THERE is shock value to the announcement that Kell Brook is going to step up two weight divisions to fight middleweight terror, and holder of three of the four major 160lbs titles, Gennady Golovkin.
It’s reminiscent of Amir Khan stepping up to challenge Canelo Alvarez. Khan is a British welterweight, like Brook, and, like this bout with Golovkin, nobody expected him to fight Alvarez.
But there should be salutary lesson there. Canelo knocked out Khan in chilling fashion. Brook runs that risk. There are weight classes for a reason and while Brook is a big welterweight there is a gulf in size here that Kell is suddenly trying to jump. Kell may well be a more solid, durable welter than Khan but then this bout is taking place at 160lbs, not at a catchweight like Canelo-Khan, and while Alvarez was of course a stern hitter, Golovkin is one of the most feared punchers in the sport. Brook is skilful and had real power at 147lbs. We just don’t know if he can, and it seems unlikely that he will, carry that power up through two whole weight divisions.
It is brave from Brook, and he will be rightly remunerated for it. But it is too brave, just like Khan against Canelo, and it’s hard to see the result being any different for the British welterweight.
It was Chris Eubank Jr who was expected to get the fight with Golovkin. Negotiations to match those two had been going on for weeks. Eubank has now been outmanoeuvred and suddenly is looking increasingly short of options. “So apparently now ‘GGG’ will fight Kell Brook instead of me in September? I haven’t been shown one contract since my fight with Golovkin was announced. I’m still ready and waiting to sign. ‘GGG’ vs Brook is a joke,” Eubank Jr fumed. “Brook’s nowhere close to being a middleweight.”
Eubank might have to make do with defending his British championship once again. The biggest fight left for him is rematching Billy Joe Saunders, who now holds the WBO world title, but it could be tricky to rebuild a relationship with Billy Joe’s team after those negotiations broke down. Outside of that, American Danny Jacobs, who holds a lesser version of the WBA crown, might be the only other appealing option for him if he does want to step up to world class.
Having said that though Eubank, unproven as he is in such class, might have had a better chance against Golovkin than Brook. Junior is after all at least a middleweight.