Boxing with the British flag on his bum, Kell ‘Special K’ Brook risked a prominent ranking with the IBF and a guaranteed world title shot with the Federation by July 19 when he took on Albaro Robles at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on March 15, however, after seven rounds it was clear Brook was a class above as the red corner threw in the white towel, surrendering their man.
Official score: Corner stoppage in Rd 8.
Perhaps wary of his Mexican adversary’s reputation as a 78% cert for a knockout win and as a national welterweight champion in his native Central American country, Brook came out the blue corner boxing patiently, behind his jab. When the Englishman committed to the lead punch, in both rounds one and two, Robles took the opening as an invite to pummel right hooks into the side of Brook’s body.
While Robles was no mug when it came to attack – he oft has his opponent on the floor, after all – his guard was porous and his face got smashed in when Brook unleashed the textbook one-two, a jab and straight right landing square on the Baja Californian’s beak.
Slowing in the third, Robles failed to get any meaning behind his punches. Brook, meanwhile, persisted with a fly-swatting jab, varying the power behind it from an annoying push to an eye-watering nose-pounder. Brook did not have his own way, mind, as his chin was tested by a mean right lead yet, despite the force, Special K’s legs remained turgid.
Known for their punch resistance, warrior’s instinct and blood-thirst, Robles exhibited few of the classic Mexican stereotypes as, by the fourth, Brook began duffing his man up with a five-punch combination including head-tilting uppercuts. The opponent promoter Eddie Hearn drafted in a clear level below Brook and a number of levels below the calibre of fighter the Sheffield native is hoping to challenge come the summer.
Brook got round Robles’ ear-muff defence with hooking shots in the fifth round, with the third man in the ring taking a closer look as to whether the Mexican should be saved, however, Robles rallied and thudded powerful ripostes into his target – Kell’s face.
In the sixth, Brook showed that he was able to adapt somewhat as he altered his guard to deny Robles a route to his body, yet he still took unnecessary punches to the head. Unleashing with bountiful chin-bound power punches in the seventh, Brook again had Robles in such danger that the referee appeared ready to step in, yet Robles saved himself with a strong reply. Both throwing caution to the wind, each man sent bombing shots at each other, with Brook outworking the visiting pug.
While Robles was able to land on Brook earlier in the bout, the 27-year-old – a consensus top ten welterweight in world boxing – finally employed some intuitive head movement in order to bob underneath the Mexican’s fists. With a succession of unanswered punches in the eighth round, a jab, straight right and hook shot, Robles’ corner threw in the towel.
Brook may well win plaudits within the national media for his performance and, indeed, it was one-sided, but with all Brook’s experience in 32 fights (32 wins and 22 by way of knockout), none have really come against the elite. By the summer, he may well have an elite opponent. Against Shawn Porter or Paul Malignaggi he will finally step-up in class but will he be able to step-up in terms of talent?
Against an inferior opponent, he was caught with multiple punches, his defence was not on point and he only really got into a rhythm in the concluding 20 seconds of each round.
Sky Sports labeled it a “banana skin” fight – it wasn’t – and even Brook appeared frustrated with continually facing non-elite opponents: “The next one is finally for the IBF strap.”
Confident he can make that aforementioned step, he said: “[Shawn] Porter or [Paul] Malignaggi, whoever it is, I’ll beat.”
Hearn said: “The winner of Porter – Malignaggi has to fight Brook by July 19, according to the IBF. Brook is going to be world champion, 100%.”
Brook added: “Paul is a character, for me he beat [Adrien] Broner. Malignaggi would be my favourite but I’d fight whoever, wherever.”
Britain will be responsible for producing another world champion boxer come the summer, according to a prominent UK promoter, as welterweight contender Kell Brook, 27, will procure the IBF title to follow in the footsteps of his countrymen Stuart Hall, Ricky Burns, Carl Froch – all active titlists on the world scene. That is the opinion of Eddie Hearn – head of the boxing division within Matchroom Sports – who represents Brook and has been responsible for staging some of the biggest clashes involving a UK pugilist in recent years.
