As a writer, a boxing expert, and also a boxing fan it is not in my nature to take the easy way out. I happened to look at ESPN prior to writing this post, which probably was a mistake. I noticed the “experts” unanimously picked Gannady Golovkin to win the fight tonight (September 10th). Eighteen (18) experts and all agree. When was the last time that happened in a mega fight? I’m not sure but a guess of Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson may not be that far from correct.
Fifteen (15) experts predicted a knockout with only three picking Golovkin by decision. Golovkin is one of my favorite fighters active in the sport today. I’m not sure if I enjoy his fights or his interviews more, as he has the perfect personality for a megastar. After an impressive knockout his typical answer to Max Kellerman with his unique voice saying, “Max, I love giving the fans a knockout. I am hear to entertain them.” He has a big smile as he is talking and gaining fan support as he talks more. I simply love it.
The fact that I had planned to write all of the reasons Golovkin will win this fight means nothing. I always get a little nervous when there if total consensus among experts. I mentioned Tyson-Douglas prior. OK the fact that the referee gave Douglas about twelve or thirteen seconds instead of stopping the fight at the count of ten (he counted real slow and started late) wasn’t the only reason Douglas won. Tyson self admitted was in a spiral downfall that most would believe was going to cost him his life before hitting age thirty (30), didn’t train very hard for the fight.
I can say with one hundred percent confidence preparation in the fight tonight will not be in question. Both fighters are role models to the sport, health, and taking serious their careers. Both are visioning their legacy as an all-time great in boxing history. Both fighters also have said nothing but respect for each other. So how does Kell Brook win this fight?
First factor: Brook is moving up two weight classes. Is that a plus or a minus? Reading comments he has made, making the 147 Welterweight required draining his body of fluids to make the weight. He claims it made him weaker and having one day to recover after weighing in was difficult to hydrate properly. So here it the first intangible, I think the weight is going to make him stronger and a better fighter. Brook did not have to suck weight for this fight, the first time in several years.
How will Brook’s endurance in the later rounds will be affected. After all he will be carrying a lot more body fat than when he fights at Welterweight. My guess is he may have five percent more body fat going up thirteen pounds. Good or bad, we will see, only Brook knows exactly how much weaker he felt at the 147 pound weight limit. If this dynamic works in his favor because he is stronger and more able to take punishment, it will certainly help his chances of winning.
Second factor: Brook is an excellent counter puncher. I have not seen Golovkin face a great counter puncher prior. Brooks defense is also outstanding, and we saw this when he won the title by beating Shawn Porter. Porter may come straight at you all the time he doesn’t have the punching power of Golovkin. That said, Golovkin’s style will give Brook the opportunity to connect on counter punches.
The philosophy and principles of the 10 point strategic boxing system I created state after punching get back to your stance and move your head, either by bobbing and weaving or by sliding out of the range of the opponent. Teddy Atlas while in Tim Bradley’s corner would be screaming at Bradley, “after you are done punching get out by sliding to the right.” Golovkin does not move his head or slide out after punching. This may be because he is so macho that he doesn’t think anybody can hurt him, even if they hit him. This could work Brooks favor too. from a scoring points standpoint.
Third factor: Brook wants this fight. He is not going to run away from Golovkin, he is going to fight his style of counter punching. Granted Golovkin may dictate he has to run, but I don’t think that is going to happen. You can never underestimate the mental state of a fighter. Just as any fighter that faced Tyson, once he fought Evander Holyfield for the first time. The invincibility went away. Most fighting Golovkin are only in the ring hoping to not get knocked out.
In closing this fight is the Brook factor. We all know what Golovkin is going to bring to the fight. He is the hardest puncher Brook has faced. Brook is not a power puncher and would only win by scoring points. I don’t see him winning by knocking out Golovkin. Only people that have seen Brook in training camp know how his body is reacting to the extra weight. Only they really know what Brook is going to bring to the fight, and they are actually guessing too, because he hasn’t been in a fight at the weight, with the pressure a fight brings. In the end I would say Golovkin is a safe bet, but just ask the gamblers on that fateful night years ago when Tyson laid on the canvas, and so many people lost their houses.