By Keith Idec
Kell Brook is certain he’ll surprise Shawn Porter on Saturday night in a manner similar to how Porter surprised Brook by beating Paulie Malignaggi so easily April 19.
England’s Brook (32-0, 22 KOs) expected Malignaggi, a two-division champion respected for his durability, to last a lot longer against Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs) than he did. Porter stopped Brooklyn’s Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs) in the fourth round of their scheduled 12-round fight for Porter’s IBF welterweight title at Washington’s D.C. Armory.
“I didn’t expect that,” Brook said, “and I was definitely shocked after knowing that Malignaggi had been in with Cotto and some other big names, and other big fighters. I was slightly surprised knowing that Shawn Porter knocked Malignaggi out so quickly. It was a little bit of a shock to me.”
Brook wasn’t as surprised four months earlier, when Porter out-boxed St. Louis-based southpaw Devon Alexander (26-2, 14 KOs) to win the IBF’s 147-pound crown Dec. 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I think there’s a blueprint with Devon against fighters who just smother him, because he likes to keep that distance and be on the back foot,” said Brook, whose ill-fated fight against Alexander was postponed three times due to injuries to Brook (foot, ankle) and Alexander (triceps). “So, you know, when watching it, I wasn’t really too shocked.”
The 28-year-old Brook, of Sheffield, England, is about a 2-1 underdog entering his 12-round fight against the 26-year-old Porter, of Akron, Ohio. The Porter-Brook bout will headline Showtime’s three-fight telecast from StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.