After tedious negotiations, which lead to the demise of the prospective Chris Eubank Jr. fight, Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) will make his United Kingdom debut against IBF Welterweight champion Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs).
The fight, which will see Golovkin defend his numerous Middleweight titles, will take place at The O2 Arena in London, on September 10.
Read on for a complete preview and prediction for Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook.
Tale of the Tape
Photo edit by Liam Brady/RBRBoxing
Though Kell Brook is a Welterweight, there is not a substantial difference in height and reach, when compared to his Middleweight opponent. Being 5’10 ½”, Golovkin has a 1 ½” height advantage, as well as a 1” bigger reach.
Yet, anyone who is accustomed to Golovkin, knows an obvious advantage he possesses is a gargantuan knockout ratio. Golovkin holds a 91 percent knockout ratio in 35 fights, as opposed to Brook’s 69 percent knockout ratio in 36 fights.
As a result of an inferior knockout ratio, Brook has endured 24 more rounds than Golovkin, which technically suggests the Welterweight champion has more ring experience.
However, Golovkin’s world championship experience is far greater, having been in 16 world title fights, compared to Brook’s four.
Photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing
For many weeks, it was expected that Kell Brook’s countryman, and British Middleweight champion, Chris Eubank Jr. (23-1, 18 KOs) was going to be in the opposite corner for Golovkin’s British debut.
Though, due to outlandish demands during the negotiation phase, promoter Eddie Hearn offered the fight to Brook, who accepted exactly the same terms offered to Eubank Jr.
Despite being a Welterweight champion, a lot has been made in the past that Brook is a “big” Welterweight, who cuts an obscene amount of weight to conform to the 147 pound limit.
As a result, it has been touted that Brook is suited to the higher weights. This was evident during the WBC’s mandatory 30-day weigh-in, where Brook weighed 11 pounds more than Golovkin.
Finally, it was recently announced that the WBA would not sanction the upcoming bout against Kell Brook. Consequently, Golovkin’s WBA Super title will not be on the line, though it will be vacated if he loses against Brook.
The main reason cited by the WBA was the fact Golovkin, who has above average power, is facing a Welterweight, which can arguably be dangerous for Brook’s health.
Strengths for Each Man
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One of many impressive attributes of Gennady Golovkin is his jab, which is consistently strong and efficient.
This allows Golovkin to be authoritative, which in turn, forces his opponent to back-pedal. In conjunction with his punching power, the jab helps break down his opponent, and creates openings for him to land his power shots.
Being an aggressive fighter can sometimes connote an unintelligent fighter, though Golovkin defies that notion. When cutting off the ring, Golovkin will lower his head, which enables him to surpass the opponent’s jab and breach their defence.
Golovkin will then land a devious hook on the inside, which the opponent does not see. This was exemplified in the Willie Monroe Jr. fight in May 2015.
Overall, Gennady Golovkin is an aggressive fighter who is very cunning and forceful. He also has an adequate shot selection, thus making his attacks unpredictable for the opponent. All of these qualities make Golovkin a hard night’s work for any fighter, of any style or ability.
Photo by Esther Lin
It is apparent that Kell Brook is a very good counterpuncher, an ability that works in tandem with his reflexes, which allows him to evade shots too. Brook is often seen twitching during a fight, always in anticipation of his opponent’s shot, ready to land a counterpunch.
Common counterpunches landed by Brook are the straight right hand and check hook. His jab works as an effective counter shot also, landing it just as the attacking fighter charges forward.
Brook has also exemplified intelligence in the ring, particularly in the form of inside fighting. Despite being frustrating for the viewer, Brook is able to nullify the opponent’s attack by clinching them, and smothering their punches.
Additionally, Brook’s inside attack is effective. He is able to manoeuvre out of a clinch and quickly land an accurate right hand from a short distance, which catches the opponent by surprise.
It is conclusive that Kell Brook is a fighter with a high boxing intellect, a fighter that is a quick thinker, with impressive shot selection.
His speed, reflexes and anticipation make him an accurate puncher that exploits the defensive mistakes of his opponents.
Weaknesses for Each Man
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Gennady Golovkin does a great job of cutting the ring off and evading the incoming jab of the opponent, though on various occasions he has been hit with several punches at once.
Whether it is complacency on Golovkin’s behalf, or a defensive flaw, opponents may see that as a potential aspect to exploit when devising a game plan to beat Golovkin.
Golovkin has previously cited that he makes a fight go longer by taking the opponent’s shots, which may seem foolish to some, and potentially dangerous.
But due to the above average power Golovkin has, he can take the opponent’s shot cleanly, and reply with something much more damaging.
The aforementioned power allows him to change the perspective of a fight with one punch, at any given time.
Photo by Esther Lin
Although Kell Brook exemplifies quick reflexes, it is arguable that he can depend on them too much sometimes.
He has shown this in fights by being stationary for too long, relying on head movement to avoid shots, and neglecting his footwork.
This causes him to be sloppy, thus causing him to take shots from the opponent. Such carelessness will be costly when it comes to the punching power of Golovkin.
Another possible weakness of Brook is his ability to take a punch. One example of this is his October 2013 fight against Vyacheslav Senchenko, where a right hand momentarily wobbled him.
This could have been complacency, and he did recover quickly, eventually stopping Senchenko.
Nonetheless, this incident can raise question marks regarding his chin at 160 pounds, particularly against someone like Golovkin.
The Winner and Why
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The weights released from the WBC’s mandatory weigh ins do ask the question of how depleted Kell Brook must have been to make 147 pounds, making his IBF Welterweight title victory all the more impressive.
As a consequence, it can be suggested that Brook will be fresher at 160 pounds, allowing him to have higher energy levels, and potentially a better punch resistance, from the less excruciating weight cut.
From an ability perspective, Brook’s angles, reflexes, shot selection, speed, and counterpunching make him very effective at nullifying aggressive fighters. Gennady Golovkin is much more than an aggressive fighter, though. He is very cunning, with a great boxing IQ of his own.
But I do think the aforementioned qualities of Brook will make this a competitive fight. How long for, however, is the question.
Brook can counter shot Golovkin and make him miss, making viewers very intrigued in the early stages of the fight. But I believe the difference in power will be telling. I do not think Brook will be able to make Golovkin respect him, causing him to be overwhelmed.
As a result, the backpedalling of Brook, combined with Golovkin’s ability to take shots and deliver his own with interest, will make it a taxing and demoralising experience for Brook over time.
As a consequence, I see a long-winded domination by Golovkin, leading to a stoppage in the latter rounds, or a dominant decision win.