GGG vs Brook: Kell studying 'Leonard vs. Hagler' to defeat Gennady GolovkinWritten by Joseph Herron
On Saturday, September 10, IBF Welterweight title holder Kell Brook will attempt to defeat one of the best fighters in boxing, and possibly the hardest pound for pound puncher in the entire sport, WBC/WBA/IBF/IBO Middleweight champion Gennady 'GGG' Golovkin, in front of 20,000 of his ardent supporters at the O2 Arena in London, England.
After seeing GGG crack mitts with head trainer Abel Sanchez, during a media workout in Covent Garden, London, the confident Briton knows exactly what kind of firepower he'll be up against this weekend. "The Special One" believes he's ready to deal with the powerful Kazakh's thunder in the ring.
"Of course. Most guys are already fearful of that before the fight ever begins," Kell Brook stated to SecondsOut.com. "But I'm not worried about what he's going to do. I'm focused on what I'm going to do. I know he's a big puncher, and I have to be smart in the ring."
To help him prepare mentally for the biggest fight of his twelve year professional career, Brook has admittedly been paying close attention to another historic Welterweight vs. Middleweight match-up for strategy and inspiration.
"I've been watching Leonard against Hagler. He's naturally a bigger guy than me. He's been competing at Middleweight throughout his whole career. So it's going to come down to speed, the mindset, and the skill. We're going to have to box him, but we're prepared for a street fight. We're prepared to do anything to win this fight."
Just like Hall of Fame legend Sugar Ray Leonard, Kell believes there's going to be a point within this weekend's super fight where he'll have to make a stand, and fight the middleweight "Goliath" to bring home a big victory.
Will GGG vs Brook resemble Leonard vs Hagler?
During the first quarter of "Leonard vs. Hagler', Sugar Ray did a masterful job of outpointing the avoided Middleweight champ, while making him miss regularly. Leonard used his speed, reflexes, footwork and intelligence to control range, effectively negating the strengths of the relentless pressure fighter.
But in mid to late rounds of 1987's epic, 12 round fight, Hagler began to close the distance and started to find range, tagging Leonard with hard combinations to the body and head. The Marvelous One even managed to stagger the former American Olympian back into the ropes at the close of the seventh stanza, rocking him repeatedly to end the round.
In the historic ninth round of the epic ring war, Hagler pinned Leonard in a corner and moved in for a potential finishing flurry. As he was ripping Sugar Ray with both hands repeatedly, Leonard bravely fought back with his own brand of quick flurries and was ultimately able to spin out of harm's way. Hagler continued to stalk his prey, but Leonard always seemed to answer back with quick combinations to the head of the middleweight champion.
Because of the bravery and courage Leonard showed in the classic 1987 battle, Marvin Halger was never able to truly impose his will on the natural welterweight fighter. Sugar Ray used speed, lateral movement, ring intelligence and enough quick combinations for twelve rounds to earn a controversial but split decision victory over the feared middleweight puncher.
Just like Sugar Ray Leonard almost 30 years ago, the Sheffield native believes he can outbox, out maneuver, and eventually fight back effectively against the hard punching Middleweight champion on Saturday night to pull off the upset.
"I know what I can do. When my back's against the wall, that's when I perform. The way this fight just fell into my lap, it was almost like the fight was meant to be. I know I'm going to go out there on Saturday night and do something very, very special."
GGG vs Brook will be shown on HBO in the United States at a special start time of 5:30PM ET, and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK, beginning at 6PM BST.
GGG vs Brook | News
Leonard vs Hagler highlights (4 min)