Former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook made a winning return to the ring in February after a 14-month absence, we take a look at the five potential opponents he could face in 2020.
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Kell Brook was back in the ring in the ring in February after being away for quite a while. He looked in top nick and produced a fine performance with a seventh-round stoppage of American Mark DeLuca at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield.
Brook was on a mission and he put a beating on DeLuca. He broke his opponents nose and made him take a knee in the third before flooring him in the seventh with shuddering left hand.
That win takes Brook to 39-2 and it won him the vacant WBO Intercontinental light-middleweight title. However, Brook wants bigger opponents and bigger titles, he honestly believes he will be world champion again in 2020.
Let’s take a look at five potential opponents that Brook could soon be fighting and what he thinks about each fighter.
Dominican Republic fighter Jeison Rosario is the current WBA (Super), IBF and IBO light middleweight champion and this fight would play into Brook’s plans of having a world title fight. Rosario would be hard to beat in Brook’s second fight back, but the Sheffield-born fighter is refusing to duck any fighters. Rosario is 20-1-1 and his only defeat was a six round TKO defeat at the hands of Nathaniel Gilmore in 2017.
What Brook Said About Rosario:
“Maybe we can go straight to him. Listen, I want them titles, let’s make it. Let’s give him an offer and let’s make the fight. I want names or world titles, that’s what I’m after.”
Errol Spence Jr
Errol Spence Jr is currently unbeaten and he holds the IBF and WBC welterweight titles and is regarded as the world’s fourth best active fighter. He has claimed 21 knockouts from his 26 fights, and he has beaten Brook before when they clashed at Bramall Lane with Spence taking Brook’s IBF belt with an 11th round knockout. Brook feels he is ready for another crack at the American.
What Brook Said About Spence Jr:
“I know that I was beating him before. I’d get all the positives from it. That haunts me, the first fight. It haunts me and I would love the rematch with Errol Spence. What I would do differently is I would be 100% in there. There won’t be 60%. I’ll be 100%. It’s infectious the confidence what I’d bring with that.”
Terence Crawford is another American fighter who has yet to be defeated. Crawford has won all 36 fights since he turned professional in 2008 and out of them fights he has won 27 by way of knockout or technical knockout. Crawford has only ever fought two Brits in his career. First, he won a unanimous points decision against Ricky Burns to win the WBO lightweight title in 2014. He then scored a Technical Knockout win over Amir Khan after Khan’s corner said he was unable to continue after being hit by a low blow. Khan was behind on the score cards after being knocked down in the first. If Brook faced Crawford, he would be fighting for the WBO welterweight title.
What Brook Said About Crawford:
“He does everything very well. He can punch, he can box, he can fight. He’s got the ring craft, he can perform under the bright lights. He has got it all. Crawford is one hell of a fighter…but I believe I can beat him. I would have to be 110%. Leave no stone unturned and I really mean that. Live right, not go to bed and be on Instagram, Put the phone down and let’s go to sleep. No messing, because you can’t mess with this.”
Liverpudlian Liam Smith was in Sheffield to watch Brook’s comeback win and he has not been shy in admitting that he wants to face Brook in the ring as soon as possible. Smith has been beaten twice in his career from 31 fights. His first defeat saw him knocked out in the ninth round by Canelo Alvarez in 2016, while he lost on points to Jamie Munguia in 2018. This all-British affair would put bums on seats and this one is probably the fight that will happen first seeing as it won’t be a world title fight.
What Brook Said About Smith:
“He’s been in fights that have not been meaningful. He needs me. I’m the bigger name. I can’t really give too much away, because people listen. (He’s been) Saying I’ve got no heart and whatever. Paul Smith (Liam’s brother) analyses fights and he should just stick to fighting. I’ve got it all and I’m the better fighter. I can land those shots from the first round until the 12th round. I might be losing eight or nine rounds, but I’ve got that power that can get you out of jail. I’m a force to be reckoned with.”
This fight is a pipedream. If this fight was ever going to happen, it would have happened by now. It reminds me of when Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were touted to fight each over for all those years. They eventual got it together, but the hype was better than the fight. This would be the same, we wait for it for ever and then it’s less than impressive. Khan always wants to fight the big names, and he just doesn’t believe Brook is a big enough name to share a ring with him. Being honest, Khan needs to take that fight because it’s his only real chance of beating a so-called big named fighter.
What Brook Said About Khan:
“I am fed up of hearing Khan, but I think we would all still love to see that fight. It would be realistic for me, but I don’t think he fancies it. People say he’s scared. I don’t think he’s scared, because he’s been in with Canelo, he’s been in with these fighters. I think it’s more about his pride, losing to another Brit. I understand that, but it’s risk-reward. To be great, you’ve got to do that. We’ve got history. We get asked about fighting every boxing interview we ever have. As much as we’ve talked about it, if it was official and we were fighting each other, believe you me, it sets alight petrol.”