Brook vs Spence prediction, keys to victoryWritten by Joseph Herron
One of boxing's best match-ups in 2017 will take place this evening in Sheffield, England, as reigning IBF Welterweight champion Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) defends his strap against undefeated U.S. challenger Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs).
The scheduled twelve round contest, Brook vs Spence, is slated to be broadcast by Sky Sports Box Office in the UK at 6PM BST with a £16.95 / €21.95 price tag, and Showtime Sports in the United States with a special run time of 5:15 PM ET.
Although the challenger is currently listed as a 2 to 1 (-220) betting favorite on most Race and Sports Books, the current champ will be coming into the match-up brimming with confidence, largely because Brook will be competing in front 27K friendly supporters within the Bramall Lane Football Ground in his hometown.
But has the 31 year old title holder fully recovered from the first loss of his professional career, which took place in September of last year? Not only was Brook technically knocked out nine months ago, but the proud Briton also suffered a broken orbital bone for his efforts. Was nine months enough time to recover from the potentially career altering injury?
Also, the incumbent champion hasn't had to compete as a 147 pound fighter since successfully defending his title against Kevin Bizier in March of 2016. Will the weight loss prove to be a factor should the scheduled twelve round contest approach the mid to late stanzas?
Will Kell Brook prove to be too experienced and too powerful for the unbeaten American challenger, or will the young lion prevail with the greater height, handspeed, power and aggression?
Let's take a look at the "Keys to Victory" for both competing fighters!
Kell Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) - Because Spence will more than likely be the aggressor in this superb pairing, the primary key to victory for the current champ will be to "stick and move" throughout the great majority of this contest. Kell absolutely must work behind his jab and pivot around his opponent after he lands effectively to the body and head. Because Special K doesn't have an inside game, either offensively or defensively, he cannot get forced into a corner or pushed back onto the ropes for extended period of time.
Brook also has to make his presence felt early and often. The champ must earn the respect of his hard-charging opponent, and make him think twice about closing the distance between the two fighters. The champ possesses a great 1-2 down the middle...so test the challenger's chin early!
Also, if Brook does run out of gas in the mid to late rounds of the scheduled twelve round fight, he should use referee Howard Foster to his advantage and elect to hold Spence whenever he gets in the pocket or traps Kell against the ropes. This will disrupt the flow of the fight, stopping the hard-charging aggressor in his tracks and force him to reset, and will also allow the ref to create that much needed distance between both men.
If Kell Brook can execute all three keys to victory, the reigning title holder will have a very good chance of successfully retaining his IBF Welterweight title!!
Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) - To win this elite level match-up, Spence has to be "The Truth" in the ring, and just be himself. Spence is one of the best inside fighters within the sport, using size and technique to control the action underneath. But to get there, he absolutely must use his feet to move in and out of range, cutting off the ring, and carefully closing the distance.
To do this successfully without catching any incoming fire, Errol must work effectively behind a mixture of jabs and feints while moving his head. The Southpaw challenger also must limit his opponent's movement by keeping his front foot outside of Brook's front leg, so the hometown fighter doesn't have the space to pivot around him effectively.
Because Kell has little to no skills underneath, Errol has to be ready for the champ's bear-hugs while in close quarters. To keep from getting wrapped up when in the pocket, Spence absolutely must keep his elbows in tightly while firing hooks and uppercuts to the body and head...the 27 year old Texan cannot give the champ something to hold on to inside.
If Errol Spence Jr. can effectively cut off the ring, close the distance and land his creative combinations to the body and head, fight fans will see a new IBF Welterweight champion this evening.
Spence vs Brook Prediction: I can't see Spence winning a decision in the champ's hometown of Sheffield, England, unless he can successfully floor the durable Briton at least three or four times en route to going the distance. For this reason, Errol Spence will need a knock-out to take the IBF title from Kell Brook.
Unfortunately for him, it won't happen.
Kell Brook UD12 over Errol Spence Jr.