Current 147lb incumbent of the IBF belt, Shawn Porter, will take on Brooklyn boxer Paul Malignaggi on April 19 in Washington in what will be a voluntary defence, however, such a dust-up could have been prevented had both fighters not guaranteed their future involvement in a summer stand-off against Sheffield favourite Brook, who is undefeated in 31 professional outings with 21 victories by way of knockout.
Whoever triumphs at the DC Armory next month must risk their IBF title against Brook within 90 days – July 19 – who himself must ensure his ledger remains unblemished despite a ten-round bout against Mexican puncher Alvaro Robles on the Mersey Beat bill Hearn is holding at the Echo Arena in Liverpool tomorrow evening, Saturday, on a card also featuring Kevin Mitchell and home-town stars Rocky Fielding and Tony Bellew.
Confirmed Hearn: “The IBF wrote to me last week to confirm that IBF champion Shawn Porter had asked for an exemption to fight Paul Malignaggi on April 19, 12 days outside of the restricted period. We asked that if the exemption be granted then it should be accompanied by certain requirements, the most important of those being that both fighters in the proposed April 19 bout must agree in writing to face Kell within 90 days of the bout or by July 19.
“We received confirmation from the IBF [this week] that the exemption would only be granted under a number of conditions including the above. It is great news for Kell after a frustrating period, and he just has to take care of business on Saturday night then I am sure Britain will have another World champion by July 19.”
Brook, though, has long been in a mandatory position with the IBF and was due to challenge previous titlist Devon Alexander thrice last year but the five-star clash failed to materialise due to injury suffered by the Yorkshireman. Brook also held a fine rank with the WBO when under the watch of previous representative Frank Warren, but, in similar fashion to his stay with Hearn and Matchroom, a world title match-up always seemed on the horizon yet never in the ring.
Aside from Porter’s unanimous decision win over Alexander, he has few stand-out triumphs and Hearn even later admitted in an interview with iFL TVs Kugan Cassius that, if Porter beat Malignaggi, then Brook would likely have to take the 26-year-old American on the other side of the drink. However, if Malignaggi prevailed then, because of Paulie’s name-value with British audiences then such a punch-up could be made in England.
Kell Brook will challenge Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on May 18. The long-awaited clash between Brook and Alexander has been cancelled twice due to both men succumbing to training injuries, but now ‘The Special One’ from Sheffield and number one rated contender finally gets the chance to face the champion, and he’s determined to rip the title from his hands.
“It’s been a frustrating wait for the fight to be on, but now I’m ready to get in there on May 18 and bring that title home,” said Brook. “We’ve both had to pull out through injury so we are both hungry for the fight, but I believe I will prove I’ve got a bigger appetite for the battle and that I’ll be too good for him.”
St. Louis’ Devon Alexander (24-1, 13ko) has already won world titles in two divisions despite being only 25 years old. Alexander is the former IBF and WBC world title holder at 140 pounds, with wins over Lucas Matthysse, Juan Urango and Junior Witter to his name. In 2012, ‘The Great’ made his move to welterweight and by the time he was finished defeating Marcos Maidana and Randall Bailey, he was crowned the IBF welterweight world champion.
The clash with Brook will be Alexander’s first defence of his IBF crown.
Alan Dawson – London
In a bout that contained two contrasting halves, Kell Brook survived a fight of the year nominee to land himself a potential shot at the IBF welterweight world title. On Saturday, June 7 at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, Brook was punch perfect for six rounds yet seemed to have emptied his tank as Carson Jones came on strong in the latter half, mashed Kell’s nose up and made a strong case for the draw…
Official verdict: Brook by way of majority decision (116-113, 116-113, 114-114).
With the backing of a 10,000 strong reception in Yorkshire, Brook (28-0-0, 18ko) boxed perfectly in round one, rendering Jones’ output redundant as the American came forward in a one-paced manner which thus allowed Brook to move effortlessly around his opponent and pump two, three and four punch combinations into Carson’s frame. Jones (34-9-2, 24ko) entered the bout as the power puncher with the kayo threat but on first impressions it was The Special One who was able to penetrate Jones’ guard, rumble him with uppercuts and deft left hooks and generally make himself a nuisance.
