TERENCE Crawford is a 7-1 favorite to retain his WBO welterweight crown on Sunday against the teak-tough Kell Brook, but make no mistake — he will have to be at his best in order to repel Brook’s challenge.
The same goes for the challenger — he will have to fight an almost perfect fight in order to unseat arguably the sport’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
Brook is a very live underdog, and whatever the result, we should be getting a pretty excellent fight.
Here are our three possible scenarios:
FIRST. Crawford comes out firing behind his jab while Brook seems to take his time to figure out his quarry.
Crawford’s edge in speed is apparent from the get-go. Brook is not overmatched though and he lands his fair share of the leather but Crawford is just too fast and slick to be caught with anything substantial.
Brook has a good round in the seventh as Crawford seems to take a round off, but in the eight he is right back at it. In the ninth, he catches the Englishman with a left hook that results in a flash knockdown. Brook gets up at the count of five.
The championship rounds are close as Brook, sensing he needs to rally, increases his activity. But Crawford shows why he is an elite fighter and in the end, the judges reward him with a unanimous decision win.
SECOND. Both fighters come out fighting cautiously, trying to feel the other out. Crawford is strangely reticent in the first few rounds and this allows Brook to steal them by default as he builds momentum and takes the fight to the champ.
Crawford wakes him in the middle rounds and begins landing combinations, but Brook lands a big right hand in the eight that disrupts Bud’s momentum.
The final rounds are riveting as both men dig in and empty the tank, but the judges favored Brook’s early activity and hand him a controversial split decision.
THIRD. Brook starts out fast, eager to prove his contention that he is the bigger fighter. He pops out jabs and right hands while Crawford counters.
We get a sizzling third round as both fighters connect with big bombs.
On the 11th, Crawford hurts Brook with a combination that has him reeling along the ropes. He comes in to finish off Brook but the ref has seen enough and waives the fight off.
VERBATIM. “That’s how I always carried it — you gonna break before I break, and that’s how it’s gonna be, come Saturday.”
-Terence Crawford (www.badlefthook.com)
LAST ROUND. It’s on Trina Zosa -Tan and Architect Lee Villanueva who celebrate their birthdays this week. Cheers!