When you read the odd’s for Terence Crawford and Kell Brook before their matchup on Saturday evening, it would appear that the winner is already decided. Being as much as a -2000 favorite on some betting sites, Crawford is expected to have an easy night at the office. However, that could not be further from the truth. Atop many pound-for-pound lists, Crawford is one of the sport’s elite and is considered an all-time great. There is one caveat though, “Bud” has not been able to secure one of the premier names at 147lbs.
His opponent, Kell Brook, isn’t one of those opponents we clamoured for, but he is viable. Brook is a dangerous challenger and a big puncher. He is without a doubt, one of the toughest tests to date for Crawford.
Turn Back the Clock
Kell Brook was once the man to beat in the welterweight division. The former IBF champion, Brook suffered a devastating loss when he moved up two weight classes against middleweight great Gennady Golivkin. He then fell short in defending his welterweight belt against Errol Spence. The fight was back-and-forth, but another broken orbital bone for Brook led Spence to victory. Looking back, many wonder how different the welterweight landscape would be if Brook did not challenge “GGG”.
After the back-to-back losses, “Special K” has won three straight bouts, two by knockout, and may have his last chance two reclaim a title Saturday night. Brook is large for the weight class and has the technique to keep the fight close. Brook is 34 and still appears to be in peak physical condition.
What can Crawford Gain?
Some of the criticism garnished by Terence Crawford’s resume is warranted, but a convincing victory of Brook would ease those critics for the time being. Is this the matchup fans wanted? No, but the likelihood of seeing a Terence Crawford – Errol Spence showdown was minuscule, even before the pandemic.
Crawford is the best switch-hitter in the sport. He will more than likely switch from orthodox to southpaw at different times throughout the fight. “Bud” possesses knockout power in both hands and is capable to finish the fight at any moment.
Will the eleven-month layoff affect his performance? Crawford is no stranger to long layoffs as his 2018 victory over Jeff Horn came after a ten-month absence. He was victorious in that matchup with a TKO in round 9. Crawford has finished his last 7 opponents and has the opportunity to make a statement with his performance on Saturday.
If Crawford can put on a dominant performance, the pressure will only grow to make a fight with Spence or even Manny Pacquiao in the first half of 2021.
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