BRANDON COOK has known for some time he wouldn’t be fighting Kell Brook in London on July 28 – and has made this fact public – but at least now he has discovered he will still go to the ball and that a new opponent has been sourced.
Next weekend, Cook will meet Sam Eggington, a former British and Commonwealth champion now competing at super-welterweight, presumably over 10 or 12 rounds in a hastily-arranged replacement fight. It’s not the one Cook expected, nor wanted, but it’s a decent matchup nonetheless, and if we know anything about Eggington it’s that he’s rarely in a dull fight.
Ultimately, from Cook’s point of view, it’s just nice to know his training camp, and all those flights and hotels he and his family have booked, won’t be in vain.
“I’m delighted that I’ll still be fighting in London on July 28,” said Cook. “All of my hard work in the gym isn’t going to waste and I’m excited to show the British public what I’m all about. Sam is a tough opponent that comes to fight so I’ll need to be at my very best to beat him.”
Eggington, meanwhile, is apparently buzzing.
“I’m buzzing to get back to the O2 on a massive pay-per-view show,” he said. “There was no way I was turning down this fight when they offered it to me. Cook likes to come forward and fight, so I’m predicting a war. He’s going to try and make it a hard night for me.
“He’s ranked highly in three governing bodies so getting a win against him would do me wonders. Moving up to super-welterweight has given me even more energy to grind down my opponents and do damage late on and I’ll be looking to do exactly that next week.”
Now for the reality check: Brandon Cook, despite a 20-1 (13) pro record, and some even better world rankings, wasn’t the pay-per-view pull on this July 28 card, topped by the heavyweight clash between Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker. It was Kell Brook, his original opponent.
That Brook withdrew from the fight is not Cook’s fault, of course, but what it does mean is this particular fight, once deemed a meaty and meaningful hors d’oeuvre on a bumper Sky Box Office event, has now become a so-so non-title clash between two super-welterweights lacking the name power to draw attention, much less convince people to part with their cash. And that’s not good.
Still, it could be worse. There could be no Sam Eggington and there could be no fight at all.
Sheffield’s Kid Galahad has done a lot of waiting in recent years. He did a lot of waiting during his 18-month performance-enhancing drug ban, and since returning to action, since becoming an avoided featherweight, has done a lot of waiting around for a big fight.
The 28-year-old wants a world title shot, we know that much. He also wants a fight against a fellow Brit, someone who enjoys the kind of hype and profile that has so far eluded him. That first meant Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg, former super-bantamweights who were once on the Galahad radar, but, in more recent times, it has meant Josh Warrington, the new IBF featherweight champion from Leeds.
The good news for Galahad in his pursuit of Warrington is that he’s just been nominated to fight Toka Kahn Clary, 25-1 (17), in an IBF final eliminator. This means, should he come through it unscathed, Galahad, 24-0 (15), will be next in line for a shot at the Leeds star currently in possession of the nine-stone crown.
“We have had multiple conversations with Kid Galahad’s team and we look forward to coming to an agreement for a fight between Clary against Galahad this fall,” explained Sal Musumeci, CEO of The Real Deal Boxing, Clary’s promoters.
“We are willing to continue working on terms, but we have no problem going to purse bid if that’s in the best interest of Toka. We have had extensive talks with venues and platforms based in the US and internationally who have expressed interest in working with us on this bout. But the top priority is putting Toka in the best position to win.”
Let’s hope the fight is sorted soon, without any hiccups. Kid Galahad, for a whole number of reasons, has waited long enough.
And finally… few would argue with Terence Crawford being anointed the world’s best fighter – in boxing, mixed martial arts, or anything else – and now he has the ESPY award to prove it.
Crawford, the current WBO welterweight champion, walked away with the award at a ceremony in Los Angeles last night, edging out fellow boxer Vasyl Lomachenko, as well as UFC stars Georges St-Pierre and Rose Namajunas.
“It’s a long time overdue,” he said. “I felt as if I should have won it last year, but this year is a surprise and I am glad to have it.”
Last year Crawford, still only 30, unified all the world titles at junior-welterweight, a rare and increasingly difficult feat, before vacating them in search of a fresh challenge. He then stripped Australia’s Jeff Horn of his WBO welterweight belt in June.