Boxing double: Brook vs. Dan, Gonzalez vs. Russell, PBC on Showtime

Showtime offers happy hour boxing from Sheffield, England and an evening card from Las Vegas for fight fans Saturday.

Kell "Special K" Brook gets our respect for agreeing to fight undefeated middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Photo: Courtesy Showtime

SAN DIEGO, March 28, 2015 – It is no small accomplishment to come into another fighter’s home country and take the title home the way Kell “Special K” Brook (33-0-0, 22 KOs) of England did last August in California against American Shawn Porter. Brook was elated when he won the IBF super welterweight belt in a majority decision, remaining undefeated.

Brook hardly had time to enjoy it. Two weeks later on vacation in the Canary Islands, Brook was stabbed multiple times in the thigh in an unprovoked attack, leaving him with a wicked 11-inch scar. Brook spent two months recovering, then additional time rehabilitating under the watch of his hometown soccer club in Sheffield, England.

An elated Kell Brook reacts to the news that he is the new IBF welterweight champion on Saturday after defeating Shawn Porter. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime
An elated Kell Brook reacts to the news that he is the new IBF welterweight champion after defeating Shawn Porter. Photo: Esther Lin, Showtime

Brook says he’s eager and ready to put on a show for his loyal fans in England today at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield against Jo Jo Dan (34-2, 18 KOs), a native of Romania who fights out of Canada. The fight should be a victory lap exhibition for Brook. Dan has not faced any of the top welterweights, and his two losses both come to Selcuk Aydin, a Turkish boxer of minimal acclaim.

Brook should win handily. He needs to put on a “big drama show” to gain the sort of standing to get the fight he really wants against the likes of Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. He should set his sights more in the range of Amir Khan. This fight airs live in the U.S. on Showtime at 6:15 p.m. ET. Compliments to Showtime for airing the fight live despite the minimal audience draw.

Jhonny Gonzalez (left) and Gary Russell pose at Friday's weigh-in. Photo: Courtesy Showtime/Hogan Photos
Jhonny Gonzalez (left) and Gary Russell pose at Friday’s weigh-in. Photo: Courtesy Showtime/Hogan Photos

You can take a dinner break, then come on back for more. Showtime returns later in the evening with a second card from Las Vegas at 10 p.m. ET. WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico (57-8, 48 KOs) will make his third title defense against challenger Gary Russell Jr. (25-1, 14 KOs), This fight features distinctly different boxing styles. Gonzalez is a classic Mexican style, aggressive power puncher. The 2008 U.S. Olympian Russell relies on speed and tactical execution. This is a fight where one man will need to impose his style on the other to prevail. Gonzalez hasn’t had a big KO win in two years; Russell need to redeem himself after a surprise loss to Vasyl Lomachenko last June; at the time he blamed exhaustion for his poor performance.

In the co-main event, junior middleweights Jermell Charlo (25-0, 11 KOs) and Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs) hope a win will put them in position to challenge for a title against a belt holder. One of them is Floyd Mayweather. Martirosyan would also like a shot at Canelo Alvarez, but it’s more likely to be Erislandy Lara or Demetrius Andrade. Martirosyan suffered his only loss to Andrade and he’d love to avenge that defeat. Charlo was supposed to fight Andrade in December, but Andrade pulled out in a dispute over his purse. Charlo took on a last minute opponent to stay busy and won handily. Martirosyan’s last fight was an impressive win over Willie Nelson, an emotional victory for Martirosyan whose promoter Dan Goossen had died just days before the fight. The pair used to share a trainer, Ronnie Shields, and Martirosyan has sparred with Charlo’s twin brother, Jermall.

Martirosyan is the more experienced man in the ring, and he needs to stay aggressive with Charlo in a bid to counteract his speed and rattle his cage. Charlo can’t let it happen; he needs to stay smart and avoid getting drawn into a brawl.

Jermell Charlo (left) and Vanes Martirosyan get in each other's faces Friday at the weigh-in. Photo: Courtesy Showtime
Jermell Charlo (left) and Vanes Martirosyan get in each other’s faces Friday at the weigh-in. Photo: Courtesy Showtime

Both men consider it a must-win fight, and the pair showed a little attitude with some aggressive body language at Friday’s weigh-in. Charlo came in nearly a pound over the 154-pound weight limit, but there is generally a tolerance in a non-title fight like this one. Martirosyan made it with ease at 153 pounds.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is president/owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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