The clock is ticking. Kell Brook, BB’s No.1 Welterweight, will soon be facing Middleweight beast Gennady Golovkin on September 10th in what will be one of 2016’s most highly anticipated events. Golovkin, the current WBC, WBA and IBF champion, is considered to be Brook’s toughest assignment to date, and with very good reason. Brook, who will be transitioning to 160 pounds for the first time, will step into the ring a sizeable underdog, I’m sure, but are his chances really as bleak as they seem?
Let’s go against the grain here and check out 5 reasons why Kell Brook is actually capable of upsetting ‘GGG’, boxing’s most feared fighter.
1. Brook is Golovkin’s Toughest Test
In terms of overall skill, pedigree and class as a boxer, Brook will arguably be – like GGG is to Brook – the best opponent he has faced in his pro career. Brook (36-0, 25 KO) may not possess the dynamite of a David Lemieux, but his significantly higher ring IQ coupled with a smooth, ironed boxer-puncher style, make him an opponent not to be overlooked. Even by a heralded wrecking machine like Golovkin (35-0, 32 KO) himself.
2. Not Such a Small Middleweight
The whole weight business in boxing is a pretty complex issue. You already knew that. Cos’ we’re not just talking physical dimensions, we’re talking about power, strength, about whether a fighter really ‘belongs’ in a weight class. I’m not going to waste time convincing you that Brook will carry himself just as well at 160 as he has at 147, but there’s a good chance he’ll look comfortable (and notably more so than his 147 counterpart Khan did against Canelo Alvarez).
In terms of dimensions, Brook isn’t going to give away anything telling, unless the 1” reach and 1.5” height disadvantage is a major wrinkle for you. In terms of actual ‘size’, what can be said apart from the fact that Brook is already one of the physically strongest, hardest-hitting Welters who might actually see a peak in performance if he doesn’t have to boil down to 147.
3. Brook Could Beat GGG’s Opponents
That’s quite an assumption, isn’t it? But hear me out. Golovkin’s one-sided beatdowns and opponent choice doesn’t deserve to be overly criticised, but come on, there’s a good chance that a strong, schooled fighter like Brook could have probably hung with and beaten those guys (at Middleweight). If we look at Golovkin’s top foes (Curtis Stevens, Daniel Geale, Marco Antonio Rubio, Martin Murray, Willie Monroe, David Lemieux), who are capable, decent challengers, Brook’s refined skill set would likely have seen him come out on top. So what does that prove? Well, nothing since it’s pure fantasy, but perhaps enough to suggest that Brook’s ability level is a lot more on par with Golovkin’s than we think.
Check out FightHub’s coverage of Kell Brook’s New York Press Conference with GGG:
4. Brook’s Skill Set Can Trouble Golovkin
Anyone who has followed the career of Kell Brook is very aware of what he brings to the table, and that is an impressive, highly polished boxer-puncher style. Brook knows how to control the distance, wear down his opponents with a thudding jab, generally holds his ground to exploit and counter his opponent’s attacks, and is highly economical with his powerful combinations. Like Golovkin, Brook also knows how to generate the most power into his shots, which isn’t a bad thing when stepping in with a renowned banger. Brook’s defense isn’t impregnable, but, like GGG, it’s anything but leaky.
So, it’s fair to say that Brook’s style could pose a lot of problems for an aggressive, front foot fighter like Golovkin. While a fellow Welter like Khan would be almost destined for failure against GGG due to a game plan of darting in and out en route to hearing the final bell, Brook’s more flat-footed, controlled, engaging style, and of course heavier artillery, means he has a chance of deterring GGG, getting into his head, doing damage, and even scoring a knockout should GGG walk into a trap.
5. Brook Has Nothing to Lose
This might sound reaching, but the fact that no one is giving Brook much of a chance in this fight might actually aid in his performance. More accurately, yes, Brook does have something to lose, but not an awful lot when even a heavy defeat to Golovkin will still leave Brook a Welterweight kingpin when it’s all over. So, like Khan, who boxed out of his skin until ‘that fateful punch’ against heavy favourite Canelo Alvarez, we can hopefully expect Brook to fight without negativity, even throwing the kitchen sink into this one if he has to. It would be a lie to say there is zero pressure on Brook, but the truth is that there is a whole lot more on GGG, in the same way there was on Canelo.
What do you think of Kell Brook’s chances against Gennady Golovkin? Are you backing ‘Special K’ in his Middleweight debut? Or will he simply become yet another challenger to be mangled and reduced to GGG’s pile of knockout victims?