Kell Brook is hours away from taking his first step from base camp to gaze upwards at the Everest sized task that is Terence Crawford. There will be no Sherpas to guide him on his journey inside the ring this evening, but just like Nepal’s number one tourist attraction, it CAN be conquered alone.
Not many are giving the former IBF World Welterweight champion much hope against the phenome that is ‘Bud’ Crawford. However Brook has emphasised that he is not here to take part against the best, he is here to win against the best.
Ahead of the battle, the BBTV team have shared opinions on where we the fight will be won and lost.
I’m staggered that Brook has made 147 pounds. I didn’t think he’d be able to do it after all these years. That shows to me he’s still 100% committed. He is definitely the naturally heavier handed. He has excellent timing and a good array of shots.
Crawford is special though, so can Crawford move and position him through the fight? Can he set him up with the jab switch stances and switch levels? He most likely can. But if the eye’s hold out for Brook, then he could do it. The chips are against him…..if I had to put a mortgage on it, I’d have to go with Crawford on points. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Kell Brook pulls this upset off.
Crawford by points
Nothing enlivens the boxing fan in me more than when a fighter dares to be great and tonight Kell is doing just that, as he is charged with the monumental task of dethroning Terence Crawford.
Any notions that the bout is simply a final payday for Brook have all but been eradicated by the tremendous shape the Sheffield fighter is in. He looks sharp, motivated, and raring to return to the summit of the welterweight division.
Brook’s struggles at making 147 pounds are well documented, however, his first world title fight in which he won’t have to make the IBF check weight, something that could play a pivotal factor in how big he is on the night.
That being said, at 34-years-old and having already endured wars with Errol Spence Jr and Gennady Golovkin, he may take ‘Bud’ into deep waters, but whether he will have enough to get his hand raised seems unlikely.
Crawford to retain in a narrow and perhaps controversial points win after a valiant effort from the Brit.
Kell Brook looks in fantastic shape and to get back down to welterweight after his recent campaigns in the higher weight classes is a real achievement, especially considering his age and longevity. If he has done it correctly and comes in on the night fully replenished, his stature and ultimately strength could be telling.
Being a fan of Crawford’s I’ve picked him to win in all the fights I’ve seen him in, but in this one, I’m going with Brook to have the night of his life and cause the upset on points. My heart is swaying the decision because I want him to win being our fighter, but I genuinely think he has more than a slim shot.
Crawford is a true boxing technician and has a cool and calculated way of finding out what his opponents are all about in the first few rounds, then turns up the heat and takes control.
With Brook, he will not only be facing a former world champion still with desire and ambitions, but an Ingle bred fighter, not your run of the mill style. Hopefully, by the time Crawford has begun to work Kell out, Kell has already built up a healthy lead and solved the Bud puzzle to see it out to a close points decision. Wishful thinking? Maybe! Good luck Kell Brook.
Kell Brook narrow points decision
My own verdict? My heart is with Brook and my respect is cemented. But I fear that Crawford’s elevated skills and propensity for violence will leave Brook dizzy at the top. Kell is the bigger man and has power in his long rangy shots. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Sheffield man can do it.
Many view the vindictive ferocity of Terence Crawford’s style is second to none amongst fighters today. He is equally at home mixing up cerebral, switch-hitting assaults, as he is controlling the tempo with more regulated counter punching.
The supremacy of Crawford’s boxing talent displayed in his bouts ensures that he has rarely lost rounds, never mind coming close to a loss in his professional career to date. His finishing is menacing, and it is hard to imagine any Welterweight that can withstand the onslaught when Crawford smells blood.
The two fighters have exchanged mostly clean, but undeniably severe criticisms of each other’s careers when interviewed by Max Kellerman on ESPN after their weigh-in. Crawford set an ominous shot across the bow in the form of a jab about Kell’s brittle eye sockets, “Both of your eyes is messed up. How am I supposed to look you in the eyes?!”. This is a reminder of Kell Brook’s Achilles heel which he gained initially against the monster puncher (and much bigger) GGG in 2016 in a fight which Kell had moved up essentially two weight classes to participate in.
Taking no time to ease himself back into boxing after receiving surgery on his right eye socket, Kell bounced right back into the ring against another pound for pound lister in Erroll Spence at Welterweight. Erroll disassembled his left eye socket late in their fight in a cruel twist of dramatic irony.
These two upsetting losses that occurred back to back have irreparably damaged the reputation of Brook’s record to casual fans. This could be a critical reason behind why Crawford is sitting at a comfortable 6/1 favourite. But is this short-sighted?
Brook was in fact outboxing and outpointing both GGG and Erroll Spence substantially in the first halves of their respective fights. Additionally, Brook has consistently outboxed all his opponents with an elite level sense of awareness and timing. His win over Shawn Porter, a savage and top-ranked pressure fighter displayed mastery of boxing fundamentals and the sweet science. These wins include three dominant performances over credible opponents since his last loss against Spence.
Credibility, that perhaps may be missing from Crawford’s record, as many have speculated, including Kell Brook on the same ESPN interview, that his resume is not as potent as his reputation suggests. Make no mistake this is Crawford’s hardest test on paper since 2014 when he fought Yuriorkis Gamboa for the WBO Lightweight world title.
Close on the cards before late stoppage by Brook