AND THE NEW...
By Tom Watt on Aug 18 2014
It had been a long road for 'The Special One' as a host of injuries kept him from his title shot and relative obscurity, particularly in comparison to Britain's other Welterweight contender, Amir 'King' Khan. That all changed on Saturday night as Brook became the first British fighter since Nigel Benn in 1990 to go over to America and take the belt from the home fighter.
There was no home advantage for the defeated Shawn 'Showtime' Porter as 2 judges scored the fight in favour of Brook (116-112 & 117-111) with the 3rd (and surprisingly the British judge) scoring the fight a draw at 114-114. Brook was clearly the classier fighter on the night but the it had been a scrappy affair - and with a recent history of controversial decisions involving some of the sport's marquee names, there was always the risk that Brook may not get his reward. Thankfully that was not the case and the Sheffield fighter made it 33-0 and ultimately became the new IBF Welterweight Champion.
From the offset Porter set out to make life difficult for Brook, coming forward relentlessly in an awkward motion , leaning in low, throwing wild, wide punches then using his arms and shoulders to rough his opponent up in the inevitable clinches that followed. This became a theme for the majority of the fight, with Brook landing the cleaner shots throughout and showcasing his renowned ability to pick his punches incredibly well.
As a result of the rough-house nature of the fight, both men sustained cuts from accidental head-butts although it didn’t appear to have much affect on either of them. Porter's pace began to drop off slightly as the rounds rolled on and Brook was finding more space to land his shots and control the rounds. This hadn't been 'Showtime's best performance by a long way and by the time the bell sounded at the end of round 12 he had not really offered much in term of quality punches in comparison to Brook and it was ultimately that fact that decided the outcome.
The Brook camp looked confident as they waited for the decision to be read out but this is boxing so there was always the element of doubt. Then those famous words rang out. "And the NEW"
Mass hysteria in the ring followed, Brook fell to the floor as he heard the decision and it wasn’t long before his camp including an obviously elated Eddie Hearn were surrounding the new IBF Welterweight Champion of the World. Questions at ringside, as they often do, lead to questions of who Brook might face next - Ir is no secret that he has been after a fight with his compatriot Khan for quite some time but Brook will feel that he maybe doesn’t need Khan any more and may think to look elsewhere. He might still be tempted into that all-British clash however, if the opportunity to fight at Wembley Stadium arises - particularly if that fight comes with the added bonus of being an eliminator to decide who gets the much sought-after shot at P4P Kingpin, Floyd 'Money' Mayweather.
Whether or not that happens is yet to be seen but one thing is for sure, The 'Special One' now has a lot of options open to him. Porter will angle for a rematch although that is a fight that nobody really wants to see so it is very unlikely to happen. The welterweight division is not short of talent at the moment and fighters from Marquez to Thurman to Devon Alexander will be lining up to take his belt and his unbeaten record. Nobody will find that an easy task, Brook wasn't the mandatory challenger for no reason, he is a slick fighter with an abundance of talent and he wont let go of that title without a fight!
Time will tell where Team Brook and Matchroom Sports decide to go next but for now Brook can relax and enjoy his new acclaim, no doubt re-living that moment at the StubHub Centre in California when he heard those words, "And the New"
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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