Kell Brook ditches Jessie Vargas for London bout with Gennady Golovkin
By Daniel Zaldivar
July 8, 2016
Looks like Chris Eubank Jr. didn't sign the contract fast enough, as WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will now officially fight Kell Brook on September 10.
This came out of left-field in terms of surprising match-ups that could be made. Brook (36-0, 35 KOs) is moving up from the welterweight limit of 147 pounds to Golovkin's natural division of 160. Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) has been known to have trouble in landing opponents who want to step into the ring with him. The 30-year-old Brook currently holds the IBF world (welterweight) title -- which he's had since defeating Shawn Porter back in August of 2014.
Jessie Vargas, who holds the WBO (welterweight) title, was looking like he would be the one to make the trip across the atlantic for a bout with Brook. However, Vargas' side reportedly wanted a larger cut in the negotiations and a Golovkin fight was made instead. A potential fight with Vargas would have been a unification title fight (IBF and WBO) and would have also took place in London. Brook has only fought twice inside the United States and Golovkin agreeing to fight on his [Brook] home turf did not necessarily come as a surprise.
Golovkin, 34, is coming off a knockout victory against Dominic Wade in April, at The Forum in Los Angeles. A mega-fight with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez was a possibility sometime this year after both of their recent victories and the hype surrounding both fighters, however, an announced verbal agreement between both sides for a bout in the fall of next year is tentatively planned.
Brook has received criticism in not fighting top-level competition after gaining the IBF title from Porter, but is now looking to make a giant statement in going up 13 pounds from his comfortable weight class. This bout is reminiscent of the recent match between Alvarez and Amir Khan back in May. Khan also went up in weight to face-off with Alvarez, but a middleweight catchweight of 155 pounds was instead agreed upon. Khan was knocked out in the possible KO of the year at the newly developed T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Brook will retain his status as the IBF world title holder, even though he is moving up to challenge for middleweight titles. Both athletes are putting up their undefeated records in one of the more intriguing bouts of the year. Golovkin will come in as the heavy favorite, but Brook is looking to shock the world and halt the plans for Alvarez-Golovkin. He [Brook] is looking to uphold his moniker of "Special" and defeat one of the most dominant fighters in recent memory.
The fight will be broadcasted live on HBO World Championship Boxing and Sky Sports Box Office on Saturday September 10, from the O2 Arena in London.
Daniel Zaldivar is a boxing contributor for Frontproof Media & Page2sports.com. He is the founder of Z-BoxingNews (a partner with Frontproof Media), a YouTube channel that delivers the latest news, interviews, fighter workouts, & analysis within the sport. Check out the Z-BoxingNews YouTube channel HERE. Also follow on Twitter @Z_BoxingNews
(Feature Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)