Who will Kell Brook return to fight?

By Cain Bradley on December 2, 2017
Who will Kell Brook return to fight?
A journeyman seems the likeliest of all in an underwhelming return. (Richard Pellman)

Brook is coming off two stoppage defeats in world title bouts, but that is hardly shaming against Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence…

Eddie Hearn has referenced more than once that Kell Brook (36-2) will return in 2018 and it will be up at Light Middleweight. On the 22nd November, Matchroom Boxing tweeted “News soon…” Whilst the title holders are less impressive than at Welterweight, it may be a deeper field these days of impressive fighters. Brook is coming off two stoppage defeats in world title bouts, but that is hardly shaming against Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence. So who does Kell Brook come back against? We look at his potential first fight opponents.

Sam Eggington (21-4) is perhaps the name most people have mentioned. A large part of this is boxing logic as both men reside on the Eddie Hearn Matchroom roster. The Birmingham puncher was on his way to a world title shot at Welterweight but was defeated by Mohamed Mimoune in his last fight. Making 147lbs had been suggested as a major drain and many expect Eggington to move up to Light Middleweight. He is from Birmingham and you wonder if Hearn could put on a show in the North or the Midlands with this headlining. The two factors that make this unlikely for me are Eggington is a puncher. Is his vicious style what you want in the return of Kell Brook, known for his two horrific eye injuries in his previous two bouts? Also Eggington is seen as a potential champion by Hearn and you have to wonder if he sees it as worthwhile giving one of these men another loss. It would be a major setback to either man’s world title hopes and I wonder if it would be worth the downside for Eddie.

Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2) may well have the name factor on his side. Most fans will at least have a recollection of the name given his losses to Robert Guerrero and Miguel Cotto or because he has been in great bouts, such as when he fought Jesus Soto Karass. It could headline a smaller card or potentially be the co-main event. He does come to war though and has a decent knockout percentage which could scare Hearn off. He is eminently beatable for Brook though whilst retaining some value. He also boxes for Golden Boy, on HBO, which of course is the network that Danny Jacobs made his debut for Matchroom USA on.

There is a bunch of lower tier names ranging through Jack Culcay (22-3), Terrell Gausha (20-1) and even Brian Rose (29-5-1). The likelihood is that the opponent is unfortunately a pretty much unknown person with no credibility. You would describe all of these opponents as beatable for Brook. Culcay is probably the best on this list, having lost close bouts to Demetrius Andrade and Maciej Sulecki. He boxes for Team Sauderland and Eddie has worked successfully with them before. Gausha is coming off a world title defeat to Erislandy Lara and the Olympian is probably not at the level required. This would be a strong bout for him as a ‘B’ side, the only big opportunities for him. Brian Rose has lately fought at Middleweight, struggling on a domestic level but is part of Hearn’s Matchroom stable.

Antonio Margarito (41-8-1) is a potential name option. Years removed from his prime, Margarito is a much less dangerous foe. He has not stopped an opponent since the Miguel Cotto fight, when many suspect his hands were wrapped illegally. He has won his last three contests all at Light Middleweight though. He showed himself to be a faded veteran against Carson Jones when winning a technical decision as he was fading. Whether he’d be willing to travel to travel to England, to a likely vocal crowd is another question.

Jarrett Hurd (21-0) is the wildcard option. The IBF Champion is the weakest of the group of champions not in flux—the WBO belt is a whole different story. The athletic Hurd has a great pace which he keeps throughout the fight but his footwork and inconsistent jab defense should make Brook favorite. Could Brook handle a third loss? Would Hearn seen the risk worthy? With potential domestic clashes against Liam Smith and Amir Khan potentially around the corner, you can wonder if Hearn will shy away from such a lose-able clash. He told the media he wants Charlo, Hurd or Lara. Hurd is the most winnable option and Brook was also the IBF Champion which means you could see him being put high in their ratings.

Ultimately we will see soon and I expect it to probably be none of these choices. A journeyman seems the likeliest of all in an underwhelming return for Kell.

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