People would have paid a lot of money to watch the no-holds barred sparring session between Kell Brook and Liam Smith.
The pair took each other to the limit as they both prepared for their biggest ever challenges. And Joe Gallagher, the trainer in light middleweight Smith’s corner, was in a unique position to see what Gennady Golovkin will have in store for him, on September 10.
“It was very competitive and a real benefit for them both” he said. “People are saying all sorts went on but it doesn’t matter who got the better of it. The fact is that Kell helped Liam prepare for Saul Alvarez and Liam helped Kell for Golovkin.”
Gallagher told The Star that Brook looks a genuine middleweight: “I wasn’t surprised at the way he looked. He is big for a welterweight anyway, he is in great shape - Dom Ingle always makes sure his fighters are in the best condition. He looked comfortable at the weight and that’s not going to be an issue.”
The Mancunian trainer, 47, said British boxing was in the ascendancy when you considered the three weekend shows: Brook v Golovkin, Smith v Alvarez (Sept 17) followed by Anthony Crolla v Jorge Linares (24th.) “It is a brilliant couple of weeks for British boxing, they’re all huge, massive fights. It’s a challenge but all our fighters can hold their own. All of them may be underdogs but they won’t mind that, it will help them.
“Boxers don’t mind being written off, it only makes them train harder and go for it more and more. I am not making predictions but there are going to be some surprises.”
Doncaster super-bantamweight Gavin McDonnell, who is seeking a world title shot, joins Sheffield’s Kid Galahad on the Brook bill.
McDonnell will defend his WBC silver belt.
Barnsley’s Andy Townend takes on Leeds-born Martin J Ward for the vacant British super featherweight title.