Kell Brook will (knock on wood) finally get his IBF welterweight title shot on August 9 at the Barclays Center, where he's set to face Shawn Porter for the belt after various delays and setbacks, all without ever actually losing a fight.
Brook, 28, was originally set to meet Devon Alexander for the title in early 2013, but that fight was canceled multiple times, due to training injuries suffered by both men, back-and-forth. After being stripped of his mandatory challenger position, Brook won it back with a win over Vyacheslav Senchenko on October 2013. Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Porter beat Alexander to win the belt in December, then trounced Paulie Malignaggi in his first defense on April 19.
Though Porter (24-0-1, 15 KO) taken major steps forward in those fights, Brook (32-0, 22 KO) still feels he's the better fighter, and that "Showtime" Shawn is vulnerable headed into their fight:
"Porter is physically strong and extremely fit. I do respect him because he's a genuine world champion who handled Devon Alexander, destroyed Paulie Malignaggi, and fought his way into this position. With that that said his boxing skills aren't the best. They're not the worst, but they're certainly not the best. The result against Paulie surprised me initially, but you have to question what he had left. Malignaggi has been in this game a long time and Porter, as a genuine 147 pounder, simply walked through him in four rounds. A lot of people jumped on the bandwagon after that, but Porter has never been in with someone who is young, unbeaten, passionate and huge at the weight. He's going to be in real trouble in this fight - early."
Brook also points out that neither Alexander nor Malignaggi are punchers, while he feels he certainly has the power to keep Porter honest, rather than letting him truck forward at all times:
"I took out a world-ranked opponent (Hector David Saldivia) with a jab, so once Porter feels my power he'll know I'm anything but feather fisted. I'm a big strong man, who is coming without fear, and I'll be taking the fight to him."
Now, Hector David Saldivia was technically a "world-ranked" opponent, yes, but Saldivia is a world below Alexander, Malignaggi, Porter, or Brook. And as much as Brook may be right that in terms of power, he's no Alexander or Malignaggi, if he thinks he's faced anyone like Porter to date, either, he's sorely mistaken, and has been ill-prepared for what's to come, which has been a concern for some time now. Simply put, his best wins are over Senchenko and Carson Jones -- decent fighters, sure, but also-rans. The argument for Brook is that styles will make the fight, and indeed he has a lot more power than Malignaggi or Alexander. The argument for Porter is that he's now beaten the better opposition, and convincingly so.