Kell Brook is expected to undergo surgery next week on his broken orbital bone for the second time in two fights, and his career could be in jeopardy.
Unlike the Gennady Golovkin bout from a year ago, this time it was the left orbital bone that was smashed. Brook (36-2, 25 KO’s) lost his IBF strap to rising American star Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KO’s) late last month in the former champion’s hometown of Sheffield.
Boxing is an incredibly unforgiving sport – just ask retired fighter Israel Vazquez. In a period of three years, the former junior featherweight world champion had four unforgettable brawls with Rafael Marquez, posting a record of 2-2. However, last year, Vazquez ended up losing his right eye and was fit with a prosthetic one.
Brook does not want to end up like that, and in fact, Vazquez himself has urged the younger generation of fighters not to follow his example. When in doubt, see a doctor.
With risk comes the possibility of getting rewarded. There are never guarantees. The intrepidity of Kell Brook is why so many fans love him. He dared to be great by moving up two weight classes to fight a man in middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (37-0, 33 KO’s), who at the time had knocked out 22 consecutive opponents.
Although he took a beating and was stopped in the fifth round by the Kazakh, Brook left the ring on September 10, 2016, more respected than at any point in his career. Moreover, he earned the respect of Golovkin himself, who got rocked himself early in the bout.
Brook could sit out the rest of the year and possibly more, but what if he suffers another injury? How many more setbacks can one man accrue in his career?
There are many questions and very few answers. Theoretically, Brook could pull an Antonio Margarito and put on a show for fans against some non-contenders down the road, but he does not seem like the type that would partake in that kind of a bout.
Brook wants the top dogs and understandably so, but his best days are behind him.