A fight we have all wanted to see, just 4 years too late? Kell Brook travels to America, without Eddie Hearn, Sky Sports and most importantly his long time trainer Dominic Ingle to take on the P4P top 5 ever present Bud Crawford in a battle that is make or break for the Yorkshire man and his ‘chocolate brownies’. Does he still have it? Can he compete? Is he over the hill? Can he still make Welter? Is this the last time we’ll see Kell walk out to ‘All of the Lights’? All will be revealed this Saturday night at the MGM Grand ‘Bubble’ in Las Vegas.
Juan Alberto Flores (2-0-1) vs Vegas Larfield (1-0-0)
We begin the night with two relatively unknown Bantamweight prospects.
Juan Alberto Flores seems to be a bit of a mystery in terms of fight record, with boxrec and various other sources believing he has a 3 fight record of 2 wins and draw against Brandon Lobato (D), Jose Garcia (W) and Steve Garagarza (W) respectively, although other various reports suggest this is his professional debut.
Australian Vegas Larfield got a first round stoppage in just over 1 minute of his professional debut against 0-4 fellow Australian in August of this year on the undercard of Tim Tszyu’s destruction of former WBO world title holder Tim Horn.
Prediction: Unfortunately, due to not seeing either fighter box, I am not in a position to give a prediction.
Tyler Howard (18-0-0) vs KeAndrae Leatherwood (22-7-1)
We follow up the opening bout with a middleweight contest between American’s Tyler Howard and KeAndraeLeatherwood.
Highly thought of Tyler Howard comes into the bout, boasting a perfect 18-0 record with 11 stoppages. Having not really fought anyone of note, the jury is still out on the ability the 26 year old Tyler Howard has, but that is something we will find out this weekend.
KeAndrae Leatherwood has a record that doesn’t really do him justice, with his last 4 losses coming against Andy Lee, Caleb Truax, Steve Rolls and Christian Mbilli, meaning you have to be a very good fighter to beat Leatherwood.
Prediction: Points win for Tyler Howard.
Joshua Greer Jr. (22-2-1) vs Edwin Rodriquez (11-5-1)
Another Bantamweight contest continues the night of boxing as American, Joshua Greer Jr looks to get back to winning against the always tough Puerto Rican, Edwin Rodriguez.
After a majority decision loss at the hands of 23 year old starlet Mike Plania, Joshua Greer Jr will be looking for a big performance, to show people the hype was justified. Greer Jr. lost and drew in his first 5 fights but since went on an impressive 19 fight win streak in just 3 years before that was halted last time out.
Edwin Rodriguez comes into the bout off the back of an impressive decision win over 12-0 American prospect Saul Sanchez and the Puerto Rican will be coming to spoil the party again.
Prediction: A potential banana skin for Greer Jr. but one in which I believe he will overcome on his way to a decision victory.
Joshua Franco (17-1-2) vs Andrew Moloney (21-1-0)
The rematch, a fight in which the scorecards didn’t really reflect reality. Joshua Franco got the nod (rightly so) but it was very close on the cards but in reality, it really wasn’t. Maloney won the opening exchanges and banked the first few rounds but from round 4 onwards it was all Franco in a destructive performance in which he knocked down and dethroned Andrew Maloney.
Joshua Franco came into the opening bout as a slight underdog, having the blemish on his record at the hands of Argentinian Lucas Leone, along with the two draws with Oscar Negrette but he was outstanding on the night, in a victory that not only announced him on the world scene but also got him the WBA Super Flyweight World Title.
Australian Andrew Maloney stopped his last 4 opponents prior to Franco and including the always difficult Luis Conception and Chilian, Miguel Gonzalez. Maloney came into the bout as the slight favourite and established himself early, Franco was just too relentless for him as the contest dragged on.
Prediction: I believe Franco just has the beating of Maloney, I think he stops him late this time. 9-12 stoppage win for Joshua Franco.
Terence Crawford (36-0-0) vs Kell Brook (39-2-0)
The main event would’ve been an epic bout prior to the phenom GGG, but is Brook still the same fighter as he was then? We’ll find out this weekend, when these men go head to head for the WBO Welterweight World Title.
P4P top 5 for the last 5 or 6 years, Bud Crawford is just absolutely phenomenal, he has recently dispatched of Kavaliauskas in 9, destroyed Amir Khan in 6, dominated Jose Benevidez jr. in 12 and dismantled Jeff Horn in 9. You go up against Bud at Welter and you get outboxed, out thought and stopped, his record tells you that. One of my recent favourite fighters, he just has everything, footwork, ring IQ, movement, power and speed and if that’s not enough, he also fights southpaw.
Kell Brook ... What a fighter, again like opponent Bud Crawford his speed, timing and power has made him one of the most avoided fighters of our generation. But what does he have left, after his eye socket injury against the fearsome Triple G, he just hasn’t been the same, he moved up 2 weights to fight one of the most powerful middleweights of all time. It was a decision that looked like a bad move at the time and in hindsight it was a disaster.
Moving away from Eddie Hearn, Sky and the Ingle Gym for the first time in his illustrious career, Kell is going for one last crack at this Welterweight division. Can he do it? Only time will tell.
Prediction: Crawford is just too good, I believe a prime Kell Brook gives him a contest, but I don’t think it would change the victor and with question marks over Kell’s ability to make Welter affectively and more importantly safely, coupled with not knowing what he has left in the tank, I believe Bud stops Kell within 4 rounds.
By Bobby Gunn of SimBoxx