Errol Spence Jr.’s first world title win was a historic one as he defeated Kell Brook, the IBF welterweight world champion, who was coming off an odd middleweight loss to Gennadiy Golovkin, for a ton of money. Brook was hoping to make his fourth defense of his IBF title but instead was stopped once again when he suffered yet another facial fracture, as his previous bout saw him suffer major damage to his eye from Golovkin.
The fight took place in Sheffield, England, and took place in front of 27,000 fans. The fight came to be when Amir Khan and Kell Brook couldn’t reach a deal, as an IBF mandatory defense was the next best option.
Up until this point, the 2012 U.S. Olympian, who was being touted as the star of young emerging fighters, was heavily avoided. Keith Thurman seemed to give off vibes of a lack of interest in fighting him, and Spence Jr. was essentially positioning himself within the sanctioning bodies to get his big shot.
Spence had to go to the U.K. because it was his only opportunity at the time to win a world title. The bout showed in the United States in real-time on Showtime, as it was an early evening/afternoon boxing telecast stateside with an average viewership of 291,000 viewers and peaking at 337,000 viewers.
After the fight, began the reign of Spence Jr in the division. As he has since made six defenses of his IBF welterweight world title in five years. During that time, Errol Spence won a split-decision over Shawn Porter for the WBC welterweight title and stopped Yordenis Ugas for the WBA welterweight title.
Now one fight remains…a bout with Terence Crawford, the long-reigning WBO welterweight champion. The problem is this fight has had the welterweight division on hold for nearly two years now. We need to see the fight or move on, as fighters like Cody Crowley, Jaron Ennis, and Vergil Ortiz are losing out on opportunities, because of the inactivity of the champions.
The What-If Of Brook’s Career
Kell Brook’s career will always be a ‘what-if’ scenario. Brook had defeated Shawn Porter, who at the time was inching closer and closer toward a Floyd Mayweather fight. His performance on enemy soil, defeating Porter in Carson, California, vaulted him to the top of the division in a lot of people’s eyes.
Yet, after three IBF welterweight world title defenses, Brook moved up two weight classes to middleweight to face possibly the best fighter of that era, Gennadiy Golovkin. Famously in that fight, Brook suffered irreversible damage to his face that would create the narrative for the rest of his career.
It is hard to look at Brook in 2016 and wonder what would’ve happened if he hadn’t fought Golovkin as that fight seemingly was the end of the best version of Kell Brook