In the subsequent rounds, Brook fought behind his jab and using the shot to introduce body shots and uppercuts. The Englishman also produced an extremely competent and tight defence, making Jones miss, which was not good for Carson as the visiting pugilist was not even active. At the end of the third round, Brook received raucous applause and noise from his numerous fans for his aggression, however, there were few shots that were clean as Jones diverted shots with his arms.
While Jones got his act together in the fourth, it was Brook who finished in the more commanding position as Carson’s enhanced work-rate allowed Kell to show off his slickness, his counter-punching ability and his shoulder-roll. While Jones concentrated on Brook’s midsection, the home fighter was more varied… and double-jabbed with precision. In the fifth round, Jones boxed more positively, yet this opened him up and Brook clubbed hooks around Jones’ guard, shook up the American’s foundations and genuinely hurt his man. Jones came back at Kell for what was left in the round, sticking Brook into the red corner but Kell’s defence troubled Carson as he struggled to land anything of significance.
Jones’ limitations were further exposed in round six. Carson’s guard was ineffectual as, when Brook teed off, he was easily able to separate Jones’ high guard and land – with aplomb – straight right punches into the mush, however, he lost round seven. Brook’s work-rate was on the wane, he fought in a fatigued fashion and Jones perturbed him from action, forcing Kell to resort to headlocking him with a left arm in order to dilute the inside tussle.
Brook’s sudden lack of interest in the fight worried his corner so much that head coach Dominic Ingle poured an ice bucket over his head prior to the eighth in order to wake his charge up, however, this did not produce the desired effect as Jones went on to bloody Brook’s nose and score a cut to the side of the eye. The famed power of the American fighter, one year Brook’s junior, was finally revealed as he battled Brook into corners and rocked his head back repeatedly yet Brook closed the round with a peach of a countering uppercut which demonstrated that he still had something to offer with four rounds remaining.
With a nose leaking profusely and with blood smeared all over his philtrum, Brook showed an aggression in the tenth that had disappeared from his game from rounds six to nine and he got the crowd back on his side by attacking Jones in a positive 20 seconds of action before backpedaling, countering with right hands but having to take punishment from Carson who battled back convincingly in the final 30 seconds of the session.
Brook’s attempts to switch to the southpaw stance did little to confuse Carson, who was able to see the portside jab coming and parry it with his high glove. Those half-hearted jabs were all Kell seemed to have in the penultimate round whilst Jones continued to torture Brook’s body. The Brit’s defence abandoned him further in the final stanza and Jones genuinely troubled and hurt Brook before the referee separated the pair. If the fight had another round to go, Jones could have secured a stoppage finish, however, after the 12 round distance, Brook eked out a narrow victory on points.
On The Beak – Admin
Welterweight contender Kell Brook has vowed to emulate stablemate Carl Froch after watching the Nottingham man become a three-time world champion last Saturday. Froch took just five rounds to destroy previously unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute in front of a sold out Capital FM Arena and the show smashed Sky Sports viewing figures set by Brook when he fought Matthew Hatton in March.
Sheffield sensation Brook faces his toughest test yet when he meets IBF number three Carson Jones in a bout likely to be given official eliminator status by the governing body, and Brook says he has been inspired by The Cobra: “Carl’s performance last weekend was just out of this world,” said Brook. “Afterwards he said it was an all-or-nothing night so to go in there with that pressure and produce a performance like that is incredible.”
Brook was ringside with Matchroom Sports stablemates Darren Barker and Kal Yafai and joined the 9,500 fans in an outburst of joy as Froch followed flurries of punches in the third and fourth rounds to stop the Canadian after 65 seconds of the fifth: “When the referee stepped in to give the count, everyone thought the fight was all over and the noise was unbelievable,” said Brook.
“Carl is the best in Britain without any doubt and a great example to any young fighter. He is an absolute animal in training and totally professional in everything he does. He’s someone I really look up to and lean on ahead of my fights now we’re in the same team.”
