunders and domestic rival Chris Eubank Jr both took to social media to call-out the middleweight King-pin GGG, however – judging by Golovkin’s post fight-interview, it looks like its WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders who is in pole position for a unification bout, with the likes of Eubank Jr and Daniel Jacobs set to join the queue for their crack at a world middleweight championship.
Kell Brook will sit back with his team and decide what is next for him.
If he were to go back down to welterweight – American sensation Errol Spence Jr (21-0) would be next for a shot at Brook’s IBF World title having worked his way into a mandatory position.
Maybe a move to light-middleweight to challenge the winner of Canelo vs Liam Smith could be in order, there was even rumours of a 154 match-up with Miguel Cotto.
Whatever Kell decides, Saturday’s performance ensures his fans that a second or third world title in the higher weights – is far from beyond him – and that he is more than capable of mixing it with the top 154 and 160-pounders in the world should he decide to do so.
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