Television: AWE (USA), Sky Sports (UK)
Time: 7:00PM GMT / 3:00PM ET / 12:00PM PT
IBF welterweight title eliminator
Kell Brook 30(20)-0 vs. Vyacheslav Senchenko 33(22)-1
Brook is one of those fighters that is perpetually the “next big thing”. But for how long? How long will it be till Brook faces one of the big dogs of the welterweight division?
He was supposed to fight for Devon Alexander’s IBF title. For multiple reasons, that fight fell through three times. After a long layoff, Brook rematched Carson Jones, and did a whole lot better than their rematch.
Now once again, Brook’s promoters are presenting this as another “test”. Senchenko once had a world title! He’s the guy who KOed Ricky Hatton!
While I agree that Senchenko is no joke, we have to look at things for what they are. Senchenko is now a former world titlist because he was stopped by Paulie Malignaggi. Yes, he defeated Ricky Hatton, but Hatton hadn’t fought since 2009. (Hatton also had to drop 50lbs!)
So Senchenko would be a great gatekeeper if Brook required a gatekeeper — but he doesn’t. Nevertheless, this is an okay fight. Senchenko is, at least, world class.
Prediction: Brook by UD.
WBO light middleweight eliminator
Brian Rose 24(7)-1-1 vs. Javier Francisco Maciel 27(20)-2
This has the makings of a great fight.
In one corner, we have Rose. His lone defeat has been avenged, and since then he’s won his last 10 fights. Though he doesn’t have the most impressive KO ratio, he has no qualms about trading — and lately he’s had more KOs. His best wins have come against Joachim Alcine, Sam Web, Kris Carslaw, Prince Arron, and the previously undefeated Martin Welsh.
In the other corner we have Maciel. His last loss was against Dmitry Pirog in a WBO title attempt. That fight was competitive. What’s more, Maciel lasted the distance.
The wrinkle here is Maciel’s power. He has a 69% KO ratio. In his last 9 fights, he’s won 8 of them by KO. Now when Maciel wins, he wins big. When things go to decision, things are as definitive.
I envision Maciel trying to slug. Rose may stand in front of him due to his strong chin, but he’ll have to make the most of his boxing ability. Maciel has that awkward Argentinian rhythm and might make this hard.
Either way… fun fight!
Prediction: Rose by UD.