By Tom Terzulli
No one in the boxing world believed English upstart Kell Brook would defeat Gennady Golovkin in their Middleweight title fight on Saturday. He was looked at as another road block in the way of a marquee match-up with Andre Ward or Canelo Alvarez. And of course he didn’t win, after his trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the towel in 5th round. What he did do however, was show some flashes that will no doubt help him secure another national TV fight very soon.
GGG won Saturday’s bout by forcing Brook to the ropes. He kept constant pressure on the Brit throughout the fight, opening him up to heavy combinations and body shots. That’s a sound strategy, he may be pound for pound the biggest power puncher in the sport. But, the fight changed when Brook was able to avoid the ropes and stand toe-to-toe with GGG, he actually landed some solid shots.
Whenever he held his ground, the IBF Welterweight champ was able to use the uppercut effectively and put his punches together against one of the best fighters in the world. Normally, for a power puncher like GGG, that’s his type of fight, but not on Saturday where he was generally out-boxed in those situations.
This was particularly evident in Round 2, widely regarded as a winning round for Brook. In it, the action was generally held in the center of the ring and away from the ropes. This allowed Brook to pick his spots and land some good power shots. The problem was after the 2nd, he wasn’t able to maintain it for another whole round and that led to victory for the champ.
Overall, it seemed to be a rough night for GGG. There were persisting rumors of illness prior to the fight that might have slowed him down. Maybe he simply didn’t have his best that night. Or crazily enough, maybe Brook was able to stick with a great puncher like GGG in those middle of the ring exchanges.
Saturday was by no means a great performance for Kell Brook. A loss is a loss, but the great ones always build upon something in defeat. Brook may have found something to lay a foundation with on Saturday.