Crawford vs. Brook Preview
By Robert Ecksel on November 12, 2020
“He’s on my radar now, and we’re fighting this weekend.” (Photo: Image Creations)
On Saturday, November 14, in a fight televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes from the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), the pound-for-pound southpaw from Omaha, Nebraska, will defend his title against Kell Brook (39-2, 27 KOs), the former IBF welterweight champion from Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK.
Crawford hasn’t fought in 11 months, since his December stoppage of Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas. He is a world-class talent whose perfect record speaks for itself. But he has yet to be adequately challenged.
Brook enters the ring having lost two of his last five fights, both by early stoppage. In 2016 Gennady Golovkin fractured his left eye socket, forcing a fifth round stoppage. Eight months later, Errol Spence Jr. put him down twice.
Most observers without a vested interest would rather Crawford was fighting someone other than Kell Brook. As attractive as that possibility might be, the other elite welterweights fight for Premier Boxing Champions, not Top Rank, which suggests meaningful fights for Crawford are unlikely for now.
““He’s a good fighter,” Crawford told The Ring. “He has a lot of experience, he’s been in there with some good fighters, so it should a good fight.
“I’ve seen a few of his fights. He’s a good counterpuncher, he’s a good boxer, he’s strong, he’s fast and intelligent. I don’t take nothing away from him. My fighting style is different than other styles he has faced in the past. I feel like I’m smarter than him and an all-round better boxer than him.”
Brook also praised Crawford.
“Terence is a very good fighter,” he said. “He can switch hit, he’s got good distance, balance and good power. He’s very good, but I’m…a naturally bigger guy at welterweight. I’ve also got good balance, movement, and I’m a top, elite fighter.
“This is going to be a thriller and a crowd-pleaser. We‘re both exceptional fighters, so the fans are in for a real treat. I’ve got the fire in my belly, and it’s written for me to go out there and shock the world.”
Other fighters have shocked the world, but none have them have shocked Terence Crawford.
“I’ve been told there are people writing off my chances, questioning my age, and my ability to make the weight, “Brook said. “Well, let them talk. Some people focus on reading headlines, I focus on making headlines. Those people writing me off as a big underdog? No problem. I guess this big dog will be making a few people richer during a difficult time.
“I’ve campaigned with the best in the world at middleweight, and I’ve boxed at welterweight and junior middleweight throughout my career. [Crawford] was a 135-pounder that moved up through the weights, so I’m going to be the naturally bigger guy.
“Terence isn’t too much younger than me. They know that I’ve never ducked a challenge, and they should know that I’ve never failed to make 147 on the scales. With age comes experience. My knowledge and experience make me a different fighter, a more mature ﬁghter. Couple that with a happy fighter, and you’ve got yourself a dangerous fighter.”
Dangerous or not, Crawford is ready.
“He’s not the only opponent that went into the fight thinking they were going to stop me or knock me out, so that’s nothing new for me,” said Crawford at Monday’s virtual presser. “He’s just going to have to live up to his words.
“I actually can’t rate him because I’ve never been in the ring with him. Actually, he was never on my radar from the jump. This was a fight that he wanted, that he kept calling for. Once the Pacquiao fight fell through, he was the next option given the circumstances of COVID and whatnot. I must’ve been on his radar. He was never on my radar. He’s on my radar now, and we’re fighting this weekend. That’s what it is.
“Well, he’s never faced nobody like me. He can say I never faced nobody like him, and I can say he’s never faced nobody like me. I don’t know what he brings to the table because I haven’t been there. I haven’t been in the ring with him, so we shall see come this week.”
Saturday’s fights on ESPN and ESPN Deportes begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.