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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Champion Brook fancied to quickly foil Spence plans

American has yet to face an opponent of this calibre

Kell Brook shouts it from Sheffield that he can beat Errol Spence
1 of 1

Brook v Spence Jr & Groves v Chudinov
Sky Box Office from 8pm Saturday

Kell Brook realises a lifelong dream at Bramall Lane ground when he defends his IBF welterweight title against highly-rated American Errol Spence Jr and the Sheffield ace is fancied to cause an upset.

It's potentially a barnburner with both fighters keen to set the tempo and compete on the front foot and punters could be in for a treat with fireworks expected from the start.

Surprisingly, the Special One has surrendered favouritism to his younger opponent. Spence has been the subject of strong support all week despite Brook having the clear edge on experience.

The British fighter has more victories by way of stoppage on his CV than Spence has had professional fights.

The 31-year-old defending champion has questions to answer in his first appearance since suffering his first defeat at the hands of Gennady Golovkin in September, but throughout his career Brook has crucially produced the goods when required and seems to thrive when seeking to defy the odds.

Travelling Texan Spence has crossed the Atlantic for his first fight outside North America and carries the loftiest of reputations. He climbs through the ropes as the mandatory challenger following a series of impressive and brutal stoppages. However, for all Spence's talent, he has yet to face an opponent the calibre, size and power of the champion.

Seven months ago Sheffield United fan Brook stunned the boxing world and jumped up two weight classes to take on Golov­kin. He was far from disgraced prior to trainer Dominic Ingle throwing in the towel after his charge suffered a fractured eye socket.

Now returning to welterweight, Brook must prove himself capable of losing weight without any detrimental effects.

He has recruited nutritionist Greg Marriott and with a gruelling 12-week camp in Fuerteventura behind him, all the reports are positive.
Silky southpaw Spence and his team may target the body in order to question Brook's endurance, but his joy may be limited given his opponent's impressive record when taking on unorthodox fighters.

Brook took out a number of southpaw opponents with ease during his rise through the domestic ranks and did the same more recently in bouts with Frankie Gavin and Jo Jo Dan.

Spence is a slicker and classier operator than that pair but Brook's sharp right counter, a potent weapon if executed correctly by orthodox fighters when tackling southpaws, could be the key to this fight. He has the power to hurt his younger opponent and an early stoppage in front of 28,000 boisterous supporters is not out of the question.

The chief support bout on the undercard should see George Groves finally land a world title at the fourth time of asking.

Groves continues to rebuild his career and improve under the guidance of talented trainer Shane McGuigan. The Hammersmith ace is rightly a short-priced favourite to overcome Fedor Chudinov in their WBA super world middleweight showdown.

The unexposed Russian has had only 15 professional fights and was outpointed by Felix Sturm in a controversial decision last time out.

Groves is heavy-handed but his biggest asset is his sharp and powerful jab. He should be able to find a rhythm early on and dominate.

That jab can open the door for some big right hands, which could see him break down his durable opponent and score a late stoppage.

K Brook
2pts 13-8 bet365
K Brook to win in rounds one to six 1pt 8-1 general
G Groves to win in rounds seven to 12 2pts 7-2 Betfred

Throughout his career Brook has crucially produced the goods when required
E.W. Terms
Sky bet