The Gennady Golovkin fight didn’t pan out as I’d expected for Kell Brook; I didn’t give him much of a chance and thought he’d get overwhelmed pretty quickly.
My public guess (not on here) was GGG within five rounds and Brook did get stopped in the fifth but he would have carried on if he’d been allowed – that’s not to say I don’t think Dominic Ingle made the right call, he 100% did. There was no way Brook was coming back to win that; he’d taken enough punishment and the corner saved him from a further battering.
Golovkin quite literally broke his face and Brook now requires surgery on his eye socket. Both fighters were probably a bit disingenuous in their post-fight comments as the Kazakh said he wasn’t hurt and the British weight jumper claimed he was just getting started. In truth, Brook had used all his tricks up but if anything that just antagonised GGG to step up a gear, it was more a case of poking the beast rather than tranquilising it, and he wasn’t throwing much back or dodging particularly well when the towel did go in.
For Golovkin it depends on how you define hurt. Maybe he didn’t feel anything that made him worry there was any chance of him being taken out but Brook connected well a couple of times and he knew he was in a scrap. There was definitely a reaction from the middleweight king in the third round after some good work from Brook in the second (even though that’s when his facial injury happened), and his face had more marks on than usual at the end of the affair.
But where does Kell Brook go from this now? Sticking around at middleweight seems unlikely, for one thing he’s taken on the division’s top dog and his best wasn’t good enough. I also can’t see too many more middleweights queuing up to take the risk either after his efforts against Golovkin, because he certainly didn’t disgrace himself on Saturday night at the O2.
The drop back down to welterweight may not be an option either. He was already avoided at that level and getting back down to make the weight again could be a struggle, although a possible match-up with Amir Khan – a fight he’s always wanted – could be a key motivating factor there. Khan also had his own middleweight outing of course but there’s no way he’ll be sticking at that level and I would imagine he’ll be back at 147lbs in his next outing whenever that may be.
That leaves the 154lbs mark and there is a potential match-up with Khan’s conqueror Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on the horizon should the Mexican overcome Liam Smith, who would also be an option should he pull off a shock next weekend.
Brook and his team now need to go back to the drawing board to figure out their next move but I expect there was a contingency plan in the event of a loss to Golovkin. No matter how confident they may have been outwardly it would be foolish not to have a back-up plan. He has time on his side now though, as that injury should keep him out of the ring for a while.
The IBF welterweight champion did say he’d be up for a rematch but Golovkin won’t go down that route. He made it clear he wants to unify the middleweight division so perhaps we’ll see him back in the UK soon for Billy Joe Saunders, or maybe he’ll go after Canelo again despite the fact he vacated the WBC belt and dropped down a division – after all that’s still the fight we all want to see.