Brook’s opportunity to truly declare himself ‘Special K’

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You’re kidding, right? No way! Is this a joke?!

No, it’s no joke. Kell ‘Special K’ Brook will face Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin at London’s O2 arena.

Brook, 30, is going to take on arguably the most feared fighter in boxing on September 10. He is going to trade leather with ‘GGG’ at 160 pounds; the division where the 34-year-old has been knocking out opponents left, right and centre. There’s no catchweight.

‘Special K’ is in his prime and unbeaten. He has campaigned at 147 pounds for many years. He’s a very good boxer with skill and power, however, despite being the current holder of the IBF welterweight strap, he has yet to truly prove himself in that weight class. To stake a claim to be the best in your division, you have to beat those who pose a serious threat to you. As of yet, Brook has not done this. The biggest name he has fought to date is, Shawn Porter. That was the toughest challenge of his career, and he passed the test, but there are other fighters in the division – like Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman, Jessie Vargas and Danny Garcia – who would bring something different to the table, in terms of style and power. They too are unbeaten, yet the 30-year-old has decided to move up in weight and face a far more formidable opponent, who is also in his prime. It was an offer he could not refuse. 

Despite his talents and looking indestructible, so far, Golovkin’s résumé is thin and like Brook, he has not yet faced a number of fighters in his division – such as Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr and Daniel Jacobs – who could inflict the first defeat of his professional career. As you may be aware, there was a lot of hype surrounding a potential mega-fight between ‘GGG’ and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. That failed to materialise, resulting in Alvarez vacating the WBC middleweight title. There is even the possibility of the Kazakh moving up in weight himself and testing the waters at super-middleweight. Anyhow, that’s for another day.

Many fans of the sport are very confident that Golovkin will defeat Brook, and for good reason, but in spite of this, there are still question marks surrounding this fight.

Brook is a big welterweight and reportedly walks around at 178 pounds. If he can carry the weight well, with his power, things could get very interesting. Golovkin has to cross the pond and fight in the UK. British crowds are very different to American crowds. How will he deal with the hostile atmosphere? He has many fans over here, but the majority of fans on the night will be cheering for the Sheffield star. The occasion could get to ‘GGG’. He could have an off-night. The Kazakh cannot afford to have an off-night, period.

This could turn out to be Golovkin’s toughest test to date. If this proves to be the case, it would not look good on him. If he was to lose, it would be unthinkable. He would lose all of his belts, his reputation would be in tatters and many people would take a pop at him for losing to, essentially, a welterweight. ‘GGG’ has everything to lose, Brook has everything to gain.

The odds are stacked against ‘Special K’, no doubt about it, nonetheless, if he was to defeat Golovkin, it would be considered to be one of the greatest upsets in the history of boxing.

 

 

 

 

 

MITCHELL HAMMERS LOPEZ!

ImageRomford’s. Kevin Mitchell, showcased his skills at London’s O2 arena on October 5, breaking down Mexican, Marco Lopez, over six rounds to claim the IBF Inter-Continental lightweight title.

Mitchell, 28, looked first-class on the night, maintaining such a sharp focus throughout and picking his shots so effectively. From the opening bell, you could tell what sort of mood ‘The Hammer’ was in. He was never in a rush and went about his business in an assured manner. Mitchell’s left hooks to the body and left uppercuts were key shots; finding the target practically every single time he threw them. Lopez was clearly not in the same league as Mitchell, but he showed a Mexican’s heart and did not want to quit, despite having to absorb so much punishment.

In round 3, the Mexican’s nose became bloody after Mitchell hammered home a straight right hand. In the 4th, Mitchell countered with a solid left hand which rocked Lopez. The Mexican’s defenses were becoming incresingly scattered. Another brutal left hand landed downstairs which forced Lopez to take a knee. To his credit, he rose to his feet at the count of seven, but he was having serious problems dealing with everything Mitchell was throwing at him. Again, in the 5th round, Lopez had to be commended for battling on, but he was looking more and more ragged.

