Saturday, September 10, 2016
The Towel Was Thrown on Kell Brook - GGG Still the Middleweight Champion of the World
The Fight Nobody Expected
Kell Brook was an undefeated welterweight champion. He really had nothing to prove by moving up to middleweight and fighting one of the most feared champions in boxing history. The list of guys who've got a reputation and have ducked GGG is almost as large at the list of reputable fighters that he's beaten. Kell accepted the challenge and went for the champion's belts at 160, as he moved up from 147.
There was almost nobody that gave Brook a chance of beating the hard hitting middleweight champ. Most of the doubt came from a recent fight with Canelo Alvarez vs Amir Khan. I had scored that fight in Khan's favor 4-1, before he was viciously knocked out in the 6th round. Everyone figured that GGG could turn Brook's lights out when he wanted to. Similar to what Canelo did when he was done being out boxed by the weaker man.
Fighting the Most Feared Fighter in the Game Today
Kell Brook was buckled by a power shot that clipped him, but other than that I thought he won the opening round. It was close and some might have given it to GGG. The second round was not as close and clearly went to GGG. The 3rd round would be a clear round for Brook, and by this point he'd shown that good fighters with decent footwork could be effective against the middleweight champ.
Had Kell Brook exposed GGG?
I'm not ready to say he was exposed without more evidence to support the claim. However, Kell Brook was out boxing the feared middleweight champion. Those who thought GGG would just walk through Brook's shots were wrong. Kell Brook hit him with several shots that stopped him right there in his tracks. He felt the power that Kell had told everyone GGG would respect. On the other side GGG had hit Brook with power shots that most wondered if he could take, and he did although he felt the power as early as round one.
In the 5th round Kell Brook's corner thought he'd taken enough abuse. They threw in the towel on their fighter when he was taking as much abuse as he had all night long. Personally I didn't think that he was a beaten fighter. He was getting hit by flurries of punches, and he was having trouble getting out of the way of the punishment, but he hadn't been dropped, didn't take a knee to get a break, or show any sign that he couldn't continue to fight.
Golovkin would have probably beat Brook had the towel not been thrown, and that was what most boxing fans expected to happen when the fight was announced. We don't know that he would've but Kell was having trouble escaping GGG, who cuts the ring off as well as anyone. The power of GGG had been hard for the legit middleweight fighters to handle. Brook had absorbed it as well as any of the others had. There would be no reason for a rematch, but based off what I saw I think that Brook would do even better in a rematch. He exposed a few weaknesses in GGG game plan.
My Final Take on the Fight
I thought the stoppage was premature. That was the trainers of the fighter and part of their job is to protect him. I didn't see enough evidence to justify stopping the fight. He was moving and having trouble escaping GGG who was cutting off the ring. That could have gone Kell's way still, but his corner who knows him better than I do thought he was done. I think Brook had moved well against GGG earlier in the fight when he tried cutting him off. He also proved that a boxer who can move his feet and box well from the outside can have success against Golovkin.
When Kell used his jab, moved his feet, and controlled the range, he was having success against the most feared champion in boxing right now. Golovkin was able to cut the ring off, but Kell countered that with good pivot moves that kept him in punching distance. That's where he found himself catching GGG with counter shots. His movement toward the ropes up and down kept him in good shape, but when he stayed too long in the corners or his back to the ropes it got dangerous. By the time Brook's corner threw the towel into the ring he was having trouble getting away from the pressure Golovkin was applying.
Kell Brook was able to frustrate GGG in a way that none of the other true middleweight fighters had done. The power of Golovkin was on full display, but the elusiveness of Brook rarely offered him a chance to just pound on him. When Golovkin did unload on him the effects were clear that he was hurting Brook. In the 5th round the corner thought he was hurt too bad to continue. His ability to get away from GGG had clearly diminished, but he was still game and appeared to be ready to fight. There's no way to know what might have happened, but Kell Brook made GGG look as bad as I've ever seen him look.
Note: Kell Brook reportedly went to the hospital with a fractured bone on his face.