What is next for Kell Brook?
Published: May 31, 2017
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - This past weekend fans saw the rise of one fighter and the fall of another. Sheffield, England’s Kell Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) lost his IBF welterweight title to Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) when he decided to put a halt to the bout in the eleventh round. Afterward, it was found that Brook would need surgery to repair a broken eye socket.
This is the second fight in a row that Brook will have required surgery to repair a bone in his face. The first time he needed surgery took place last year after Brook’s fight with middleweight king Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs). Brook was stopped in the fifth round and suffered a broken orbital bone against the Kazakh puncher. This fact will now have many questioning the future for Brook.
There are options for Brook if he decides to return to the boxing ring. The biggest question may be if Brook should return to a boxing ring at all? It is hard to imagine a fighter coming back from back to back facial injuries that required surgery. We have seen fighters bounce back from being prone to cuts or injuring their hands, but it is rare for fighters to bounce back from broken eye sockets and broken orbital bones especially when they are done in succession.
At 31 years old and in his physical prime, retirement may not be on Brook’s mind. The former IBF welterweight champion’s injuries to his face may have been a case of bad luck against two big punchers, but it will be a risk that is on his mind every time he steps in the ring from this point forward. By bowing out of the Spence fight at the time, he did it is possible that Brook spared himself from more permanent damage. Brook spoke to Sky Sports about the injury he experienced against Spence.
If Brook is to continue his career he has a few options available to him with one being the most lucrative to him financially. A fight with British rival Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) could still generate large interest over in the U.K. If staged at the right venue like Brammal Lane in Sheffield it could provide a festive atmosphere. If the fight were to take place next year, it would be best if they both took a tune-up fight as they are coming off of stoppage defeats.
The loss to Spence for Brook was a devastating blow, but until the last few rounds he was in the fight, and many had him ahead after six rounds. Spence may go on to prove to be the best welterweight in the division. Brook could get right back into championship contention by facing the other contenders in the division such as a rematch with Shawn Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs) or Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs).
The last option for Brook is to move up in weight and try his hand in the 154-pound division. This division may prove to be more difficult for Brook than the welterweight division. The top ten at 154-pounds includes Jarrett Hurd (20-0, 14 KOs), Erislandy Lara (24-2-2, 14 KOs), Jermell Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs), and Demetrius Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs). While it is true that at 154, Brook would not have to struggle to make the weight but the competition at the weight leaves Brook as an underdog.
Whatever Brook decides to do next will be impacted by his injuries. Whether he retires, stays at welterweight, or moves up in weight, there will be risk involved. Hopefully, Brook has a team around him that have his best interest in mind.
(Feature Photo: Amanda Westcott/Showtime Sports)