Crawford-Brook was a ratings hit!

Saturday’s Top Rank on ESPN saw Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) retain his WBO welterweight world title with a fourth-round TKO over former welterweight world champion Kell Brook, in a main event from the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The fight delivered big on viewership, ranking as the top boxing telecast across all TV networks since January 2019.

Top Things to Know

  • Crawford vs Brook averaged 1,758,000 viewers, making it the most viewed boxing telecast across on all TV networks since January 2019

  • The main event was also the most viewed boxing telecast on cable since December 2018 (Lomachenko vs. Pedraza on ESPN: 1,889,000)

  • The fight rating peaked during the 11:45 p.m.-12:00 a.m. ET quarter hour with 2.1 million viewers

  • Through seven Saturday night telecasts on ESPN so far this year, Top Rank on ESPN has averaged 1,033,000 viewers, up 44% from 11 Saturday night telecasts in 2019

  • Adults 18-49 are up 54% year-over-year

  • Crawford vs. Brook ranked No. 1 as the most socially engaged boxing telecast across TV over the last two years, with over 306,000 total social interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

  • Crawford vs. Brook had a strong performance on social media, becoming the most socially engaged telecast across TV over the last two years, with over 306,000 social interactions across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

  • Lomachenko vs. Lopez and Crawford vs. Brook have been the most socially engaged boxing telecasts across TV in consecutive months over the last two years.

Source: Nielsen, Nielsen Social Content Ratings

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Getty Images

Crawford: ‘I want Pacquiao’

For the first three rounds, Kell Brook(39-3, 27 KOs) was fighting well and was effectively using his jab against WBO 147-pound champion Terence Crawford. However, before you knew it, the fight was over. Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) exploded was a right jab that forced Brook into the ropes for a knockdown. Crawford would finish Brook off with a combination that prompted referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight, and Crawford would win by fourth-round TKO to retain his belt at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble on Saturday night.

 “Never in my career, nobody has ever done that to me in sparring or anything,” Brook said after the fight.

Crawford added: “Kell is a tremendous talent. He came, and he tried to take my title. He was in shape. He made the weight. There were no excuses to be put on the table. He came off of three wins.”

According to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, Crawford, who has now won eight straight fights by knockout, is the best welterweight in the world.

“Terence Crawford showed, once again, why he is the best welterweight in the world,” Arum said. “It was a dominating performance over a very good fighter in Kell Brook. Terence ranks up there with all the great welterweights I’ve promoted.”

After the fight, Crawford made it clear that he wants WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, next.

“I already said who I want {next}. I want Pacquiao. I want to revisit that fight,” Crawford said. “That was a fight that should’ve happened right now. But being that the pandemic happened, and they weren’t going to allow fans in the Middle East, they had to put a hold to that. Everything was 95 percent done. We had the venue. The money was almost there. It wasn’t quite there. That was the only thing we were waiting on.”

What happens next for Crawford should be interesting. There have been talks that Crawford is not happy with his situation at Top Rank. According to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, Crawford’s deal with Top Rank expires in October 2021. If the 33-year-old Crawford is fighting Pacquiao next, which he mentioned was a possibility, that’s an opportunity to get a nice payday and a big name at 147. However, if Crawford wants the other big names at 147, like Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, or Danny Garcia, all of who fight under the PBC banner, he’s going to have to probably sign with PBC, and if that gets him the big fights, it’s a great move.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

Brook on Crawford: ‘I stop him, or he quits on the stool’

At age 34, former world champion Kell Brook(39-2, 27 KOs) is running out of time. On Saturday night, Brook will have an opportunity to become a champion again when he battles WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford(36-0, 27 KOs) at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.

The last time Brook fought in the United States was in 2014 when he earned his first title by defeating then IBF 147-pound champion Shawn Porter. According to the UK native, he knows what it takes to come to America and win a belt.

“I’ve been here before. I’ve been on this stage,” Brook said via a Zoom call on Monday. “I’ve been in there with pound-for-pound top fighters like Golovkin and Errol Spence. I took the title away from Shawn Porter in America. I know what it takes to be champion.

“He’s going to have a rude awakening; I’ll tell you that. He’s going to have a rude awakening Saturday night when he gets in there.

“I hope he’s {overlooking me}. I hope he is because I’m coming with force. Trust me.”

There is nothing like winning your first title, but Brook, who lost his title to Spence in 2017, thinks winning his second title would mean more to him. 

“I think {winning this fight} would rank above Shawn Porter given everything I’ve been through, everyone writing me off,” Brook said. “I think you gotta put it up there because this is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. You’ve gotta put him as number one. Nobody has done that in history from Britain, and I’m glad that all the fans will be able to see it on Premier Sports. They’re going to stay up and enjoy me become two-time world champion.”

