It is hard to consume defeat, even the loss incurred in placing a bet on the losing fighter, in this case Kell Brook. However such loss is trivial in comparison to the path a boxer is forced to travel in digesting a loss.
Like many of you I found myself engaged throughout the bout and the various turns it took in its making. My immediate reaction was one of anger and frustration in what I perceived as a fighter walk away from a bout; a fight where he displayed his brilliance and imposed himself on the rising star in Errol Spence. There is no doubt that Spence is worth every credit that has been afforded to him both before their bout and in the aftermath of supreme victory.
However I expected more from Brook. Often time he has left us shaking our head in sheer awe of how he has reserved his opponents’ keys to victory and impose himself against seemingly better and bigger opponents. Errol Spence refused to offer himself as a living sacrifice to Special K and demonstrated exactly why he is meticulous attacks nullify his opponents’ efforts.
I was wrong is my prefight prediction but clearly noted that Kell would have to contain the younger man’s feverish work rate if he was going to have any hope of implementing his own arsenal. There were moments Kell did exactly that and left Spence confused as his effort was matched by the brick wall stifling his activity. However isolated moments of dominance were simply not suffice to puncture the full armoury Spence presented. Although Spence faulted himself for being sluggish at some instances in the duration of the bout it was Kell I noted Kell whose momentum was at times left gasping.
I have heard multiple expressions from boxing’s quarters calling for Brook to usher in his retirement. I do not think that such assessment is fair for a man who had previously not lost a bout at Welterweight. Disappointment is real; but no other feels it in the manner that Brook has been cloaked with in this past week.
I have never encountered a broken orbital bone and cannot curse a man no longer willing to fight through the pain such injury brings. His coach Ingle has provided an account that this injury sustained was even worse than that against GGG. Many have called Brook out for quitting citing many great fighters who have continued to battle through gruesome injury rallying back to win the contest or the hearts of their opponent and fans. Such a decision to bring an end to the bout rests with Brook and his corner. Only he knows how much fight was left in his fibres and degree of damage his eye socket had already absorbed. Despite his efforts, what I am certain of is as soon as he sustained injury to his left eye, his senses and composure were rattled. The demons of the previous bout with GGG may have indeed come to visit Brook in this fight.
Brook does not deserve to be demonised, indeed disappointment has visited us, he tried and his effort were simply not enough against the whirlwind Spence demonstrated refusing to be humbled against the experienced Brook. I do not believe that Frank Warren’s commentary is objective pertaining to the Brook case; sensational statements to garner attention often depart from that which is fact. I believe that retirement would be notably premature; Brook has a few fights left in him but a rematch with Spence is not one of them.
It is important for Brook to recharge his stores, return to better health and gun for Amir Khan. Their bout would birth the fireworks worth reigniting our interest in their rivalry and that which would be a competitive bout.