Brook banishes any doubts over mettle in stepping up to face middleweight kingpin Golovkin
Lee Gormley | July 9, 2016
Brook to face ‘GGG’ in shock September bout
It looked likely that Chris Eubank Jr would be stepping into the ring with undisputed middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin later this year, but in a swift change of proceedings, IBF welterweight title holder Kell Brook pipped his compatriot to the fight with ‘GGG’.
Sheffield native Brook has previously come under-fire for going up against inferior opponents and lesser boxing names, but his latest announcement has banished such doubts over his mettle, as he now prepares to collide with arguably the most feared fighter on the planet, Golovkin.
Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) outpointed Shawn Porter in August 2014 to claim the 147lbs crown and has since successfully defended it three times against Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin and Kevin Bizier, but next makes a daunting step-up two weight classes to tackle ‘GGG’ on September 10th.
For Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs), his imminent trip to the O2 Arena in London represents a chance to further his fanbase and grow his already titanic reputation on a maiden UK outing, while Brook is 4/1 with Coral to spoil his plans with what would be a truly shocking victory.
Fight snapped up instantly by Brook
Brook’s Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn had initially been working to set-up a clash between Golovkin and rising middleweight star Eubank Jr, but claimed the latter’s hopes were scuppered by supposed contract demands from his team, including his father – former world champion Chris Eubank.
Instead, undefeated Yorkshireman Brook was offered the same deal and happily obliged to secure a blockbuster showdown with unified middleweight kingpin ‘GGG’, with the Kazakh knockout fighter currently in possession of the WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO belts.
“When this fight was offered I accepted in a minute. I’m a huge welterweight and I will carry my speed, accuracy and power through the weights,” said Brook.
“This is the ultimate fight, one of the biggest international fights this country has seen in many years.
“You have seen some huge names run from Golovkin, but I’m running to him. I’m a special fighter and I will show the world on 10 September.”
Sizeable task in front of ‘Special K’
Brook will follow in the footsteps of fellow Briton and highly touted future opponent Amir Khan in moving up divisions for a high-profile match-up, with the latter Bolton brawler having fought Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez earlier this year at 155lbs in Las Vegas.
Former Olympic Gold medallist Khan was devastatingly stopped in the sixth round of that clash with Mexico’s Canelo, and his conqueror will next challenge Liverpool’s Liam Smith (6/1 to win) for the WBO light-middleweight crown on September 17th.
A week before that encounter it will be Brook’s turn, though, as he aims to tame Golovkin – the man that has rampantly bulldozed his way through his last 22 consecutive foes, rallying to the highest KO percentage in middleweight history.
— Gennady Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) July 9, 2016
The unbeaten Sheffield champion’s task is mammoth, with ‘GGG’ set to enter his first ever bout in the UK as the massive odds-on 1/6 favourite to earn career success number 36.
Golovkin is yet to be taken the distance over 12 rounds, with Martin Murray having gone farthest in the 11th in February last year, proving the sizeable task on hand for Brook.
‘Special K’ has also enjoyed stoppage success in his last three straight bouts, having not gone beyond six rounds in those outings, but the 30-year-old has never faced anyone with as much power in their shots than next foe ‘Triple G’.
No ‘GGG’ fear from Brook
Middleweight monster Golovkin won his first world title in 2010 and has been charging through anyone that stands in his way since, though the 34-year-old has struggled in recent years to secure big-name opponents due to his own formidable attributes.
Middleweight star Canelo has long been tipped for a showdown with Golovkin, but the fiery headed Mexican recently opted to give up his WBC strap rather than challenge his rival this year, with that megafight being reportedly lined up for 2017 instead.
Although, welterweight champion Brook has shown no such fear, deciding to take the huge risk of coming face-to-face with the hard-hitting Kazakhstani.
“You get fighters who say they want to fight the best but they don’t step up to the plate,” added Brook. “Eddie Hearn put this fight to me on Thursday [July 7th] and I said yes straight away.
“Everyone is running away from GGG – I’m running towards him. I want these big fights and like Sugar Ray Robinson did, I’m jumping up to middleweight to become a two weight world champion.”
Golovkin’s lack of marquee names as opponents has denied him the opportunity to officially become the world’s pound-for-pound ruler, though it’s an illustrious status which many bestow onto him regardless.
British boxing booming
Brook looked all set to take on WBO welterweight king Jessie Vargas in a unification scrap in early September before this dramatic step up towards Golovkin, but will now have to prepare to fight 13lbs higher than he has done throughout his time in the pro ranks.
This showdown with Golovkin will see Brook’s stock rocket regardless of the result, similar to Khan when he stepped up to face Canelo, with so many fighters having been unwilling to do battle with the undefeated middleweight king.
September’s meeting between two undefeated champions falls at a time when British boxing has been booming, with Golovkin joining the likes of esteemed names Guillermo Rigondeaux and Wladimir Klitschko, among others, in arriving in the UK for battle.
“I cannot tell you how excited I am for this mega fight,” Brook’s promoter Hearn said. “Right here you have the number one welterweight in the world against the number one middleweight in the world – 36-0 v 35-0, two of the best on the planet.”
— Kell Brook (@SpecialKBrook) July 8, 2016
“We have pushed for that big name for a long time with many reluctant to step into the ring with him and now this is the ultimate challenge, the biggest fight of 2016.”
There’s no denying Brook’s bravery in stepping up to tackle a man so many have avoided. But without risk, there is no reward, and there will be vast amounts of the latter if the Sheffield fighter can somehow upset the odds. Going over Golovkin is a truly colossal task awaiting him in London on September 10th.