When the possible bout between still undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. and mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor was floated months back, I was skeptical if it would push through. But when news and views that the bout will materialize crop up, I just tell myself that if the fight happens, then it would happen.
But when I learned that undefeated Errol Spence Jr. would be challenging International Boxing Federation welterweight (147 pounds) champion Kell Brook, I could not believe that the two will actually be clashing on May 20. Are these guys serious in trading leather in the ring? Too good to be true!
All I can say is, this is a real fight!
When both enter the ring in May, Spence and Brook will both be taking huge risks because a loss by the American, especially by stoppage, will tarnish his image as one of the future stars in boxing’s middle divisions. A loss by Brook would relegate him to the backseat in the welterweight rankings where the likes of undefeated Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia are among the top dogs.
Brook’s last outing was in September last year against knockout artist Gennady Golovkin, who holds three versions of the world middleweight (160 pounds) title, in what I expected to be a massacre. But Brook proved to be more durable than expected and finished the fight on his feet, despite absorbing the best of Golovkin’s shots in the fifth round. Brook’s corner threw in the towel in the round.
Although Brook lost the fight, he gave a better account of himself and even rocked Golovkin a few times, including with a few uppercuts (of all the punches). Mayweather, according to a skysports.com article, even believed Brook was a little bit ahead when the fight was stopped.
Brook also looked big for the fight and might have weighed more than 160 pounds. So does Spence have any idea what type of force he will be facing in the ring on May 20?
Besides showing a lot of heart in the Golovkin fight by not going into running or counterpunching mode, Brook still has an impressive record of 36-1 with 25 knockouts.
Spence, who won the three consecutive United States national championships also in the welterweight division, has a record of 21-0 with 18 KOs. He never made it big in the Olympics.
While Spence still lives in the shadows of Thurman and Garcia as future superstars in the welterweight division, he definitely cannot be overlooked given his impressive record.
Both fighters do not have any big advantage over the other physically, with Brook standing at 5’9” and Spence at 5’9.5”. Brook has a 69-inch wingspan and Spence 72 inches. Age wise, Brook is 30 and Spence 27.
Closely studying the styles of both fighters, it looks like Spence has an edge in speed while Brook, despite his lower knockout percentage, seems to pack more dynamite in his fists.
Spence is a southpaw so that will present possible problems for Brook. But Brook can be presumed to have the sturdier chin because he took the best of Golovkin’s shots and did not hit the deck.
Brook is ranked No. 1 in The Ring welterweight rankings where there is still no champion. This meansThe Ring still regards Brook as the world’s top welterweight ahead of the likes of Thurman, Garcia and even our very own Manny Pacquiao. Spence is ranked No. 8 in The Ring rankings for welterweight.
Looking at the credential of both fighters, it looks like Brook has the advantage over Spence, whose stoppage win over Chris Algieri in April last year may be his biggest to date.
But it is always interesting to see how an undefeated challenger stacks up against a champion who has made three successful defenses so far. And since Brook is not yet past his prime, expect him not to back off if Spence wants to mix it up. Anyway, that’s what Brook did when he faced Golovkin.
So this is a real fight!