Kell Brook: #AndStill
By TOM WATT on April 2 2015
Last weekend the IBF Welterweight Champion of the World made his way into the ring at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield amidst a cacophony of cheers and whistles over the top of his now trademark entrance music, how would Brook fare in his first test as Champion now he truly was under All Of The Lights.
It had been 7 months since that now famous night where the Sheffield-born fighter snatched the title away from American Shawn Porter in his own backyard and now his mandatory challenger, Jo Jo Dan, was in his backyard trying to do the same to him. In the months since that decisive and career-defining victory a lot has happened in the World of Kell Brook, most notably he was stabbed in the leg with a machete whilst on holiday and the severity of this attack was such that question-marks were raised over whether or not we would see the same sharp and destructive Kell Brook we had all grown to love over the last few years.
It did not take long for anyone’s fears to be allayed however. The minute Brook’s right hand landed in the first round it was clear that this was not going to be a close match-up. Jo Jo Dan is by no means a poor fighter and he was Brook’s mandatory challenger for a reason, going in to the fight he was 34-2-0 coming off a 5-fight win streak and had never been stopped, he is a good fighter. Kell however, is an exceptional fighter and that is the difference between contenders and champions.
From round 1 ‘Special K’ was in cruise-control, controlling the distance and pot-shotting Dan with stiff right hands at will. The Romanian challenger did his best to make it awkward and upset the Brit but Brook has shown time and time again that he is a cool customer and one that is very hard to rattle. It wasn’t the slickest performance of Brook’s career but even with the 7 month lay-off he was more than sharp enough to drop Dan twice in the 2nd round and then twice again in the 4th before Dan retired on his stool.
It was a dominant performance by a man that wants to dominate the division. This will be no easy feat, the Welterweight division is often referred to as Boxing’s ‘Money division’ because it holds the biggest pool of marketable talent – most notably, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Manny ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao who also happen to be the only World Champions in the division not named Kell Brook. It’s with these sort of names that Kell Brook will now be associated with and with a World Title and an unbeaten record to his name, there is nobody that could legitimately argue otherwise.
Brook has said he would like to fight twice before the end of the year and will have no shortage of takers, Keith Thurman is someone that has made no secret of his desire to win a World Title at Welterweight and has also said he would be happy to travel which is something that may appeal to Brook given his plans to fight at Brammal Lane (Home of Sheffield Utd FC) this Summer. Another name being lined up for this date could be Mexican superstar and Future Hall Of Famer, Juan Manuel Marquez and this would be a huge fight for both men – for Marquez it’s a final chance to win another World Title and for Brook it is a chance to add one of the Sport’s most illustrious names to his CV.
Other names will continued to be touted and there is no getting away from the Amir Khan fight which looks as though it could be next summer’s blockbuster stadium fight in the UK now with Khan looking elsewhere at the moment (See Here) and claiming that waiting until next year would make it a bigger fight. For now we will have to wait to hear from the IBF Champion and his promoter, Eddie Hearn regarding the next move but expect this to be soon, Brook wants another fight this Summer and will have to move fast if he is to make that dream happen. Whatever happens though, having got his mandatory out of the way and with 12 months+ in the bag before he is forced into another, the World is very much Kell Brook’s oyster at the moment and there is plenty more to come from the Sheffield man in 2015.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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