Will Kell Brook move back down to welterweight?
By Hector Franco
October 6, 2016
Kell Brook’s last fight took place at middleweight against Gennady Golovkin. He fell short against Golovkin but gained a newfound respect from fans. He left the ring that night with a broken orbital bone and the first blemish on his boxing record. Now, Brook has to worry about the responsibility he left behind at welterweight.
This past August Errol Spence (21-0, 18 KOs) with a stoppage victory over Leonard Bundu officially became the mandatory for Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight title. Spence is one of the few fighters associated with the PBC that has fought twice this year. 2016 has been an impressive year for Spence. The Texas native started off the year in April easily dispatching of former 140-pound champion, Chris Algieri. Now, Spence awaits the decision from Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) on whether he will move back down in weight to defend the title or go to 154-pounds.
It has been rumored for years that Brook had trouble making the welterweight limit. Before the fight with Golovkin at the WBC 30-day weigh-in, Brook weighed in at 176 pounds. Clearly, Brook is comfortable being at a higher weight class. The man from Sheffield, England may not be looking to stay at middleweight but move to the super welterweight division. There are some tough fights for Brook in this division as it includes fighters such as Demetrius Andrade and Erislandy Lara. Whichever path Brook decides to take it will be challenging.
Speaking with RingTV earlier this week IBF chairman Lindsey E. Tucker explained that as of now Brook has yet to vacate his IBF title. The IBF will order Brook to begin negotiating with Errol Spence at the end of October on the 26th. It’s possible that Brook may be able to get an extension on the date when the negotiations are to begin because he will be having surgery to repair his orbital bone.
For Spence, whatever Brook decides to do is inconsequential. He will be fighting for the IBF title one way or the other. If Brook vacates he will fight for a vacated title and if Brook keeps the title they will meet sometime next year. With how impressive Spence has been in his last few fights, he would be the favorite against Brook. Although Brook, would be the strongest and most experienced welterweight Spence has faced. One has to wonder how much it will take out of Brook to make the welterweight weight limit.
Looking at the landscape at welterweight, Brook may be better off going to 154. The weight will be easier to make. The only fighter in the division who has a bigger fan base than Brook is Canelo. And Canelo may be going out of the division in 2017. Fans have experienced a year where fighters were content with staying inactive. It’s the hope of fans that Brook decides what he will do sooner rather than later.
(Featured Photo: Richard Pelham)