“Yo, my balls and my words are alls I have/ What chu gone do to me nigga? Scars will scab/ What, chu gone box me homie? I can dodge ya jab/ Three shots couldn’t touch me– thank God for that”
–Jay-Z, from “Moment of Clarity”
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To be clear, Kell Brook has a reason to feel the same as Jigga. The IBF welterweight champion of the world will be the David against Goliath in Gennady Golovkin; and on Saturday, September 10 at the O2 Arena in London, in front of a partisan mob, “Special K” (36-0, 25 KOs) looks to unveil more than a slingshot of a chance against “GGG” (35-0, 32 KOs).
While a large number of media and hardcore fans consider the showdown between Brook and the WBC, WBA, IBO and IBF middleweight kingpin to be a mismatch, it is not.
In fact, this fight could result in an upset that would have to draw parallels to Sugar Ray Leonard’s historic triumph over Marvelous Marvin Hagler in April 1987.
LEONARD VS. HAGLER II?
It won’t be that, but Sugar Ray had heard all of the loud whispers leading up to that superfight with the menacing Hagler. Most potentially daunting, perhaps, among them was this broad, very palpable feeling that Hagler might seriously hurt him.
Like Brook, Sugar Ray was a 30 year-old welterweight moving up to face a middleweight champion considered a monster. Leonard was very sure that he’d exploit advantages in speed and agility– which he did against Hagler, while having just enough volume, power and conditioning to get a W.
In a bit of irony, Brook can also look to Sugar Ray for a different form of inspiration. The only man to defeat Leonard at that time was the great Roberto Duran, who’d moved up to 147 from the 135 pound lightweight division he ruled.
Brook seemingly firmly believes he can “Sugar Ray Leonard” GGG, while revealing how to malfunction the machine that is Golovkin.
At 34, GGG is around two years older than Hagler was then, yet, he appears far fresher than the last ring version of Hagler the world would ever see.
This fight doesn’t compare to Leonard vs. Hagler in terms of significance between proven all-time greats, for these two ain’t quite there yet.
But GGG vs. Brook, at its best (which is all boxing can hope for), has the potential to compare in some ways – and I say this at the risk of sacrilege, to one of the greatest fights of all-time.
‘THE BOONDOCK SAINTS’ OF LONDON?
This fight should be similar in action to the Irish movie cult classic. The last time two unbeaten A-fighters squared off with such a distinct stylistic dichotomy on the world stage, occurred around St. Patrick’s Day in March of 1990.
Triple G, the son of Chavez (to hell with Julio Cesar Jr.– I want a DNA check of Golovkin), features a debilitating body attack not seen since the days of the Mexican icon, and is a scary hybrid of Chavez and the Soviet-style destroyer Kostya Tsyzu.
Brook, who will be fighting before a legion of wild fans cheering him on in the U.K., witnessed Golovkin’s somewhat flawed 6th round dismissal of Willie Monroe Jr. in May 2015 and sees weaknesses he thinks he can exploit.
Though primarily a boxer, Brook does not fight “not-to-lose”, and will gun for a knockout. I envision Brook as an inspired version of Meldrick Taylor in there with GGG.
Kell Brook is going to get KTFO.
The decision to bulk up to about 180 lbs before melting down to 160 in Brook’s case, follows a Martin Murray blueprint, who was bludgeoned over 11 rounds by Golovkin in a February 2015 bout in Monaco.
This suggests a gameplan that calls for some trench warfare with the middleweight assassin- featuring nasty exchanges that will ultimately break Brook, particularly: Golovkin’s organ freezing hooks to the body; plus an oppressive, dictator-like jab Brook won’t dodge enough.
Look for GGG’s methodical, consistent and almost diabolical attack to cause a ring claustrophobia–before closing the door on Kell Brook in the 10th round.
––John Gatling (aka Taz) is a southpaw from Plainfield, NJ and the boxing opinionator lives in the Boston area. He was inspired by hometown heroes Harold “The Shadow” Knight and Glenwood “The Real Beast” Brown to get deeper into the fight game. Follow John on Twitter (@johngatling_) and Facebook (facebook.com/taznj)