Ezekiel ‘Kell’ Brook’s (36-2-0) two consecutive heavy defeats to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr, for many, made his future in the sport look doubtful but Brook has made it very clear that his journey is far from over, stating that he wants to fight again, this year. Many fellow boxers back his return but some have stated he is idiotic and possessing a lack of awareness for his own health and well-being after announcing his desire to come back with former pro’s feeling the same way. Eddie Hearn had this to say about Kell, “Brook definitely still has a future in the game and is very hungry following the Spence loss” also stating he planned a mega fight for 2018.
Career so far
Kell’s professional career started on the 17th of September, 2004 with his 6-round victory over the vastly experienced Peter Buckley who at the time had exactly 230 bouts under his belt (31-189-10). His next three fights all saw him winning by TKO in all three against Andy Cosnett (first round), Leeroy Williamson (second round) and Brian Coleman (first round). Brook compiled a record of 16-0, before challenging for the vacant British welterweight title with a fight with Barrie Jones in 2008. He won the fight with a TKO victory in the 7th round before successfully defending his title 3 times. First up was the Scottish, Kevin McIntyre. Brook was too overwhelmed his opponent with his speed, ending the fight early in the very first round. Next up was Stuart Elwell. A similar tale to his first defence, Brook was too much for Elwell. Elwell was punished all through the first round before the referee had seen enough during the second round to call a stop to the fight. His third British welterweight title defence saw him face Michael Lomax in his 20th bout. Brook became the first man to stop Lomax when he took his opponent out in the third round.
The World Boxing Organisation Intercontinental welterweight title was next for Brook and the man that was standing in his way was the Polish boxer, Krzysztof Bienias who was the current holder. Brook went on to dominate the fight, forcing the champion to hold on and try to survive for most of the rounds before a decisive combination forced the ref to call a stop to the fight in the 6th round. His next fight he saw himself defending both of his titles, the British and WBO Inter-Continental welterweight titles against Michael Jennings with the fight was also acting as an eliminator for Manny Pacquiao‘s WBO welterweight title. Brook looked to be growing in frustration during the fight as he struggled with Jennings’s movement but a cut above his opponent’s eye handed Brook his 22nd win in as many fights and making him number one contender for Pacquiao’s title, which he vacated.
Brook fought Lovemore N’dou for the vacated WBO welterweight title on the 25 of June, 2011. ‘The Special One’ wasn’t able to become the first man to stop the 39-year-old South African but that definitely wasn’t through lack of effort with N’dou looking shaky at times, instead, going the distance to win by unanimous decision, despite dominating the fight. He defended his title against Rafał Jackiewicz later that year with a 6th round TKO. Impressively, Brook won every round before stopping his challenger.
He picked up the IBF International welterweight title while defending his own with UD victory over Mathew Hatton, sibling of Ricky Hatton. The Brit was tasked with a major setback when he was brutally attacked with a machete while on holiday in Tenerife back in 2014. When talking about the matter, he said ‘there was so much blood spurting out’ and ‘he could see death.’ He was left needing 32 metal staples in his left thigh from the attack by a man he had initially met earlier in the night. He claimed the attack changed his vision on life but set his intentions on firing back with by knocking out Amir Khan.
Since the attack, Brook has recorded 3 wins and 2 losses. His first career loss came when he fought Gennady Golovkin with a record at the time of 36-0. Golovkin was and still is one of, if not the, most feared boxer in the world with many considering the man to be the best p4p fighter on the planet. Although actually being ahead on the judge’s scorecards, Golovkin was dominant and ruthless in the fight which led to Brook sustaining an injury during the fight in a fractured eye socket. Still world champion at welterweight, Brook was now facing tough challenger Errol Spence Jr to defend his title at the home of Sheffield United Football Club, Bramall Lane to a crowd of 27,000. Brook took a knee in the 11th round, ultimately to stop the beating he was suffering to the hands of Spence. Brook had this to say “He’s one of the best kids I’ve been in with – if not the best. I got caught in the seventh round in the left eye. It was like the Golovkin fight, although not quite as bad. He caught me in the 11th and the double vision just stuck.” Also, adding “I would have got through the fight but, when you can’t see, there’s nothing you can do.” Brook’s efforts for admirable to say the least, with the fight ticking all the entertainment boxes for the fans, making the fight one of the best of the year to some.
Brook has made it crystal-clear in the media that he eyes a return fight with the four-weight world champion, Miguel Cotto, after a successful surgery on his fractured left eye socket from the Spence fight which became his second surgery operation in 9 months after Golovkin fractured his right eye socket with a fifth-round stoppage. Brook illustrated his desire to be the very best with his last two fights where he showed incredible bravery. Promoter Eddie Hearn has claimed December could be the date of Brook’s return, saying “I think December is realistic for him to be back and I want to bring him back at super-welterweight in a fight in Sheffield.” Rumours have been floating around twitter and online that either boxer doesn’t want the fight a while back, but that all seems to be squashed now that Brook named Cotto as suiter for his next fight also naming the winner of the highly anticipated Golovkin-Canelo fight as another possibility.
Talks about a potential Kell Brook and Amir Khan fight have seemingly gone on forever, with a back and forth from both boxers entertaining the idea but Khan has recently come out said that he is close to returning to boxing after 15 months after his defeat to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and two hand operations. The two-time world champion has stated that he wishes for a November/December return. Khan said that Brook would get third loss of health fighting him adding “I’m very surprised he is carrying on because he can harm himself and harm his career.” According to Eddie Hearn, fight talks between the two broke down after a disagreement on the purse split. Hearn offered a 50-50 split, however, Khan believed he was the bigger name and demanded a 70-30 split. Eddie did say Khan was the bigger name but added the fact that Brook was the world champion at the time. I believe the fight will eventually happen but not until mid/late 2018.
Another possible matchup is with Manny Pacquiao, with Eddie Hearn confirming talks for a 2017 bout have come about; however, a rematch with Jeff Horn for Pacquiao seems to be where the Philippine is heading for the time being. Hearn reviled back in January that everything was ready to go but they were happy to wait for the Horn fight first. The idea of these two fighting has been brought up a few times and has been close to a reality on occasion when Brook became number 1 contender for Pacquiao’s belt before the Philippine moved up the weight divisions, forcing Brook to fight for a vacant title. Personally, I’d expect to see this fight next year or at a push in December as Brook’s return fight which I see unlikely.
Kell Brook craves the big nights in boxing, for its sell out stadiums, the attention and high status and Saul Alvarez is a name Brook has named as a good fit. Bitter rival, Amir Khan, made the two-weight division jump to fight Canelo in Las Vegas on the 7th of May, 2016. Khan was knocked out in the 6th round and was in control of the fight. It has to be said, the same would be expected to happen if Brook were to make the two-weight climb. Canelo, for me, would be too much for Brook to handle but you never know but this one seems the least likely out his preferred fights.
Following his defeat to Gennady Golovkin, Brook claimed it would have been a completely different fight had his eye not gone and has on occasion stated he would love the chance to jump back into the ring with the Kazakhstani which is definitely more than up for debate, with not a single one of the judges having ‘GGG’ winning the fight before the stoppage. Brook was actually head 39-37 before his injury became too much for him. Despite actually being ahead on points, did appear to be in control of the fight. A rematch would be a chance to avenge his defeat and back up his claims that the injury made it a completely different fight. As a summary, Brook has had success in his career and achieved things in boxing that most can only dream about. We should all be getting behind his return, no matter who he may fight next.