Not only does Brook, who is on a three-fight win streak, expect to beat Crawford, but he also expects to do it in devastating fashion.

“I stop him, or he quits on the stool,” Brook said. “I’m fully focused. I’ve never been ready for a fight like this before. Looking forward to whatever Terence brings because I can match him. I’m ready for a war.”

This is Brook’s last stand. If he can find a way to beat one of the pound-for-pound best in Crawford, it would be his greatest accomplishment as a pro. Brook was very competitive against Spence and Golovkin, so there’s a good chance that he will be very competitive against Crawford. Based on the way Brook’s talking, we should get an excellent fight on Saturday night.

Liam Smith wants Kell Brook

Liam Smith says he would love to fight Kell Brook, but warned that he won’t chase the Sheffield star as he is the latest guest on Matchroom Boxing’s podcast ‘The Lockdown Tapes’.

THE LOCKDOWN TAPES WITH LIAM SMITH IS ALSO ON MATCHROOM BOXING’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL NOW!

Former WBO World Super-Welterweight king Smith (29-2-1 16 KOs) is plotting his route to becoming a two-time World champion, and the 31 year old wants that route to include a huge all-British fight with Brook, the former IBF Welterweight ruler.

Brook surrendered that crown in May 2017 against Errol Spence Jr, and then ‘The Special One’ moved up to 154lbs, settling in with wins over Sergey Rabchenko, Michael Zerafa and Mark DeLuca. Brook has been heavily linked with a return to Welterweight to meet WBO champion Terence Crawford, while the rivalry with Amir Khan is still in the picture, but Smith hopes that the fight with him and Brook can be made, but is also open to a battle with former two-weight champion Jessie Vargas.

“The Brook fight is a fight I want but I am not going to chase him,” said Smith. “He’s not that good and he hasn’t got a World Title, I want to fight him because he’s a decent name and I think it’s a very good fight for the British fans.

“The Jessie Vargas fight is the more likely fight for me. Brook seems to be playing no part but I think Eddie Hearn should force Brook’s hand if he wants to see the fight. I don’t blame Brook, if he gets the Crawford fight then good luck for him but I think a fight with me will be much more competitive.

“I want to be in a fight that people will be glued to, find entertaining and want to watch. We know Vargas can fight, he’s a two weight World Champion and it was almost done before Eddie signed Mikey Garcia which then became the obvious fight to make.

“Amir Khan isn’t scared of Brook, he has fought everyone. His resume is unbelievable, but I think he is scared of losing to Brook. I think it’s similar with Kell that he is scared of losing to me. Too higher risk for a smaller reward for him but I do think there is good money there in that fight. If it isn’t Crawford it should be me and Brook.”

As well as speaking about Brook and Vargas, Smith talks about his boxing brothers, fighting Canelo Alvarez, Liverpool FC’s title hopes and much more in the latest episode of ‘The Lockdown Tapes’.

Kell Brook: ‘2020 is the year that I become World Champion again’

Kell Brook returned from a 14 month hiatus from the ring to stop Mark DeLuca in seven rounds at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.

A left hook flattened DeLuca and caused the referee to step in after Brook had spent the entire fight badly bloodying and hurting his visitor. The win sets up an exciting 2020 for ‘The Special One’ who now has plenty of options.

“2020 is the year that I become World Champion again,” Brook said afterwards. “I don’t shy away from any fighter, I have a lot of respect for Liam Smith, he boxed a stablemate of mine in Liam Williams.

“I’ve sparred him and if those spars are anything to go by, the fight would be amazing.

“I know he wants the fight. We’ll sit down with Eddie [Hearn] this week. I love the Smith family but once we get in there, it’s business.

“I want to get straight back in the gym, I want to be fighting again in 10 or 12 weeks.”

Terri Harper was crowned WBC Super-Featherweight World Champion after battering Eva Walhstom over ten rounds to rip the famous green and gold belt from the long-reigning Finn and cement herself as a new star of British boxing.

“I had a lot of pressure on me, I’m 23-years old and I’ve just done this, I’ve made history,” she said afterwards. “I got the win, it was a hard fight against a tough girl.”

Kid Galahad earned another shot at IBF Featherweight World Champion Josh Warrington by stopping Claudio Marrero in eight rounds of their Final Eliminator in a hugely-impressive performance.

“After last time against Warrington, I couldn’t leave anything to the judges,” said Galahad afterwards.

Doncaster fan favourite Dave Allen clattered Dorian Darch, flooring him twice in three rounds, to impressively return to action after his loss to David Price last year.

“This means the world to me, I’ve waited for this moment for a long time,” he said. “I’ve come back because I love the game. Whatever I have is because of boxing.”

