In the wake of Kell Brook’s disastrous homecoming, debate has broken out as to whether the Sheffield native quit rather than go out on his shield.
As Spence Jr stood victorious, the accusations started that Brook had committed the cardinal sin of boxing. Giving up.
It remains one of the most troubling aspects of the boxing. Unlike other sports, we the baying public expect our competitors in the squared circle to behave like the gladiators of old.
To win our respect they must prove their mettle by soaking up punishment until the bitter end.
Failure to accept a brutal beating is often met with derision and accusations of cowardice from the press, fans and, perhaps most strongly, by a boxer’s peers.
This was evident in the aftermath of the fight. Both Tony Bellew and Amir Khan, Brook’s long time nemesis, were quick to criticize his heart and label the fighter a quitter.
It didn’t stop there. The wider boxing fraternity was quick to weigh in on Special K’s apparent lack of fight.
How can you quit in the 11 rd in front of 27,000 of your fans. Smh
— Gervonta Davis (@Gervontaa) May 27, 2017
How do you just give up your world title with only 2 rounds to go because of a swollen eye? Congratulations Errol Spence.
— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) May 27, 2017
It would be quick and lazy journalism to join the masses in questioning Brooks fortitude and fighting spirit fight.
Let’s first be clear. No fighter who enters the ring can ever truly be questioned in the stakes of courage.
We must remember the tragedies that have engulfed boxing throughout the ages. One only needs to reflect on Michael Watson, Gerald Mcclellan or the recent tragedy that befell Nick Blackwell.
Boxers risk life and limb when they climb between the ropes. The accusation of human cockfighting is one often leveled at the sport. Whilst boxing remains the pinnacle of testing oneself in pure competition, it’s a criticism that we as fans must accept is partially true.
In relation to Brook. It’s important to state that yes, in the eleventh round he took a knee to escape a further barrage from the ascendant Spence Jr.