In terms of the current boxing landscape, you will be hard pressed to find a more exciting and important match than tonight’s welterweight showdown between IBF champion Kell Brook and challenger Errol Spence Jr.
Brook, who memorably neutralized Shawn Porter in 2014, has been considered one of the better talents in the division. However, besides Porter, Brook’s resume is lacking with his second best performance being a tough, but ultimately unsuccessful TKO loss against Gennady Golovkin. Brook, who had been linked to Jesse Vargas and a lucrative domestic duel against Amir Khan, is taking on his best challenger to date in Spence.
For Errol Spence Jr., this fight is a true chance to break out as a champion and to make the next leap forward in the quest for superstardom. Spence Jr., a successful amateur who has been heavily pushed by Premier Boxing Champions, is facing by far his greatest opponent yet.
What has made Spence seemingly so special is everything about him. He passes the eye tests, as his battering of veterans Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu show off his power and incredible stalking skills. Spence has also been rumored to have caused severe issues to Floyd Mayweather and Adrien Broner in sparring sessions and the gym stories have only grown since then.
Brook on the other hand, has some solid scalps on his resume but again…a lot of his name is based on the eye test. An impressively sized welterweight, Brook has a great jab and has a habit of throwing good and precise combinations. Brook’s power has been seen and his value has only exploded after his performance against Golovkin that saw Brook add thirteen pounds in weight to face GGG. While Brook was done in by a broken orbital bone and was seemingly tiring out, his ability to hold off the pressure of Golovkin for a few rounds helped earn high praise for his bravery.
Now, I have been going back and forth in regards to this fight. Both fighters are great at range and Spence has shown the ability to go inside as well. Spence has been a menacing stalker while Brook has been able to successfully impose his size on smaller welterweights. Both men are in impressive shape and have great power. Both are elite talents at their weight class.
Brook needs to jab and pivot and see if he can take Spence into the deep end. While Brook tired out and nearly was TKO’d against journeyman Carson Jones, his stamina has appeared to improve mightily. Spence Jr., for all of his praise has never been tested and Brook needs to establish his presence early or it could be a disastrous night for him.
Spence Jr. on the other hand needs to stalk and test Brook’s eye socket to see if it can take a punch. He needs to keep the fight at mid range, where he excels best and not let Brook try to tie up.
Prediction: Spence by UD