Martin J Ward stayed on course for a World Title opportunity in 2020 by outpointing Mexico’s Jesus Amparan 100-88, Anthony Tomlinson produced a career-best performance to stop Scotland’s Stewart Burt in their British and Commonwealth Welterweight Title Eliminator, Sheffield Super-Featherweight prospect Donte Dixon moved to 3-0 with a fourth round stoppage win over Eduardo Valverde, John Docherty notched another KO win as he moved to 8-0 by halting Pablo Mendoza in the first round and Sheffield Light-Heavyweight talent Callum Beardow progressed to 2-0 with a points win over Pawel Martyniuk.

Kell Brook: ‘I want whoever holds a belt’

Kell Brook has admitted that nothing less than a “spectacular” win over Mark DeLuca at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield this Saturday will suffice as he looks to regain the attention of the World Champions at 147 and 154 pounds after a lengthy hiatus from the ring.

‘The Special One’ (38-2, 26 KOs) takes on ex-Marine DeLuca for the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Super-Welterweight Title in his first fight since December 2018, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, as he seeks an impressive win to stake his claim for a World Title fight in 2020.

“2020 I want to be two-time champion,” said Brook. “I’ve never been as driven, I’ve never been as focused in my whole career as I am now, because I want to mix it with the best. If I don’t have an unbelievable performance, it doesn’t count on February 8, I’m not happy.

“It’s got to be spectacular. You’ve got to go away and think ‘he’s back better than ever.’ That’s what I want people to say. I want to be on everybody’s lips, ‘I can’t believe what this guy’s done. I can’t believe it. What’s happened? He’s the main man again’. That’s what I’m aiming for.

“I want whoever holds a belt, I want to be a two-time World Champion this year. I could do Welterweight. For the right fight, I’ll do Welterweight. It would have to be a meaningful fight. A World Title fight, or a big meaningful fight.”

DeLuca (24-1, 13 KOs) has already earned the respect of Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle and the 31-year-old will be hoping to send the hometown hero into retirement and stake his own claim for a World Title shot in the biggest fight of his career.

“Dominic has seen the guy fight live a few times, it is a hard fight,” Brook added. “He’s tough, he’s an ex-Marine, he’s obviously into his fitness. He’s very determined. He knows this is a chance to make a name for himself. He’s going to give it his all.

“He’s learnt on the road. He’s got one defeat and the next fight he avenged the loss, so he’s obviously learning. Really he’s never lost, he’s a winner. He believes this is his chance. I need to listen to the game plan from Dominic and then it’s just about getting in there and executing it.”

Brook vs. DeLuca tops a huge night of action in Sheffield.

Kid Galahad (26-1, 15 KOs) takes on Claudio Marrero (24-3, 17 KOs) in a Final Eliminator for the IBF Featherweight crown, Terri Harper (9-0, 5 KOs) clashes with Finland’s Eva Wahlstrom (23-1-2, 3 KOs) in a unification for the WBC and IBO Super-Featherweight World Titles, Anthony Tomlinson (11-0, 6 KOs) takes on Stewart Burt (13-1-1, 1 KO) in an Eliminator for the British and Commonwealth Welterweight titles, Dave Allen (17-5-2, 14 KOs) makes his long-awaited return after eight months out of the ring, Brentwood Super-Featherweight Martin Joseph Ward (23-1-2, 11 KOs) and Sheffield Super-Featherweight Donte Dixon (2-0, 1 KO) return, Super-Middleweight John Docherty (7-0, 5 KO) continues his march towards a first title and Sheffield Light-Heavyweight Callum Beardow (1-0) fights for the second time as a pro.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Crawford’s trainer on Khan: ‘He probably needs to go find a job’

WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) proved once again why he is one of the pound-for-pound best after stopping Amir Khan in the sixth-round after Crawford landed an accidental low blow and was ruled the victor after Khan said he was unable to continue. Crawford nearly knocked out Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) out in the opening, knocking him down with a crisp overhand right that was followed by a left hook.

This fight was an opportunity for the 32-year-old  Khan to prove that he still was a factor in the welterweight division, but after his performance on Saturday, Khan days as one of the best at 147 are probably over, and according to Crawford’s trainer/manager, Brian McIntyre, Khan should think about retirement.

“I’m going to tell yall, and no disrespect to him, he probably needs to go find a job,” McIntyre said after Crawford’s victory on Saturday night. “He needs to maybe be a commentator for Sky Sports. So, if you get that job, you better give me my cut mother fu****.”

Khan can still make some decent money in boxing, especially if he fights his British rival, Kell Brook. Outside of that, Khan s basically an opponent at this point of his career, and with Khan’s shaky chin, he might want to think about his future.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank