Pressure, Poise and Precision: The Main Components of a Real Superfight Between Brook vs. Spence

By Christian Giudice on May 27, 2017
Pressure, Poise and Precision: The Main Components of a Real Superfight Between Brook vs. Spence
Spence has to tap into skills and emotions that he hasn't been forced to access in the past.

Every great fighter faces a moment where the fight that is in front of him is one that could change the course of his entire career…

“On several occasions, Brook will put him in a position where he hasn’t been forced into or asked to go in 21 fights, and that is when we will see who Spence is as a fighter.”

Every great fighter faces a moment where the fight that is in front of him is one that could change the course of his entire career. It doesn’t have to be promoted as a superfight or even a historic showdown; instead, it is a battle of wills between two men so closely aligned that each fighter is bound to bring out the best in each other. Most people wouldn’t ascribe to the theory that Errol Spence’s showdown with Kell Brook for the IBF Welterweight title this Saturday in London is a career-defining one.

It isn’t.

That fight will come later in his career. Instead, this fight will dictate the trajectory of his career and where he will go after he faces Brook. Here is my breakdown of the key components of the fight:

Toughness

Critics may argue that even with the broken eye socket that Brook suffered against Gennady Golovkin, Brook still may not even be the toughest fighter in his division. I would counter that he’s one of the toughest fighters in the sport. He may not have as impressive a résumé as his counterparts, but one only needs to look at his last two major fights with Golovkin and Shawn Porter to see how fierce he is in adverse conditions. No one looks good against Porter, and Brook not only withstood the roughhouse tactics, but he also managed to stem the oncoming Porter with a jab, feints, and a straight right hand. No one has been able to do that to Porter. Regarding Golovkin, Brook showed his extreme courage by moving up and taking the fight. What he gained supersedes the loss as fans saw firsthand how effectively Brook countered the great Golovkin and stood up to his vicious style. Conversely, everyone knows that Spence is tough and has a vicious mean streak in the ring. But his toughness hasn’t been on display in the same vein that Brook’s has. So in the later rounds when the fight is close, the edge in toughness goes to Brook because he is the one who has forced us to believe in him to this point in his career.

Edge: Brook

Speed

Spence doesn’t have Meldrick Taylor-type of speed, but his hands are still extremely quick. And his punches come in waves, meaning that all his punches are thrown with reckless abandon. At this point in his career, Spence does not mix the speed of his punches. He is most effective when he reels off six or seven body punches in succession. Few fighters can withstand that kind of attack. More importantly, Spence has great balance, utilizes a wide stance, and great movement, qualities which only enhance his speed and accuracy. No one can question Brook’s speed, and it was on display as he beat Golovkin to the punch at will, but his speed isn’t the kind that opponents fear; Spence’s is.

Edge: Spence

Jab

Spence’s jab is not a power punch, or at least he hasn’t used it as such in the past. As a combination puncher, Spence probably feels that the jab is not as necessary, but he might need it more against Brook. Whether that unwillingness to establish the jab is indicative of combo punchers or not, Spence can always access it. For Spence, the jab allows him to set a pace and a rhythm, especially early on in a fight. Against Algieri, Spence pawed with it early and occasionally hooked off of the jab.  On the other hand, Brook can use his jab to dictate an entire fight as he did against Porter. With the exception of a round or two, Brook never wavered from the jab — and rightfully so — as he timed Porter trying to get inside. It may have won him the fight; most fighters talk about utilizing the jab for an entire fight, but Brook actually follows through with it.

Edge: Brook

Defense

Defensively, Spence is still an unknown quantity because he hasn’t been truly tested yet. Spence has difficulty going backwards. Similar to young fighters, Spence uses his offense to dictate his defense. Against Brook, he can’t cover up and try to maneuver away from the champion. Clearly Spence doesn’t take many punches and that’s directly correlated with the pace he sets offensively. He moves so well when he’s attacking or at range that it’s virtually impossible to cut off the ring or trap him. The question that needs to be answered is, how will Spence react when pressured or countered from a guy who is in excellent condition and hits relatively hard?

Underrated defensively, Brook can’t be judged by the Golovkin loss. With the weight gain and added bulk, Brook will be a completely different fighter against Spence than he was against Golovkin. In that fight he took a lot of punishing shots, real damaging punches that some fighters never recover from. Spence represents Brook’s first real test since that punishing loss and the after effects may play a major role.

What we do know about Brook defensively is that he is shifty enough at 147 not to take many direct shots and he showed against Porter that he can cope with even the most rugged offensive fighters in the game. That task is never easy and Brook did it with a second round cut over his eye.

Edge: Brook

Boxer-Puncher

No one is going to outbox Spence. He can do virtually what he wants when he pivots out of his wide stance. Rarely do we encounter a fighter who can outbox and knock out his opponent, but Spence has earned such accolades. That being said, Brook is a fine boxer who won’t be overwhelmed by Spence’s talents. He can box and is at his best as a pure counterpuncher. That’s what makes this such a fascinating matchup.

Edge: Spence

Best Punch
If there is one punch that Spence better be conscious of it is the uppercut on the inside. Brook landed it often against Golovkin. More importantly, he is not afraid to throw it. Brook needs to be aware of Spence’s straight left, and a wicked right hook to the body. But every punch that Spence throws is a power punch and usually comes within sharp combinations, so he gets the nod.

Edge: Spence

Significance of Fight

For Spence, a victory against a very good fighter like Brook will open doors for him in the division. Depending on how he looks Saturday, those fighters who avoided him in the past now may or may not be as reluctant to face him. Brook needs this fight in a much different way. This fight propels him to another level to show that he is not going to be defined by a really good performance against a good established fighter, but that he can also bounce back from adversity against a fighter who is destined to be great and stop him in his tracks. By making such a powerful statement, Brook will hopefully force other fighters to take similar risks.

The Fight

Spence has to be great in so many ways to win this fight — sharp offensively and especially defensively. More importantly, Spence has to tap into skills and emotions that he hasn’t been forced to access in the past. On several occasions, Brook will put him in a position where he hasn’t been forced into or asked to go in 21 fights, and that is when we will see who Spence is as a fighter. It’s easy to pound away on Chris Algieri when he’s not fighting back, but what do you do when Brook counters with a straight right or spins off the ropes and rakes you with a short hook on the inside? Additionally, Spence has to utilize at least two strategies, because Brook is good enough to stifle one approach. When it comes to speed, Spence will reveal a multi-faceted offensive attack that blends overwhelming speed and frightening power. Facing Golovkin showed people that Brook can deal with a power puncher for six rounds (and win most of them) but he has never had to cope with Spence’s lethal combination. In addition, Porter presented Brook with the ideal blueprint regarding how to handle an opponent’s relentless pace and Brook thrived in that regard. Strategizing against Spence will be similar to how Brook approached Porter. He will use a fierce and consistent jab to offset Spence and will have to throw that straight right and then dip and slip out of range to his left. In contrast to the Porter fight, Brook has to throw combinations and can’t rely on one and two punch sequences. If that happens, Spence will take over. Either way, Spence ekes by with a decision. Canelo vs. Chavez was supposed to be great; this one will.

Edge (A slight one): Spence

What this means…

Is that Spence will use this fight as a catalyst to showcase his brilliance, but not before being battered and pushed to the limit. Highlighting a fight revealed by several momentum shifts, Brook will hurt him in the middle rounds, but it is Spence who will adapt to the difficulty atmosphere and game opponent and use his movement and speed to gain a considerable edge before earning a razor-close decision victory.

Winner: Spence by close decision
Christian Giudice
Author: A Fire Burns Within: The Miraculous Journey of Wilfredo Gomez
Author: Beloved Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Arguello
Author: Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran

Website: christiangiudice.com

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  1. Koolz 02:59pm, 05/27/2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL0wP7ybb2nT4ShHxFnHjX8HNR91xvqtqr&v=ILTN-Bu0GgY

    Spence vs Brook
    This was a good fight!

  2. Koolz 02:57pm, 05/27/2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL0wP7ybb2nT4ZjdjBUdrKzpLD9jEMQZMN&time_continue=8&v=np6TJRqDn2s

    Selby vs Rosales

  3. Koolz 02:56pm, 05/27/2017

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL0wP7ybb2nT5Y84tLI8hYTSKW4nWieS09&time_continue=1&v=vxOi9BCjLkE

    Groves vs Chudinov

    Damn I love Russia!

  4. Koolz 11:38am, 05/27/2017

    I will post all the fights as I find them.  Watching live right now.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:04am, 05/27/2017

    Simply great analysis as far as it goes. Along with the vast majority of analyses and predictions of the winner of boxing matches of this magnitude, this one is lacking a complete and thorough analysis of the records of the three judges and the referee. that have the power to totally screw things up….especially where the prediction is for a close decision verdict.

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