Kell Brook is up against one of the greatest welterweights of all time in Terence Crawford
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Kell Brook is one of my favourite fighters, and after Naseem Hamed arguably the best to emerge from Brendan Ingle’s Wincobank school.
Like Naz, Brook is not just good at making people miss, he really goes for it, wants to take your head off.
The problem in Las Vegas is that he is up against one of the greatest welterweights of all time.
Terence Crawford slots into an elite group of historic figures at 147 pounds, led by the likes of Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Pernell Whitaker and Felix Trinidad.
Brook has lost only twice, and against two exceptional champions in Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence.
Terence Crawford is one of the best welterweights ever
(Image: Getty Images)
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In another era he would have been a world champion for much longer. It was his misfortune to run into a group as good as any there has ever been.
He has not fought at welterweight since losing to Spence three years ago. At 5ft 9ins he has always struggled to boil that perfect physique down to the weight.
At 34 it is harder still, making what was always a big ask against the WBO champion an even tougher proposition.
Crawford is a special fighter, a modern day Whitaker but with forward gears Sweet P never had.
Crawford is much happier in the wheelhouse than Whitaker ever was.
He is not as impressive physically as Brook but he punches just as hard and with lethal precision.
He is fascinating to watch and so effective. He rarely gets hit with a solid shot. And finishes clinically.
The way he dismantled a much fresher Yuriorkis Gamboa six years ago was incredible and instructive.
Crawford takes on Kell Brook this weekend
(Image: Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Gamboa wobbled him momentarily, revealing Crawford to be human, but he recovered to break him down so clinically.
And I’m not sure at this stage of his career that Brook has the same speed and power he had in his youth.
I hope the fight will be exciting. Crawford is not a fool. He knows he is facing a big specimen.
It will take until the championship rounds for Crawford to end it. If Brook has taken the weight down properly he will dangerous early on.
The only way Brook can win is by being aggressive, as he was against GGG and Spence, picking his shots and keeping the tempo high.
Crawford has uncanny ability to measure opponent’s attacks and is so effective at diffusing threat while at the same time posing risk.
At some point he will make Brook miss and then, like Golovkin and Spence, make him pay.
Follow Barry on Twitter at @ClonesCyclone, @McGuigans_Gym and @CyclonePromo