Blogs & Opinion

Kell's Special show: Brook too quick for Saldivia, says Jim Watt

Jim Watt Posted 18th October 2012 view comments

Kell Brook takes on Hector Saldivia live on Sky Sports on Saturday night in an IBF welterweight final eliminator - and the Sheffield fighter should be looking to put on a show for his hometown fans.

As a headliner he needs to please the crowd and excite the public because you want people to talk about what you're doing. In recent fights he's dominated Matthew Hatton and Lovemore N'dou but the crowd just left the arena saying he was just far too good for them.

Brook: Battled to win against Jones and will be the better for it, says Jim

Brook: Battled to win against Jones and will be the better for it, says Jim

It's not just a case of winning anymore for Kell. A few years ago getting the 'W' on his record was all that mattered. Now he wants to be an attraction - and if you want to become that then you need to produce the goods and get people switching on to watch you.

In his last fight, against Carson Jones, Kell out-boxed the American for the first half of the fight before tiring. He had to dig in to see out the win for the first time in his career and I wonder how that will affect him in this bout.

Kell is far more talented than Saldivia so I don't want to see him holding back. We know what Kell's got and he should just go straight in there, take charge and dominate him.

Jim Watt
Quotes of the week

He's saying he didn't make weight properly for that fight and says he wasn't dieting properly. It's not surprising - everything Kell has done in his career up until that fight he did well within himself, relying on his talent, speed and reflexes. But after his first real tough fight will he box differently?

Boxers can react in different ways to a fight such as that one. Some come away proud, thinking 'I know if I've got to go back into the trenches I can do it', while others think 'I don't want to be doing that again'.

Terrific attitude

Kell showed a terrific attitude against Jones by coming out throwing a lot of punches at a real pace at the start of his fight - but will he be prepared to do that again this time? Will he adopt a safety-first approach and worry about the 12-round distance? Or is he going to doubt his punching power after he caught Jones as cleanly as you can and the American kept coming through?

I hope he begins as he did against Jones - and I think he will. He's far more talented than Saldivia so I don't want to see him holding back to see what the Argentine has got. We know what Kell's got and he should just go straight in there, take charge and dominate him.

Of course, Saldivia isn't a fighter to be underestimated. Argentina is a tough school for a boxer and I certainly don't remember any Fancy Dans coming from there and letting us down; over the last 25 years boxers from Argentina have been tough and determined and put up a show. I'm pretty sure Saldivia will be the same.

He's been stopped a couple of times but I think that's because of the aggressive way he fights; he takes chances. Remember, Carson Jones was stopped a couple of times and look at how he turned out, so you can't just look at records. I certainly don't see any weaknesses with him in terms of his chin.

However, Saldivia is likely to struggle with the speed and all-round ability of Kell. The Argentinean is highly rated in the IBF but he's not highly rated in any of the other sanctioning bodies, so I don't see him springing any surprises.

He can punch - he's stopped five of his last eight opponents - and Brook has to respect that, but I think if Kell has made weight properly and has been living properly - as he says he has - then he will hit Saldivia too often. If that's the case then I can see the referee pulling Saldivia out in the eighth or ninth round.

Last time out against Jones was a wake-up call for Kell and I think he'll be better this time round because of that, in front of an expectant home crowd.

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