The full fall boxing schedule continues on this coming Saturday, with the return of one of the sport’s biggest stars, Terence Crawford. Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) will be squaring off against former IBF titlist Kell Brook (39-2, 27 KOs). With Covid-19 affecting sporting events worldwide, this will be our first look at Crawford in 2020. Brook fought last in February of this year, picking up a TKO victory over Mark DeLuca.
Terence Crawford comes into this fight a heavy favorite, and rightfully so. The 33-year-old was the lineal champ at lightweight (135lb) and the undisputed champion at junior lightweight (140lb). He is also recognized by many as the top pound for pound fighter in the sport, especially after the recent defeat of Vasiliy Lomachenko. He possesses elite ability across all spectrums of the fight game. He has fast hands, punching power, high ring IQ and defensive abilities, but perhaps one of his biggest attributes is the ability to switch from orthodox to southpaw efficiently.
I could keep going, but I am sure my point has been made. That said, as good as he is, he is not infallible. In his bout with Yuriorkis Gamboa, in the 9th round he was hurt badly by a combination, and in his last fight against Egidijus Kavaliauskas he was knocked down in the 3rd round, although the referee said the punch was not what caused him to fall (many ringside observers disagreed with the referee’s decision). Ultimately, it did not matter as he went on to KO both fighters.
Kell Brook is a former IBF title holder, holding the title from 2014 to 2017. Brook is the underdog in this fight, but he is a live one. Brook is fundamentally a very sound fighter in his own right. He can box, he can punch, and is very physically strong at welterweight. Take a look at his victory against Shawn Porter, which I consider to be his best win. Porter is a strong fighter at 147 himself, and Brook was able to take his punches, while being able to muscle Porter around in the later rounds of the fight and win the decision.
Brook does have two losses on his record, but they are to two of the best fighters in the sport. He took an ill-advised fight with Gennady Golovkin at middleweight and suffered a 5th round TKO and a broken orbital socket. Eight months later, he suffered another stoppage loss against Errol Spencer, due to not being able to see out of the eye that was damaged in the Golovkin fight.
In this fight, I fully expect Kell Brook to try and use his natural size to impose his will onto Terence Crawford. He does have good skills, and if he can land something big early on he might be able to make Crawford respect his power and rack up some rounds on the scorecards while Crawford tries to adjust. There is an outside chance that he could land something big to earn a stoppage. Brooks margin for error is small, which is why I don’t see either of those scenarios occurring. Crawford is the better, faster, and smarter fighter. Crawford will analyze Brook, and then begin to showcase his superior skills and impose his will. Crawford is riding a streak of seven straight stoppages, and Saturday would make eight.
My Prediction: Crawford by KO in 10
Terence Crawford Vs. Kell Brook will be held at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, November 14, 2020. The undercard will air at 7PM on ESPN+, with the main card beginning at 10PM on ESPN.