Brook no Buster, but can’t Jinx GGG
Callum Rudge reflects on a memorable night as Kell Brook's brave battle to conquer unbeaten middleweight ogre Gennady Golovkin ended in noble failure.
As Kell Brook made his way to the ring on Saturday night, my thoughts turned to Mike Tyson and one of his more famous fights.
While pre-fight some references were being made to Tyson’s shock defeat to Buster Douglas, my thoughts lingered on Michael Spinks.
In short, Kell look terrified and a lot of us were terrified for him. Golovkin, meanwhile, just looked his usual self, smiling and oozing the certainty of yet another impending knock-out victory. Even the national anthems were stark in their differences, ‘God Save The Queen’ seemed tame and gentle compared to the slow but thunderous 'Meniñ Qazaqstanım’ ('My Kazakhstan').
But, once the fight started, we were treated to exactly that, a fight.
Brook immediately took ring centre and engaged with Golovkin, reminding us that even though he isn't a natural middleweight, he is still a world-class boxer in his own right. Golovkin dominated the round and hurt Brook with a left hook but Brook had left his mark, and shown GGG he was no Dominic Wade.
Where Wade fell in round two, Brook came to life, again taking ring centre but peppering Golovkin with head shots, Golovkin had his successes but this was Brook’s round without a doubt.
At the start of round three a left hook broke Brook’s eye socket and, at that point, the dream was over. Sky analyst Paulie Malignaggi, who is quickly becoming the Gary Neville of boxing commentary, diagnosed the injury almost instantly. Brook would continue to have his moments but this injury, coupled with Golovkin’s already heavy advantages in strength and power, meant that at this point, the fight was only going one way.
Golovkin started to have his way with Brook at the start of round four but Special K continued to have his successes and while it wasn’t a mini Hagler v Hearns (as suggested by Adam Smith on commentary) it was still a competitive fight and one could argue that Brook at least deserved a share of the fourth.
Then came round five, the only round of the fight truly dominated by one fighter and that fighter was Golovkin. Here was the Golovkin that we’d seen against Daniel Geale and David Lemieux. He was stalking, jabbing and throwing hurtful combinations. He was the monster he had been painted to be and Dominic Ingle knew it. At first glance the stoppage seemed early, Brook had been in the fight until now, but on later reflection Brook had peaked and it was only going to be downhill for him after round five.
For the winner, it was his 23rd consecutive early win and a handsome pay day but not much else. The likes of Canelo Alvarez (lineal champion), Billy Joe Saunders (WBO Titlist) and Chris Eubank (British Champion) won’t have been overly impressed with Golovkin and will feel encouraged in their conviction that he is beatable.
The plaudits from this fight can only go to one man, because even though Brook wasn’t Golovkin’s Buster Douglas, he wasn’t a ‘Jinx’ either.