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Kell Brooke insisted he wouldn’t be distracted or worried about weight problems before Terence Crawford faces him Saturday.
It was doubtful whether Brooke could still win 147 pounds after winning 154 pounds in her last fight, an impressive knockout in the seventh round to defeat Mark DeLuca in the February battle.
But Brooke (39-2, 27 KO), 34, from Sheffield, England, tries again with her body to put him in the category of the half-middleweight after he had the good fortune to lose his chances and become double world champion.
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14:00 ET Wednesday on ESPN+: Tursinbai Kulakhmet versus Macaulay McGowan, 10 rounds, junior middleweight.
7 p.m. AND Saturday evening on ESPN+: Terence Crawford-Kell Brooks card.
22.00 ET Saturday night on ESPN: Terence Crawford versus Kell Brook, 12 rounds for the WBO middleweight title.
Instead of worrying about weights, Brooke Crawford takes the belt at the WBO because she thinks her height would be an advantage, not a fall at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
As I get older, I become more disciplined and wiser in these areas and I know how painful it is to lose the last 10 pounds, so I started arriving much earlier, Brooke told ESPN three weeks before the fight.
I started very early and looked at my weight. It won’t be a problem to make £147, and I can exchange photos if I have to. People will have their point of view, but I know what I’m doing.
But it takes all-powerful frustration to bring Brooke back to her version of the middleweight of the world.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KO), 33, from Omaha, Nebraska, was promoted to 1lb. per lb. after Teofimo Lopez defeated Vasily Lomachenko with shock points last month.
Brooke said her size and experience would be another surprise. Brooke won three World Championships between 2014 and 2017, but Gennady Golovkin – in the middleweight category – and Errol Spence Jr. stopped him in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and the British suffered a broken eye in both periods.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Kell Brook celebrates his victory over Mark DeLuca earlier this year. Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images on Getty Images
I think Crawford’s really there with Golovkin, some people see him as a £1 fighter, Brooke adds.
But I think it will be like Lopez-Lomachenko, I felt the difference between me and Golovkin. I’m a big welterweight, and Crawford started out in the lightweights, so of course I’m a big guy. I also have experience on my side, I’ve been with people like Sean Porter and Errol Spence, and I know what those people will be like.
I’m going to use my size and experience to my advantage, and if he wants to work, I won’t let him work.
Brooke admitted that his motivation for the sport was shaken after his loss to American Spence, and then he endured 14 months without a fight before defeating DeLuca. The fight for money with English rival Amir Khan never took place, and after three unsaid fights Brooke probably gets her last chance at glory.
I’ve got another fire in my stomach, Brooke says. There were times when I thought I didn’t want to do this, and you don’t know what the good times are. It was love and hate, depending on how I felt back then, but it’s my time and I’m in love with the training.
I’m always happy and enjoy the training, my body reacts to the training and I’m happy to be in a mass fight in 2020 because many boxers are currently in the background. There are people out of work and KOVID-19 destroyed the community, so I am grateful for this opportunity.
In the underworld it was the politics of boxing and the feeling that love for me has disappeared, not the taste, and suddenly people are no longer interested in you, if you have always been special and quarrelled.
This sport is a game of hate love. If you’re irrelevant and you have nothing to train and you give yourself that nudge, with mediocre fights, it doesn’t give you that sound.
DeLuca was an important moment for me, it was important to see what I look like, to make myself relevant again, to see if I still have it. She showed that I had it, and it went well, no one stopped DeLuca like that.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Kell Brooke underwent intensive training for the fight with Terence Crawford. Photos by James Wilson/MB Media/Getty Photos
Brooke was lucky that her career wasn’t delayed by KOVID-19, but it did change her coach from Dominic Ingle, who spent most of his career in his corner, to Carlos Formento.
Brooke met Formento at Instagram and started working with him because he was based in the Spanish Canary Islands and Brooke wanted to train at Fuerteventura for a month.
It [COWID-19] ruined everything for everyone, I had to isolate myself for two weeks, I had to change coaches, Brooke said. When I left for Fuerteventura, Dom didn’t want to leave, in case they wouldn’t let him back in the country because of other fighters.
COWID-19 has also stopped the crowds at sporting events around the world, and Brooke says that closed-door boxing has contributed to some serious upheavals, such as Lopez Lomachenko’s victory in the four lightweight world championships and Alexander Povetkin’s KO victory by Dillian White in the heavyweight category.
These shocks can happen because there are no crowds, Brooke added.
The crowd makes you more alert, gives you that fear, enables you to raise your playing level. I knew Lopez would suffer and we saw that the favorites didn’t win, so maybe it has something to do with that.