Clinton Woods believes American champion Shawn Porter is “made for Kell Brook.”
Sheffield’s own Woods, world champion himself at light heavyweight (2005-2008), has boxed in America three times and knows the scale of Brook’s task.
Porter, 26, won the world title against Devon Alexander last December and easily defended it in April against Paulie Malignaggi.
But Woods thinks counter-punching expert Brook will a sharper and more intelligent opponent on Saturday in California for the man who likes scrapping on the inside.
“Porter smashed Malignaggi to pieces - Paulie was walking straight on to him and was destroyed.
“Kell won’t walk into that trap, it’s not his style. They say Porter has been working on his defence but I can’t seem him fighting defensively - with an American crowd watching him, he will throw this big looping shots and that’s where he can get caught.
“Those shots can be exploited, by Kell going straight through the middle.
Porter can’t really change the style that made him IBF welterweight champion. OK, he might try for a couple of rounds but he will want to come forward like a bull and use that phenomenal strength of his.
“Also, he knows he can’t outbox Kell and win on points because Kell is clearly the better boxer. So he is going to have to fly at him. But in doing that he could walk on to that big shot - and then it could be good night for him.”
Woods admitted Porter represented Brook’s first major test. “But Kell has the power, speed and accuracy to win this. I can see him stepping back, getting his distance right and keeping him away with his jab. Porter looks like a top notch American, but is he over-hyped?”
Woods said his own route to the world title class was harder than any Ingle boxer. “I wasn’t in a gym where you could look up to champion after champion and follow their lead. I did it all myself. I was different.”
n William Hill have installed Porter as their odds-on favourite at 4/9 while Brook, 28, is a 2/1 shot courtesy of BetVictor.
Dominic Ingle’s charge has stopped his last four opponents and Paddy Power rate him at 9/2 to rack up a fifth consecutive KO.
Brook is also 9/2, this time via bet365, to prevail on the judges’ scorecards, although those odds are influenced by the fact that Porter commands home advantage.
Bookmakers are wary of Porter’s power, hence William Hill’s slender-looking 6/5 for the Ohio scrapper but a step-up in class for the American in recent years has yielded only one stoppage in his last six wins.
Paddy Power post a generous 5/4 against the showdown lasting 12 rounds.
Fans fancying a speculative flutter can back Brook at 50/1 (bet365) to stun his foe with an incredible first round knockout and he’s 40/1 at Paddy Power to end matters in the ninth.
Odds by betrescue.com