An Eye for an Eye

By Robert Ecksel on May 29, 2017
An Eye for an Eye
The bones of his face are breaking and it is a worrying sign. (Andrew Couldridge/Reuters)

Many have called for Kell Brook to retire, having suffered two career-threatening injuries in the span of eight months…

One day somebody will compile a list of the top ten pound-for-pound biggest whiners in boxing history. The sour writers, or the fans that turned misanthropy into an art need not apply. The list will be for boxers only, specifically those boxers who are psychologically unable or temperamentally disinclined to accept to defeat on its own terms.

All of us have our favorite whiners, some greats and ingrates as well. But whoever they are—and we won’t know until the list is made public—the name of Kell Brook, who lost his IBF welterweight title to Errol Spence Jr. Saturday night at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England, will not be on the list.

Brook proved for the second time in as many fights that not only is he one tough mother, perhaps a given in the sport of sports, but he’s a class act who can take it like a man without offering lame excuses.

Although he was fighting someone his own weight in front of 27,000 hometown fans, Brook was up against a fantastic fighter who was just a tad more fantastic than himself. But it was less the fact that Brook lost the fight than how he lost the fight that is of interest. Much like his September 2016 loss to Gennady Golovkin, the heavy-handed middleweight champion from Kazakhstan, the loss to Spence was also due to a fracture of the orbital bone, but this time it was his left eye instead of the right.

Still, no matter which eye it was, the bones of his face are breaking, and it is a worrying sign for his future in the ring.

“They kept me in until about 3 am,” said Brook about his post-fight treatment at the hospital. “I had a CT scan on my eye and the eye is broken again, same as the Golovkin one, so, maybe surgery again.”

When the injury occurred, in the seventh round, the fight ceased being evenly matched. Spence took over and Brook was forced to take a knee in round 10.

But there’s no quit in “Special K.” He continued to fight. He looked for the shot that might turn the tide in his favor.

It never came. Brook took another knee in the 11th and that was that.

“I’m devastated,” said Brook after the bout. “I knew from round seven that the eye had gone and progressively as the rounds went on. I tried to get through the fight and it kept going double vision and then coming back into line.

“In the later rounds 10 and 11, especially the 11th round, it stuck there and that’s why I went down on one knee and I remember the surgeon saying to me after the Golovkin fight if you would have gone another round or so you could be blind so I’ve got that going through my mind as well.”

That Brook performed as well as he did takes nothing from Spence’s victory. Both men are champions, even though the title changed hands.

“I’m in my own city, I’m in Sheffield. I wear my heart on my sleeve. There were many things going through my mind but I remember thinking I live to fight another day.

“If the eye hadn’t have gone I think the fight would have mapped out a little bit differently but it is what it is and I didn’t get the win.

“When you can’t see, there’s nothing you can do.”

Some are calling for Brook to retire, having suffered two career-threatening injuries in eight months. But he has no plans to call it quits.

“I couldn’t leave the sport like that,” he said. “I need to get back in and get back to winning ways and show that I’ve got plenty more to give.”

Some have accused Kell Brook of quitting.

One day somebody will compile a top ten pound-for-pound list for the likes of them.

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  1. esto 09:11am, 06/01/2017

    @Dr. Forman: Yes, the risk of permanent blindness—even if monocular—should outweigh to any sane man the bragging rights of claiming indomitable toughness.

  2. Arthur Forman 08:40am, 06/01/2017

    seeing double evidence of possible zygomatic arch fracture or at least injury to orbital muscles and/or nerves
    all serious matters
    respect indeed, but he should have pulled up at that point

  3. FrankinDallas 04:38pm, 05/30/2017

    Julio Caesar Chavez Sr was a HOF whiner. Even (especially) when he won.

  4. Anonymous 09:47am, 05/30/2017

    Yikes!

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:17am, 05/30/2017

    SJWs all bent about cultural appropriation which is really all about hatin’ on whitey….right back at’em…...they need to stop appropriating toilet paper and get back to their old standby twigs, leaves and the old two finger scoop!