Mitchell finally got his just deserts for the way he performed after landing a stunning right-left combo to send the Mexican down for a second time. Lopez got up at eight, but the referee took one look at him and waved off the fight. Mitchell improved to 35(25)-2-0 with this victory, whilst Lopez slipped to 23(14)-3-0.

This was Mitchell’s second comeback fight since September 2012 when he lost to WBO lightweight champion, Ricky Burns. The way Mitchell performed against Lopez signalled a real statement of intent. He’s a rejuvenated fighter now, is back fighting regularly and looks much happier within himself. There’s a real air of confidence surrounding him.

A little dust up with Commonwealth lightweight title-holder, Derry Mathews, would show us where Mitchell is at. That’s a fight that Mitchell wants and it could very well happen this December. It’s a fight us fans are salivating over!

JOSHUA’S DEMOLITION JOB!

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Anthony Joshua MBE, started life as a professional boxer in spectacular fashion, by demolishing Italian, Emanuele Leo, inside one round at London’s O2 arena on October 5.

Joshua, 23, was very focused and relaxed for as long as the contest lasted, working off a solid jab and firing home straight 1-2’s down the middle; catching the Italian almost at will.

Leo, 32, was fighting outside of Italy for the first time and was unbeaten in eight pro fights before meeting Joshua. The Italian was game and tough, but was just no match for the Watford man. Joshua showed a ruthless streak that will serve him well in the pro game. With 0:15 of the 1st round remaining, Joshua landed a devastating right hand that Leo was never going to recover from. What an explosive way to introduce yourself on the scene.

The Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, at last year’s London games, was delighted with the way his pro debut went. He could not have asked for a better start to life as a pro boxer, but knows it is the start of a long journey. He refuses to get carried away, but it is something he can now build on.

As far as professional debuts go, that was an excellent start. He did not look nervous or freeze. He’s a real intimidating, physical specimen at 6’6″ and he’s got power in that right hand. He’s got a great team behind him too and his trainer, Tony Sims, is one of the best trainers in the game.

These are exciting times to be a Joshua fan, but we all know he’s just dipped his feet in the shallow end of the pool. We should keep faith in him, though, because the pieces of the jigsaw are layed out; they just need to be carefully pieced together.

CAMPBELL OVERWHELMS HEPPER IN ONE!

ImageHull’s, Luke Campbell MBE, made it back to back 1st round wins after he overwhelmed Darlington’s, Neil Hepper, in one round at London’s O2 arena on October 5.

Campbell, now 2(2)-0-0, made his pro debut in July in his home city of Hull and he made another statement at the O2 arena. He started a bit too eager early doors and was tagged a few times, but it did not take him long to find his range. Campbell, 26, landed a left hand to Hepper’s body which sent him down on to the canvas, but replays showed that although the shot landed both boxers feet became tangled. This caused Hepper to lose his balance and go over, but he was absolutely fine to continue after receiving a standing eight count.

Not long after that, Campbell landed a vicious right hand to Hepper’s temple which scrambled his senses. Campbell followed up with a venomous left hand to the solar plexus which took everything out of Hepper, causing him to hit the canvas in some distress. The Darlington man was unable to beat the count and the referee waved off the fight with 1:59 of the round having elapsed. With that defeat, Hepper slips to 5(0)-3-0.

Campbell most certainly has a vicious streak in him, but he also has great boxing ability and has now claimed two impressive 1st round victories. It’s to get carried away, but a dose of reality is needed. He blew away two opponents in no time at all, but you can’t help but be impressed. You can only beat what’s put in front of you and that was only his second pro fight. Campbell has shown great accuracy and gets full range on his punches. He has long arms and he’s got power in both hands. He gets in and out of range very well, but we saw him become a little too eager very early on and was clipped a few times. That’s no real problem, though, because it’s good for him to get hit. He’s able to dish it out but he needs to take a few too. He got the job done at the end of the day and there’s always things to work on back in the gym when you look back over a fight.

The 2012 Olympic gold medallist looks a very switched on individual, highly confident and smart. He believes he is competing in the most exciting weight division (lightweight) in Britain, with plenty of good fighters out there for him to face over time. He’s taking it one fight at a time and learning as he goes.

Campbell wants to excite the fans and that’s exactly what he’s doing.