Business be damned, it looks as though Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence Jr. will happen.
Boxing business logic seemed to dictate that the fight not happen right now and that both parties (and especially Brook) would be better served pursuing bouts with a more favorable risk-reward ratio. However, it was confirmed on Monday that the two sides had come to terms for a late May match-up (either the 20th or 27th).
As everyone knows, the highly-regarded Spence is no. 1 contender to Brook’s IBF welterweight title and the title fight, while mandated by the sanctioning body, was up in the air even as the date for a purse bid approached.
From Brook’s perspective, a Spence bout didn’t seem to make much business sense. The Sheffield native is still coasting off the good vibes created from last September’s bout with middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, a fight which he predictably lost in violent fashion, but one which earned him tons of “street cred” from fight fans. Brook could’ve capitalized on that public relations boost by taking on a few low-risk bouts to pad his bank account. The smart business move would’ve been to make 2017 a nice, easy year unless a huge payday somehow made itself available to him.
But, to Team Brook’s credit, business seems to have taken a back seat to signing the best available fight. Simply put, Spence needs this type of bout to get to next-level stardom, but there’s no real and pressing need for Brook to sign on. Despite Spence’s mandatory challenger status, there would’ve been wriggle room to back out of the fight had Brook decided to pad his bank account a bit.
Who wins the fight, itself, is debatable. Spence appears to have an edge, stylistically, but Brook, of course, is a huge step up in class for the young fighter. More will definitely be written about the nuts and bolts of the bout as the fight date approaches.
For now, though, it’s enough to simply acknowledge the “feel good” moment of having a big fight where sport is going to be more of a talking point than the business behind making the fight.