  6. Alt Knight 08:42am, 05/30/2017

    Just thought about some more “whiners,” James Toney, Bernard Hopkins, are up there BIG time. Hagler didn’t have too much to whine about given his HOF career, but he did enuff whining after the Leonard loss and the draw with Vito Antuofermo to qualify for at least a mention. Larry Holmes might have been somewhat justified in whining about his second loss to Spinks. Holmes’ whining how more to with his life outside of the boxing ring. So Leapin’ Larry deserves a mention.

  7. Alt Knight 07:38am, 05/30/2017

    Irish… You are a realist and anything but a misanthrope. You want to see a bunch of misanthropic “haters,” go out to Berkeley and watch some of those ANTIFA people. Of course they could easily be classified as “whiners” as well. Gotz to keep it real, playa.

  8. Alt Knight 07:27am, 05/30/2017

    Top 10 Whiners Of All Time? (Boxers Only)
    Definitely would have to put Roberto Duran in there, hate to say it, but Jerry Quarry as well. Quarry and Duran are two of my favorite fighters of all time, but I gotz to call it like I see it. Gerry Cooney gets in there as well, nothing against Gerry, but there again, the truth is the truth. Have to give this list a little more thought, but those tree names jump right out there when you mention whining boxers. Boxer trainers would definitely include, the late, Lou Duva. Sorry, Lou, RIP.

  9. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:18am, 05/30/2017

    David Whittom in a coma in Canada. Undefeated in his first seven fights. Thereafter 6 and 24 with 12 KO losses. Fury, Fields, Alvarez, Kayode, Sillah, Diaconu, Siaca, Spina and Stevenson for Christ’s sake….all took turns concussing him!

  10. Anonymous 07:03am, 05/30/2017

    Primitivo Ibok Ala, Also Cotto

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:36am, 05/30/2017

    “Fans that turned misanthropy into an art”....watch it bud!.....I resemble that! Which reminds me….I’m the guy that acted like I didn’t know how many fingers the ref was holding up….so….I don’t call anyone a quitter.

  12. tlig 02:58am, 05/30/2017

    He did quit. No one who says he did is “accusing” him of doing so seeing as that’s what he did (by his own admission no less). What needs to change is the negative connotation that goes with quitting in boxing; or at least each instance of such act needs to be qualified. Brook is a warrior in my book and has shown this in the past; he even showed the same on Saturday night. Quitting isn’t always a bad thing; doing it in the manner of a Bruce Seldon( v Mike Tyson) for instance is what deserves condemnation.

  13. Primitivo Ibok Ala 01:33am, 05/30/2017

    Top 10 list of Boxings Greatest WHINNERS
    1 JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ
    2 KELL BROOK
    3 4
    5 6
    7 8
    9 10

  14. esto 08:55pm, 05/29/2017

    My guess is that Kell will take at least one, low-risk fight before he calls it a career.  He’s too much of a warrior to go out like this; he craves that one final W. 

    Don’t expect it to be against anyone who’s worth a shit—which is fine.  He can end on a high note by blasting out one or two stiffs on the way out.  I’d be concerned, though, about taking on anyone who would require any prolonged pre-fight training, as his eye can get re-injured in the gym just as easily as it can in a live fight—except he doesn’t get paid to fight in the gym.

  15. Koolz 06:34pm, 05/29/2017

    even if it is just fractured he shouldn’t be fighting anymore unless he can become like Wlad and develop a style of keeping his distance through the whole fight!
    Maybe fight Khan next year and then call it in.

  16. esto 06:08pm, 05/29/2017

    Certain parts of the human anatomy cannot be strengthened or fortified with any amount of exercise, conditioning, or nutrition when it comes to potential sports injuries. The brain, tendons, and cartilage are obviously among those.  In Brook’s case, his facial architecture is now compromised such that he risks serious injury regardless of his opponent.  It is a bitter truth for such a honorable warrior.  Respect.

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