Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, September 10, 2016
Where: O2 Arena, London, England
Weight Class: Middleweight: 12 Rounds
Titles: Unified Middleweight Championship
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Gennady Golovkin, 35-0 (32 KOs), Kazakhstan
Kell Brook, 36-0 (25 KOs), Sheffield, England
Betting Odds: Gennady Golovkin (-700), Kell Brook (+450)
Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will defend his title against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook on September 10 in London. No one really saw this pairing coming, as the announcement of this fight took the boxing world by surprise. The 34-year old Golovkin is 35-0 with 32 KOs, as he takes on the 36-0 Brook. Someone's "O" has got to go. Can the smaller Brook threaten a dominant and bigger man in the hard-hitting Golovkin? Or will this be another step for Golovkin as he poises himself for the blockbuster matchup with Canelo Alvarez next year?
This fight is a throwback in a sense, when welterweight champions used to customarily try their luck with the middleweight king. In recent years, it has been more of an anomaly. Welterweights will often move up to 160 over time, but rarely will you see a reigning 147-pound champion jump up two weight classes. Not only that, but he's doing so against the most feared world champion in all of boxing. Brook always had really good size for a welterweight, so maybe it's not the quixotic leap some think it is. Make no mistake, however, Brook is facing a very robust 160-pounder in Golovkin.
Normally in a scenario like this, the lighter guy would be called upon to fight a nifty, moving style based on speed, cleverness, and boxing skill. With Brook's speed, that might be his only chance. He's not terribly adept on the inside from an offensive standpoint. It's just that long-range boxing might not resonate with Golovkin, especially from a fighter who is a welterweight at the end of the day. GGG likes to operate with some room. You see a guy with a KO record like his and how no one has lasted the distance with the unbeaten Golovkin in 6 years and you might figure he's a terror in the inside. He's actually more of a middle/long-range practitioner who isn't really a proven commodity on the inside.
Stylistically, Brook has areas of promise as well as concern as he prepares to face the feared middleweight champ. The Englishman is a cunning puncher, able to throw short punches that could find an alley in between the wider throws of GGG. He leads with strong and short blows, as Brook has shown an ability to land with authority in unexpected fashion. Brook will possess a speed advantage and probably is higher on the overall skill scale than any opponent Golovkin has faced. In addition, he is smart and hits harder than what some may estimate.
Brook doesn't seem too keen on getting in too deep on the inside. When inside action heats up, he can be pretty grabby. In a sense, that's a good tactic and it allows him to better dictate the terms of the fight. When scouting for a guy to upset Golovkin, however, you'd like to see an opponent be more of an overall threat in close quarters. Against GGG, Brook's holding tactics might fall flat, as it's hard to remember an opponent being able to nullify the action in that manner against the Kazakhstani marauder. Then again, he has never faced an opponent with the class of Brook.
There is no denying the class of Brook, nor the fact that he is a top-of-the-line campaigner of the highest order. He'll throw some people off with his laconic demeanor that suggests he just awoke from a nap. That's just a diversion from the fire that lies under the surface. When you take a close look at how he works, it's clear why he is where he is—at 36-0 and on top of a packed welterweight division. He's a little grabby and awkward, but don't let that fool you. He chops away with short and hurtful blows, with his shots having an authoritative air to it. He is a robust 147-pounder and has a keen sense of what his opponent is trying to do. His work is economical. He shuffles around and punches well off the movement. Brook doesn't wind-up on his shots, as they are thrown with great suddenness. There is just a very precise and surgical way that he goes about doing damage.
In terms of timing, Brook might be ready to take his career to the next level. After beating Shawn Porter for the IBF 147-pound strap, he's been a bit out of sight, with a few very low-key defenses. This fight allows him to make up for lost time. And let's face it, he would have a lengthy list of pretty compelling reasons if he were to lose. This is a fight that Brook could lose and still end up raising his stock. Because against Golovkin, he's facing one of the more terrifying middleweights ever.
Other than the fact that he runs roughshod over people, there are different reasons to like GGG. He has a pretty good temperament in the ring and doesn't get wound-up. He has a dark side, but he's not a tense brawler who relies on anger. He's relaxed in the ring, able to coolly break down a fight mentally. Not that he's lazy or indifferent, as opponents quickly find that any mistake they commit will be capitalized on by the champion.
I just have a hard time picturing how Brook will ever get into a comfortable zone in this fight. Against Golovkin, the best place to be might be right in the eye of the storm. Normally in a fight like this, a smaller guy like Brook could have some safe-harbor on the outside. I don't see that happening in this fight. The range Brook likes to operate with will put him right in Golovkin's wheelhouse.
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There are some areas of daylight for Brook, but his chances are based on elements that are undependable. Golovkin is 34 years old. We remember hearing how Marvin Hagler was past his best when he fought Sugar Ray Leonard, but GGG is 2 years older that Hagler was on that evening he lost his belt in 1987. Golovkin has also managed to rise to the top of the sport without really beating a top guy. In other words, we have a guy in GGG where we think we know, but we really don't know. He has beaten good fighters with such ease that one just automatically projects he will thrive against an A+ fighter. But again, we don't know for sure. Brook might just be a cut above. Brook also gets this fight in his native England, giving his chances a little extra boost.
I won't deny that there are some things to like for potential Brook backers. At the end of the day, I just feel that the guy who ends up beating Golovkin will be a differently-styled fighter than Brook. The things that Brook does well could threaten Golovkin, but it's what he doesn't do well that is a bigger concern—namely his inability to make things happen on the inside. To beat Golovkin, you have to muscle him around, rough him up, and get his respect. Brook is a battle-tested campaigner and a tough fighter, but I don't think he has enough mettle to weather incoming fire in order to make a statement with his own shots. I'm going with GGG and I think he will close escrow before the eighth round.
Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Gennady Golovkin at -700, looking to bet on him by KO as prop bets come out closer to fight-night. Did you know... that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!