After strenuous negotiations with Chris Eubank Jr. (23-1, 18 KOs), it was announced on July 8, 2016, that unified Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) will defend against IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs). The fight will take place on September 10, at The O2 Arena in London, England.
The fight will signify the United Kingdom debut of Golovkin, who has built a large following in the United States, as well as a large viewership on premium cable network HBO. However, it appeared to be all but confirmed that the fighter opposite him would be Eubank Jr., after a barrage of taunts directed towards Golovkin, as well as negotiations that seemed close to completion.
Chris Eubank Sr., father of Eubank Jr., has gained a notorious reputation over the last few years for his awkwardness in negotiating deals for his son, which has seemingly lead to the demise of other prospective fights happening. Promoter Eddie Hearn believed the demands of Eubank Jr. and Eubank Sr. made any chance of a deal impossible to happen.
A surprise to many, the prospect of Kell Brook stepping up two weight divisions to fight Golovkin was actually touted earlier in the year, though any possibility of it happening in the near future seemed miniscule, due to Golovkin pursuing a fight with Mexican superstar Canelo Álvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) at the time.
Often regarded as being a “big welterweight”, who cuts a lot of weight to make 147 lbs, Kell Brook believes his skills and punching power will translate into the Middleweight division. He will be going two divisions higher, as well as 13lbs heavier, to challenge Golovkin for his WBC, WBA, IBF, and IBO Middleweight Championships.
A press tour is expected in the next few weeks, to formally present the two fighters to the media. The fight will be live on Sky Sports Box Office (pay-per-view) in the United Kingdom, and on HBO in the United States.
Images courtesy of Matchroom Boxing and Getty Images.