Welterweight champion Kell Brook made the most of what every expert deemed an unwinnable fight against middleweight knockout artist Gennady Golovkin – and though Brook left the O2 Arena in London a loser Saturday night, his brave performance against the most dangerous boxer in the world earned him the respect of everyone who watched.
Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the towel in the middle of the fifth round as Golovkin battered him with a flurry of brutal shots to the head, though the referee took over ten seconds to notice the towel being waved. The TKO extends Golovkin’s knockout streak to 23 fights, and he remains undefeated (36-0, 33 KOs) with a megafight against Canelo Alvarez still likely a year away.
Brook, even in defeat, was brilliant. He jumped up two weight classes, a dangerous move considering Golovkin’s unrivaled power, but relied on his speed and technical ability to attempt to outbox Golovkin for as long as he could. Golovkin staggered Brook with a massive shot in the first round, but Brook recovered and put Golovkin under pressure, landing a few combinations.
Brook had his best round in the second, dancing away from Golovkin as he searched for a knockout punch. Brook hit Golovkin with a huge uppercut and a jab, but Golovkin seemed to be able to shake off Brook’s shots and continually motioned for Brook to come at him whenever he took a punch. Golovkin said after the fight that he “didn’t feel” Brook’s punches, and that the Englishman is “not so strong.”
It was clear by the fifth round, however, that Golovkin’s power was too much to overcome for Brook. The middleweight champion put Brook under immense pressure to start the fifth round, and Brook was having trouble seeing Golovkin’s punches coming as his right eye swelled. Ingle wisely stopped the bout before Golovkin did any major damage to his fighter.
Brook said in his in-ring interview that he thinks Golovkin broke his eye socket.
Via the Telegraph:
“I’m devastated. He can obviously punch, but I expected him to be a bigger puncher. In the second round he broke my eye-socket, but I was seeing three or four of him so it became very difficult. I was settling into it and throwing some good punches, but when you’re seeing three or four, it is hard.
I am a warrior and I wanted to carry on. You would have to kill me to take me out. I was starting to get into it, but we knew how hard the first few rounds were going to be. So you will have to talk to my coach to understand that.”