By Keith Idec
PHILADELPHIA – Danny Garcia would’ve picked Kell Brook to beat Errol Spence Jr.
After watching Brook absorb a beating against Gennady Golovkin, though, Garcia isn’t so sure. Now the unbeaten WBC world welterweight champion considers Brook-Spence an even encounter either fighter could win.
Brook (36-1, 25 KOs) is expected to make a mandatory defense of his IBF welterweight title against Spence (21-0, 18 KOs) on May 20 or May 27 in Sheffield, England, Brook’s hometown. Philadelphia’s Garcia (33-0, 19 KOs) believes his fight against Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) on March 4 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn will determine boxing’s best welterweight, but he is interested to see who wins Brook-Spence.
“I think it’s a good matchup,” Garcia said. “I think the timing favors Spence a little bit because Brook just fought Triple-G. All that weight, saying he couldn’t make the weight [147 pounds], to come back down [from 160], we don’t how he’s physically gonna feel. His skills will be there, but when you fight a young, hungry fighter, you’ve gotta make sure you’re on top of your game. But I think it’s a 50-50 fight.”
Garcia would like to see Brook take a lesser fight before accepting another huge challenge in the fight after Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) stopped him in the fifth round September 10 in London. Golovkin broke Brook’s orbital bone around his right eye during that fight and the injury required surgery.
“It’s tough, man, because I think Kell Brook is the more battle-tested fighter,” Garcia said. “He’s the more seasoned fighter. He’s got everything in his home court. Everything’s gonna be to his advantage for this fight.
“But I don’t know if he could make welterweight no more. And I don’t know if the Triple-G fight took a toll on him. Those are the questions. But if that Triple-G fight didn’t happen, or if it went the distance, I would definitely pick him. But right now, I would say it’s 50-50.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.