Eddie Hearn: Kell Brook can stop Shawn Porter
The promoter of English welterweight Kell Brook predicts IBF titleholder Shawn Porter will "get stopped or knocked out" if "Porter fights as erratic like he was" during his last fight, a fourth-round stoppage over former two-division titlist Paulie Malignaggi in April.
"He's a huge puncher, Kell Brook, when he's at his best and on the weight," said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport during an interview with RingTV.com on Tuesday, even as he called Porter "the best fighter that Kell Brook will have faced, without a doubt."
"Kell Brook is a huge, huge competitor, so if Porter fights as erratic like he was against Paulie Malignaggi, then he's going to get stopped or knocked out but I don't think that Porter is going to fight that kind of fight."
Hearn confirmed an earlier report by RingTV.com that Brook (32-0, 22 knockouts) has signed to fight Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs), whose father and trainer, Kenny Porter said the beltholder will "sign the contract" on Tuesday to face Brook.
Kenny Porter's assertion followed a previous one by Golden Boy Promotions Vice President and matchmaker Eric Gomez that "a deal is in place" for Porter-Brook "to take place within the next couple of months."
Brook has won his past four fights by stoppage and was last in action for an eighth round TKO over Alvaro Robles in March that had followed a fourth round knockout of ex-beltholder Vyacheslav Senchenko in October.
Also among Brook's stoppages during that time came in the eighth round during a July 2013 rematch with Carson Jones, against whom Brook had scored a majority decision in July 2012.
"Shawn Porter will be the best fighter that Kell Brook will have faced without a doubt. I think that he will be the toughest fighter that Brook has faced since Senchenko, the former WBA champion, who he knocked out in the fourth round. Before that, he had a fight with Carson Jones, which you might have seen. Carson Jones didn't win a round up until the sixth round and then Kell was not in great shape and wound up emptying his take and the fight ended up being quite competitive," said Hearn.
"But in the rematch, you saw a 70 percent Kell Brook as opposed to a 40 percent Kell Brook and Carson Jones wasn't the semblance of the same [Jones] in his performance against him as opposed to the first time that Carson Jones fought him. That's why Kell beat him in eight rounds or something like that. So I think that Kell has not operated at the level of a Shawn Porter yet but every fighter that he's dealt with, he's dispatched of them."
Porter-Brook was ordered by the IBF in April. It had appeared that Porter and Brook were headed for an August 9 date at Barclays Center in Brooklyn until Sunday, when Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De la Hoya informed RingTV.com that RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson and middleweight contender Danny Jacobs would instead be facing opponents to be determined on that date and at that venue.
"I don't think that [Porter] would have ever, ever chosen Kell Brook as a voluntary. I think that, 100 percent, he would not have chosen Kell Brook if he wasn't the mandatory. They would never, ever have chosen him. He's not from America. He's slick; he punches hard…They know what kind of fight they're going to be in and that's why I think that they're kind of stalling," said Hearn.
"The risk/reward ratio for Porter is very poor. It's not a huge payday and people will be expecting him to win. So, maybe they're looking for other opportunities that haven't materialized or maybe they have materialized but I still think that it's an incredibly risky fight for Shawn Porter."
Porter had been granted an exception by the IBF for his defense against Malignaggi, whom Porter floored twice. Prior to Malignaggi, Porter was coming off a unanimous decision win that earned the belt from Devon Alexander, in which he dictated a physical fight that left both men bleeding from cuts around their eyes in December.
"Before that first Carson Jones fight, [Brook] had hardly lost a round in his professional career, so he's got so many more gears," said Hearn. "I would say that, taking that first Carson Jones fight out, I don't think that he's come out of third gear. So if he's fighting in his fourth and his fifth gear against Porter, he's going to stop him."
Hearn said the contract calls for Porter-Brook to happen sometime prior to Sept. 10 and that Sept. 6 has been discussed as well. Brook has fought only once on American soil, scoring a fifth-round knockout of Luis Galarza in Atlantic City in December 2011.
"Recently, Kell's been in Big Bear, he's been in Las Vegas training and he's been in Los Angeles training," said Hearn. "So he's familiar with everywhere in America and he'll be there three or four weeks before the fight. Kell has been training for seven weeks and he's really, really up for this fight."