This Sunday one of the current pound-for-pound best boxers in the world, Terence Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) defends his WBO welterweight championship against Kell Brook (39-2, 27 KOs). The action goes down at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas. Crawford is the favorite, but why? Let’s take a deep dive!
Crawford Betting Preview: Crawford’s Body of Work
Not only is Crawford undefeated with 27 KOs, but he has also not had a fight even go the distance in more than four years (a win over Victor Postal). He is currently riding a four-fight KO/TKO streak (winning the title plus three defenses.) He has also won titles in three weight classes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 Crawford’s least active year in terms of fights on record but if he had any minor, nagging injuries (all combat sports athletes fight hurt to some degree) he’s had time to deal with them and be rested.
Brooks Betting Preview: Brooks’ Rough Patch
Brook has been stringing wins together between 2018 to February 2020 (3-0, 2 KO/TKOs) but these aren’t reflective of the last time was at welterweight. As far as this division, Kell is the underdog and should be. He’s coming off the only losses of his pro career and consecutive losses at that (with one at middleweight to Triple G).
Boxing Scene’s Keith Idec wrote, “In Brook’s previous appearance, his trainer, Dominic Ingle, threw in the towel to stop his fight against Gennadiy Golovkin in the fifth round. Brook suffered a broken right eye socket during that brutal bout, for which Brook admirably moved up from welterweight to middleweight.”
His lone loss at welterweight cost him a belt against Errol Spence Jr. and he didn’t look good at the end of it.
Edic wrote, “Brook, bothered by a fractured orbital bone around his left eye, took a knee in the 11th round versus Spence. The former IBF welterweight champion didn’t answer referee Howard John Foster’s count in time and was stopped in a second straight bout.”
In the boxing world of slowly building up records (or padding them depending on your perspective, every loss matters. Even with only a few on your record, you can get written off. On top of those defeats, Brook has been a welterweight for three years.
Will Brooks’ New Trainer Alter the Outcome?
On fight night Brook will be without Ingle, his usual trainer, as Ingle does not wish to travel during the pandemic. It’s hard to say what impact this could have but it’s something to keep in mind as this doesn’t seem like a one-time change but rather a relationship ending.
“Realistically, Kell doesn’t need to be anywhere else but Sheffield. Why would you take the risk? During these times, why would you take the risk to go abroad? He’s in a big fight with Crawford,” Ingle told IFL TV.
“Whether it’s an exercise in saving money or whatever it is, that’s down to him. I don’t know who is training him. We haven’t fallen out. We’re never going to fall out. He does his own thing. Like I say, he’s 34, he has three kids, he’s made his money. We’ve had a good run,” Ingle said
Brooks is now working with trainer Carlos Formento. He is, to quote Brook, “He’s a guy I followed on Instagram because I like his style. The first day, I knew that we gelled unbelievably. He is basically obsessed. He is passionate. And that’s everything I need in this fight.”
Regardless of how well the duo are gelling, Brook’s relationship with Ingle spanned years and I believe he is now at a disadvantage.
Crawford vs. Brooks Betting Prediction: Terence Crawford defeats Kell Brook by KO/TKO
Since Crawford was 24-0 in 2014, he’s had several 12-round fights, as this next one will be on Sunday. He’s earned ten stoppage wins at roughly the midway point or beyond if you include a win over Hank Lundyin Round 5 of 12. Expect finish but it may come late.
FanDuel Odds for a Crawford Win by KO/TKO: -210