Kell Brook is heavier than Gennady Golovkin, but what does it tell us?
By Isaac Robinson
Last Updated: 16/08/16 4:39pm
Kell Brook was approaching a stone heavier than Gennady Golovkin at the 30-day check-weigh-ins but looked in fantastic shape, writes Isaac Robinson.
It's a physical mismatch, say some. Kell Brook will find it impossible to keep the naturally-bigger Gennady Golovkin off him, apparently. But while middleweight kingpin 'GGG' is an understandably clear favourite for September 10's showdown, all kinds of gaps may have been closed by Wednesday's events.
They were all about Brook. What was immediately remarkable was the eyesight of a camera presenting him looking 'cut' and then spinning forward and downwards to show the reading of the scales on which he stood. They read 176lbs.
That's almost exactly 30lbs more than he weighed in for his last bout - a facile two-round stoppage of Kevin Bizier in defence of the IBF welterweight title. Over two stone. It's amazing, really. It would be easy to spend a prolonged period of time trying to fathom both how Brook managed to make 147lbs so consistently and where he has hidden the 'new' weight.
Naturally, those who believe Brook to be out of his depth have leapt on the results of the preliminary weigh-in and attempted to turn them into a sign of ill-discipline and an impending struggle to make 160lbs. It's a bizarre notion that he would find it hard to make weight for a limit two divisions above the one he's accustomed to, and it's an even more bizarre notion that a trainer of Dominic Ingle's stature might miscalculate. Surely too bizarre to be true.
It seemed more of a show of power, exhibiting a physique that looked healthy and although not as defined (or emaciated, depending on your viewpoint) as his previous weigh-ins, bafflingly toned. When Amir Khan stripped off for his clash with Saul Alvarez, he looked simply less impressive - and even then he went on to outbox the burly Mexican before being knocked out.
So if we are to use Khan as the yardstick - and it's an obvious one to use - then Brook is ahead at this stage. Khan appeared to retain much of his famed speed despite piling on the pounds and the weight gain looks far more suitable on Brook, suggesting those who warn Brook that bulking up surrenders his sole advantage are wide of the mark.
Furthermore, Brook isn't really 'that' sort of fighter. Khan is all pace and reflexes, utilising fleet of foot to waltz in and out of range. Brook is thicker set with far sturdier legs and is more reliant on upper body movement, timing and a boxing brain born of nature and nurtured by Ingles.
Take the night he became world champion. Brook made little attempt to keep the bustling athleticism of Shawn Porter on the end of a jab and maintain distance - Porter is a supremely committed come-forward fighter and keeping it long would have taken excessive footwork. Instead, Brook stayed in the pocket and timed Porter on the way in.
Arguably the shot that was most crucial to Brook relieving the American of the IBF crown that night in Carson was a right-hand lead. It was subtle, it was sneaky and it was executed primarily a fraction of a second before Brook lunged in to clinch. Porter would cut an increasingly frustrated as he was caught time and time again by the short overhand shot and then denied the space to reply.
The Porter victory, although now two years old, is still the highest level Brook has boxed at. With that, the fact he gives away only an inch-and-a-half in height, an inch in reach and currently has 11lbs on Golovkin in mind, it may be prudent to assess how this champion will deal differently with the challenger's ringcraft rather than continuing the size debate.
The answer could well lie in subtlety being fought with subtlety, because Golovkin has a trademark half-step back that's hard to discern but has left many of his opponents falling short and rendered sitting ducks to his punishing counters. Brook must be both economical and meticulously selective in his own work to avoid being knocked out.
All that has been said before, as Golovkin is the boxer least forgiving of his opponent's mistakes. For now, let's be thankful Kell Brook is much heavier, clearly happier and still looking athletic.
Watch Golovkin v Brook for the WBC and IBF world middleweight titles live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office, September 10.
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