Worth the weight? Ballsy Brook's middleweight move proves boxing has a ducking problem
Special K and Golovkin have been thrust together out of necessity, having failed to secure more suitable fights with opponents in their own divisions
Amir Khan’s brutal knockout defeat against Canelo Alvarez in May was a mismatch in weight that went exactly the way everyone expected.
Now – four months later – here we are again, with another of Britain’s top welterweights stepping up two divisions to take on one of the world’s most dangerous boxers.
It seems like more than an eerie coincidence that Kell Brook, in fighting Gennady Golovkin, is following in the footsteps of his biggest rival.
This is, in fact, a symptom of the current state of championship boxing, where many of the world’s best fighters are ducking more challenges than punches.
The bout has come together not because of exceptional public demand – most fans, after all, wanted to see Golovkin take on Chris Eubank Jr.
It is happening because both Brook and Golovkin have been unable to find serious challenges within their own weight classes.
Both have unblemished records over more than 35 fights, but they are still lacking career-defining victories over other heralded opponents.
Golovkin should, really, be fighting Alvarez at this point.
The Mexican held the WBC middleweight title and claimed he was keen on a unification bout with the unbeaten Kazakh, who was the mandatory challenger.
But he then performed an immediate U-turn, vacating that belt to avoid taking on Golovkin.
Brook, on the other hand, has chased a fight with Khan for years.
The pair are clearly Britain’s best in the 147lbs division.
But Khan believes fighting Brook is beneath him – a ludicrous claim to make about an undefeated world champion.
The Olympic silver medalist refers to the big names he fought in his past, and wants to continue to compete at that level.
But chasing stars like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather has meant that he has only made two appearances in the ring since 2014.
For that reason, he and Brook have traded only verbal blows in the press.
Brook and Golovkin have been thrust together out of necessity but, in truth, this promises to be a far more compelling fight than Khan’s brief venture into the middleweight ranks.
The 30-year-old from Sheffield does seem more suited to the step up. He has been a welterweight for his entire career, while Khan started out as a lightweight and has bulked up as he has aged.
Eddie Hearn has been keen to stress that there will be little difference in size on Saturday night, insisting that Brook is more comfortable at 160lb.
By selling the fight, the Matchroom promoter is just doing his job – but the fact remains that Golovkin is a clear, odds-on favourite with few in the sport giving Brook a chance.
He may be strong enough to stop the Kazakh bullying him, but his opponent’s power should still be a real concern.
Golovkin, like Alvarez, is used to knocking out bigger men than Brook and Khan.
Should the fight go the way it is expected to, there will be little to gain for either man, aside from a substantial pay cheque.
Golovkin would face the same questions about the quality of his opponents after beating a smaller fighter, despite Brook’s obvious qualities.
The welterweight champion, meanwhile, would be back to chasing the increasingly elusive Khan.
Cause an upset, though, and Brook will be lauded as perhaps the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
What's more, he would finally receive the domestic and international recognition that has not been forthcoming despite him holding a world championship belt in a competitive weight class.
It may be a dangerous fight for the South Yorkshireman, but it is a risk that he should be commended for taking.