Armchair Reporter - Golovkin and Brook let rip in London
A ‘MATE of mine’ was showing Saturday night’s pay-per-view middleweight title dust-up between Kazakh kingpin Gennady [Gennadyevich] Golovkin and Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook on a dodgy internet stream and I was top of the guest list.
Being fairly law-abiding myself, I told him to just call me after they’d bleached and mopped the ring and hosed down those at ringside who wouldn’t have thought to wear a boiler suit at the scene. He could then tell me, to the letter, how ‘cereal killer’ Triple G had eaten Special K alive in what was being mooted by many as a brutally one-sided ‘Rumble in the, er, Alphabet’ on Sky Box Office.
Match of the Day was scheduled for the same time, provided ‘the Proms’ coverage didn’t disappear up its own flagpole with a few headsplitting encores of Hope and Glory, Three Lions and Vindaloo.
Meanwhile, back at the lawbreaker’s ranch and the stream from London’s 02 was (apparently) flowing smooth like Jason Booth. Except for the lack of any sound. Piracy comes at a cost (as I told him), but it was soon time for the ringwalk razzmatazz.
Kell Brook’s red trunks were a sight for a shattered eye socket, which was precisely what Brook was going to end up with fairly soon. The sound then kicked in. Sporting an exhibition of knicker-stitching that would have Hayley Cropper fidgeting in her urn, Kell rolled in to the sound of Kanye West’s All of The Lights (while they were still on) and danced in front of the Kazahk flag. ‘Not clever much’, as Borat might say.
Golovkin – a huge lump of Kazahk granite upholstered with skin – then followed suit as the ominous strains of Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes fared well against the boos. His gold gloves edged Brook’s trunks too on the chintzometer.
The pre-fight fear was that Special K’s combos might be as effective as Snap, Crackle and Pop unleashing stale Rice Krispies at the Honey Monster, with big, bad Triple G then hunting his prey down like a salivating lion king eyeing up an antelope full of spuds. Or something like that.
Still, Brook was entitled to huge credit for putting his lid, quite literally, on the block as most others were ‘washing the hair that night’ any time an opponent for the most feared champion on the planet had been talked about.
The opening seconds went to script, Triple G almost consciously uncoupling Brook’s head from his body then striving to bore a hole into his soul. Brook rallied, though, and boxed like his very consciousness depended on it. The second, third and fourth rounds were just as riveting. Brook (left) found ways to Triple G’s square block with shots that would have flattened a hefty mare.
Picture by PA
Yet he was hanging on at times from onslaughts that would have floored a chunky stallion, Itailan or otherwise. Thankfully this fight wasn’t at a stable. Come the fifth, Brook’s bravery was unquestioned, but the outcome was only heading one way (the mate said) and it wouldn’t have been a good one for Special K. Dominic Ingle was soon clambering on the ropes, spinning a soiled towel like hyper teenagers might spin their t-shirts at Avicii gigs.
Brook’s towel then hit the canvas before his body beat him to it. Golovkin said politely that Brook was good but hadn’t hurt him once. It was maybe a wee white spoof. Brook said politely that he was seeing three, four or five Golovkins (9, 12 or 15 Gs) but hadn’t been hurt once. It was surely a busted eye socket of a spoof.
Still, Matt Macklin loved Brook’s cojones. Paulie Malignaggi loved them too, but not quite as much as NYC’s Paulie loves NYC boxer Danny Jacobs or everyone else loves Paulie’s ear-bashing impression of Cagney and Lacey at a pastrami convention on 44th and fourth.
The praise was all fair enough too. There was no shame in losing against the ‘God of War’ at his own weight class – so said one and all.
My only regret – for any cops reading this – is that I definitely watched the Proms and Match of the Day instead.