It came as quite a shock to fight fans when Welterweight elite Kell Brook recently announced he’ll be facing Middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin. With the pair officially set to rumble on September 10th at an agreed 160 pounds, it’s now time to stop fretting about more appropriate clashes (like Brook-Keith Thurman and Canelo Alvarez-GGG) and just, well…accept it. This fight’s gonna’ happen. So, here’s the big question: what are Kell Brook’s chances of beating boxing’s most feared fighter?
Pretty much everyone – of the hardcore variety, anyway – is going to be harping on about the size differential between Brook and Golovkin. And hey, who can argue with that? Brook has exclusively campaigned at Welter since turning pro, and Golovkin at Middleweight since his own debut. In the buildup I’m sure we’re going to hear Brook mention that he’s struggling to make the Welter limit – or something along those lines – but let’s remember that, before the GGG contract turned up in the mail, Brook was about to close out a deal to face fellow Welterweight titleholder Jessie Vargas.
With Brook vs Golovkin, it’s not height and reach that’s a particular issue. In fact, side by side, there’s not much between them. Golovkin, standing at 5′ 10″, has 1.5 inches on Brook, plus an inch reach advantage. Nothing too alarming. But, there are going to be plenty of unknowns surrounding Brook as he now prepares to seriously bulk up over the next nine weeks. Can Brook maintain his top-drawer form at Middleweight? Will he be strong enough to hang with a fully-fledged Middleweight like Golovkin, whose physical strength and refusal to back up is just as much a weapon as his vaunted power? We can expect Golovkin to weigh around 170 pounds come fight night, but what about Brook? These are significant questions worth asking.
I guess we have to factor in that Brook is one the larger men at Welterweight right now. That is true, and yeah, could suggest that Brook has a slightly better chance of asking more questions than some of his smaller 147 contemporaries.
A lot of Brook vs Golovkin is going to come down to size/strength in one way or another sooner or later, but I’m going to shelve all that ‘weight business’ now. In terms of talent and boxing ability – assuming for a moment that Brook can carry his top-notch repertoire with him to 160 – he should be able to bring out the best in Golovkin. Brook is BB’s No.1 Welterweight, and is knocking on the Pound for Pound door right now. Brook, an elite boxer-puncher; holds his shape exceptionally well, has a ram-rod jab behind a solid defense, can bang plenty, and has one of the best punch-selections in boxing.
And, however you look at it, Brook will (based on pure talent/ability) be the best opponent Golovkin has faced in the pro game. GGG has been in with some rugged, capable opposition (even the dangerous banger kind in David Lemieux), sure, but he is yet to come up against a truly educated boxer-puncher like Kell Brook. If you think that’s too bold a statement, check out Golovkin’s pro career record at BoxRec.
You can’t help but respect Kell Brook’s decision to jump at a chance to take on one of the most ruthless knockout kings in boxing. But can Brook, in his first 160 contest against the numero uno leader no less, pull off the biggest upset of the year? I’m a big Brook fan but do feel it’s most unfortunate that injuries and broken down negotiations over the years have gotten in the way of him proving himself to be a true ruler at 147. In an ideal world (why do I find myself laughing?), Brook would do a bit more cleaning up at 147 before pursuing a fight like this. That’s fair enough, right?
Instead of Brook-Vargas (my prefered matchup over GGG) and Brook-Thurman, not to mention Brook-Khan, we’ve now got another Canelo-Khan-type affair on our hands. Personally, I believe Brook has the edge on Khan (who fought surprisingly well against Canelo), but Golovkin is who he is: a legitimate Middleweight who can boast a ridiculous twenty-something KO streak right now. Brook’s refined skillset and power could probably trump any Welterweight on the scene, but I fear this will be another ‘David-Goliath’ story that will end up breaking more British hearts.
But, you know, I get it. Brook isn’t getting any younger and big time fights haven’t exactly been easy to come by despite him hunting them down like a hound. Golovkin represents a career-high pay-day, and, like Amir Khan, Brook will likely be on the receiving end of more respect than ridicule should he lose. If Brook does, he will at least still be a Welterweight world title holder with the IBF, and won’t have budged from his Welter top spot here at BB. So all in all, Brook vs Golovkin isn’t an awful matchup, but you have to ask yourself: Will I watch Brook vs Golovkin because it’s genuinely a good fight, or, just because both men are marquee names?
Chime in with the answer to that question and any other thoughts in the comments below. And yeah, who you’re picking.