Former welterweight titleholder Kell Brook hasn’t made 147 pounds in nearly three years, but the 33-year-old is confident he could do so and beat WBO titleholder and top pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford if given the chance.
Brook told Sky Sports that he, Crawford, and Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum have had at least minor discussions about the idea, and that if the fight were to come together, it could even be hosted at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England, Brook’s hometown.
The 33-year-old Brook (39-2, 27 KO) has certainly been mentioned and floated as a potential opponent for the 32-year-old Crawford (36-0, 27 KO) over the past year or so, and if nothing else it’s for a reason Brook says he related to Arum, and one Arum was surely already keenly aware of: Top Rank are running (or have run) out of credible opponents for their titleholder outside of PBC fighters, who don’t appear to be as keen to make a deal as some have said they are.
Crawford sort of had a wasted 2019, at least in terms of raising his profile or taking real advantage of his remaining prime years, fighting and beating Amir Khan and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. PBC control most of the top names at 147 — Errol Spence Jr, Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and even most of the better second-tier contenders like Yordenis Ugas, Sergey Lipinets, Jamal James, and others.
Top Rank and PBC have started to thaw their relationship with the success of Wilder-Fury 2 in February, and Porter was reportedly given the green light to negotiate for a fight with Crawford, but nothing concrete has happened yet in this situation, and frankly we hadn’t heard much about Crawford-Porter even after those last bits in December.
If none of the PBC guys do fight Crawford whenever boxing resumes, Crawford really can’t be out here fighting someone like Chris van Heerden next; respect to van Heerden as a fighter, but this is a level beyond him.
In that sense, then, Brook is a legitimate player in this conversation, and not only that, but a higher-end option. The last time he fought at welterweight was May 2017, when he lost his IBF title to Errol Spence Jr at the aforementioned Bramall Lane. And when he tried to inch back down to prepare for a welterweight fight with Khan that never happened, Brook looked flat weighing in at 150 for a decision win over Michael Zerafa in Dec. 2018.
Brook says when he ran into Arum in Las Vegas, he told the promoter, “I’m the guy to beat Crawford,” and he feels he can make the weight no problem, but he’d say that even if he couldn’t. Chances at big paydays and world titles aren’t going to present themselves so easily from here on for Brook, and he’s getting older. A chance to take the crack at Crawford is worth it.