clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Brook vs Spence: Fight preview and analysis

Kell Brook and Errol Spence Jr are two days away from meeting in Sheffield.

Kell Brook & Errol Spence Press Conference Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Kell Brook

Boxing at O2 Arena Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Record: 36-1 (25 KO) ... Streak: L1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 9-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'9" / 69" ... Age: 31

Thoughts: As discussed on this week’s podcast, I think the biggest factor in how this fight plays out might be where Kell Brook is really at coming off of a devastating and brutal loss to Gennady Golovkin. Brook didn’t fight badly in that outing at all — he was even on two scorecards and leading on the third through four rounds — but he got his eye socket broken by a bigger, stronger man. It’s a bad loss, even if there’s not a single thing to be ashamed of in jumping two weight classes to face a monster.

So here’s Brook going back to welterweight. For one thing, going back to welterweight itself might be a challenge. He’s noted some issues with making the weight before, and explored a move to 154 after losing to Golovkin at 160. But there wasn’t a money fight there. The biggest and best fight for him was back at 147, against his mandatory, Errol Spence Jr.

Will he be there mentally? Has the injury shaken him at all? Has the loss, even in a valiant, brave effort, changed him in any way?

In the lead-up to this fight, Brook has been fond of correctly pointing out that Spence has not faced anybody like Kell Brook. But maybe Kell Brook hasn’t faced anyone like Spence at 147, either. He beat Shawn Porter, but he had a run of soft title defenses after that, which made him jump at the chance to fight Golovkin, even with all the risks involved.

Kell Brook is no Chris Algieri or Leonard Bundu, that’s true, but Errol Spence is no Kevin Bizier, Jo Jo Dan, or Frankie Gavin, either.

Errol Spence Jr

PBC on NBC: Errol Spence Jr. v Chris Algieri Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Record: 21-0 (18 KO) ... Streak: W21 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Southpaw ... Height/Reach: 5'9½" / 72" ... Age: 27

Thoughts: A blue chip prospect coming out of London 2012 and seen as Team USA’s best fighter in that no-medals campaign for the US men’s team, Spence has lived up to the hype thus far as a pro.

In his last two fights, he’s done to Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu what Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman couldn’t: he stopped both. To be fair to Pacquiao, Algieri could have been stopped a lot of times in their fight, by the referee or his corner or whomever. But Spence did it, on the record. Every time he’s faced a step up in competition, he has continued to dominate.

That’s not to say that Spence isn’t going to eventually meet real resistance, and that could come on Saturday. Brook is another big step up from Algieri and Bundu, at least if he’s the Kell Brook who beat Shawn Porter, but that was in 2014 and pre-broken face.

Physically, Spence has all the tools to be a top pound-for-pound contender as his career progresses. But we never really know about a fighter until we see them tested, how they react to adversity, how they adjust when things aren’t going according to the script drawn up in training camp. Kell Brook has the ability to show us what Errol Spence is really made of, and that’s one of several reasons this fight is so compelling.

Matchup Grade: A-. I’m going to give Brook the benefit of the doubt and assume he’ll be in top shape and have no lingering issues from the GGG fight. It’s speculation to do so, but it’s fairer speculation than judging this fight based on him NOT being at his best. And it’s more fun that way, too. Believe it or not, I love being excited about a fight, and I’m excited about this one. We could see a new name reach the top ranks in boxing’s reigning glory division, or we could see a young veteran reestablish himself coming off of a gutsy defeat, and at the same time, knocking off a young fighter who has a lot of hype. One way or the other, we’re getting something interesting here, and on paper, the fight should have at least solid action, too, if not a Fight of the Year type of thing.


  • George Groves vs Fedor Chudinov: A good matchup, with the vacant WBA super middleweight title on the line. Groves is famously 0-3 in world title fights, losing twice to Carl Froch and once to Badou Jack, but this is, on paper, a more favorable matchup. Chudinov is a good fighter — he has a win over Felix Sturm and was robbed of a second, so he knows how to win on the road, too. This is about 50-50 and should be entertaining, too. Grade: B

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook