Liam Smith next fight: Kell Brook has pros and cons
British super welterweight and former WBO Champion Liam Smith tasted defeat for the first time as pro last night compliments of the hard-punching Canelo Alvarez.
Despite failing to win a round, Smith fought well and was competitive in the first six stanzas. Moreover, he exhibited a good beard and ugged tenacity, often pinning the Mexican on the ropes and whaling away before succumbing vicious body attacks in Rounds 8 and 9.
So who will Liam Smith fight next?
There's no guarantee his stock exploded after last night's performance but it certainly doesn't drop either. In fact, it probably rises a bit because he gave a quality, although not superb, showing against an elite superstar.
Will Team Smith strike while the 'iron is hot' and have their man face popular countryman Kell Brook next?
Brook, of course, gave a memorable performance in losing to middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin last week. And like Smith, Brook has had his moments against a bonafide superstar... And like Smith, Brook was an undefeated champion.... And like Smith, Brook was stopped within the distance.
Given all of the similarities and the fact both fighters hail from the UK, it makes sense to have them fight each other next, right?
Will we see Kell Brook vs Liam Smith?
In addition to their commonalities, there are sharp differences. Kell Brook was ranked by many, including RING Magazine, as the best welterweight in the world prior to last week's fight. In fact, he is still RING's top welterweight. Also, unlike Smith, Brook moved up two divisions to face arguably the world's best fighter, pound for pound.
We know Kell Brook is an elite fighter. Smith is certainly worthy of top 10 merit but has not proven to be elite. Having him face Kell Brook right away may be a bit more than Smith chew.
Regardless, advocates for Brook vs Smith next might have a strong case.
Both fighters have been in the news a lot lately, have recently raised their respective stocks and will be looking to rebound from high-profile knockout defeats.
Brook vs Smith would likely be a pretty big deal in the UK and the stakes would be high. Moreover, it would be a must-win fight of sorts for both men, and the result would certainly impact the landscape of the jr middleweight (154 lb) division and British boxing.
And while Brook would likely be the clear favorite, Kell vs Liam still intrigues.
...The downside, however, is that one fighter will have lost two in a row at the end of the day - and would experience a drop in stock as a consequence.
Should they face off next, it would be gamble for both sides... But it might be worth it, financially.
“I have just fought Canelo Alvarez so I’m not going to say no to fighting Kell Brook. If the money is right, let’s do it," Smith stated via Mirror UK moments after losing to Canelo.
“We’ll sit there and try to find out what best suits us. We’re not going to pussy foot around Kell Brook and wait for their team to make a decision.
“We’ll let the cuts heal and make our way back towards a world title.”
Are Kell Brook and Liam Smith good next-fight options for each other?