On his date with Jones, Brook said: “I know the size of the task ahead of me on July 7 – he’s obviously totally confident of coming over here and beating me. But just look at what Carl did to Lucian. He said he was insulted that he thought he could come here and beat him and Carl put him in his place – I need to do exactly the same thing because the reward at the end will be a world title shot.”
Before the main event there is a stacked undercard led by two European title rematches as Gavin Rees defends his lightweight title against Derry Mathews and Kerry Hope defends the European middleweight title against Greg Proksa. One of Matchroom Sport’s newest signings Kal Yafai also makes his debut on the undercard.
On The Beak – Admin
When IBF number three rated welterweight and USBA champion Carson Jones challenged undefeated Kell Brook, he wasn’t sure if the highly-touted Brit would accept. Brook, (27-0-0, 18ko), had set his sights on newly-crowned WBA champion Paulie Malignaggi or the Mike Jones-Randall Bailey winner, but neither bout would be immediately available. Although he initially attempted to leapfrog Jones into a title shot, Brook, IBF number five, ultimately agreed to face him Saturday, July 7 in an elimination bout at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Widely regarded one of the most dangerous contender in the 147lb division, Jones, (34-8-2, 24ko), is on a strong run during the last three years, compiling a 17-1-1 record against good opposition. His victims include 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist Ricardo Williams, record breaking knockout artist Tyrone Brunson, Michi Munoz, Jason LeHoullier, Michael Clark (41-5-1) and Said Ouali.
Jones, who went from being an opponent to a bonafide contender and stopped all of the aforementioned foes, is fully confident that he’ll have his way with Brook: “He is in my way of a world title shot,” said the 25-year-old Oklahoma City native.
“He’ll have to kill me to beat me and I’m not even sure if that’ll get the job done! I’ll be pressuring him from the opening bell and I think the knockout will come.”
Jones also dismissed all of the hype surrounding Brook.
“He is a decent fighter but should change his name from ‘Special K’ to ‘Decent K’ [because] nothing about him stands out. I’ve already beaten guys in their hometowns and Kell hasn’t fought anybody as good as me. I’m going to expose him!”
Chris Hastings, president of HD Boxing Promotions – Jones’ representative, added: “We’re extremely excited about this fight and this is a huge moment for HD Boxing. Carson is 8-0 with 8 knockouts since moving down to welterweight and he will be the IBF welterweight champion in the future without question. We’re excited to take on all-comers. The top guys should all watch out!”
Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham
Having disposed of fellow Briton Matthew Hatton last weekend, undefeated 25-year-old Kell Brook (27-0-0, 18ko) has received an international call out as Oklahoman Carson Jones, 25, has declared his eagerness in knocking Special K down a peg as he believes “Brook thinks he’s more than what he is”. In order to best negotiate a fight, Jones indicated he would box Kell in England, where the Sheffield star recently attracted 10,000 at the gate.
“Kell Brook thinks he’s more than what he is at this point,” said Jones (33-8-2, 23ko), who is the current USBA welterweight title holder and has an upcoming defence set against Allen Conyers in Tulsa on April 26.
“He’s calling out Amir Khan but hasn’t earned the right to do so. Beating Matthew Hatton doesn’t give him that luxury and we all saw what Saul Alvarez did to Hatton,” Kid Carson, who has faced Said Ouali (won by way of retirement), Michael Clark (triumphed by second round TKO), Jason LeHoullier (ninth round teekayo win) and Jesus Soto Karass (lost a decision).
He continued: “Brook is decent but I’ve beaten better fighters and I’d gladly go to England to fight him!”
Bobby Dobbs, who manages Carson, added: “Carson Jones is willing to do whatever it takes to become champion. He has fought all comers since day one and if he has to go to England to knockout Kell Brook, then that is what we will do!”
Alan Dawson – London
Kell Brook extended his undefeated record in front of his own fans at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield as the 25-year-old boxed in a manner that – like it did throughout 2011 – lived up to his Special K moniker, not allowing opponent Matthew Hatton any say in the contest, knocking his Mancunian rival down in the ninth and out-boxing Hatton throughout the entire 12 rounds on Saturday, March 17.
Official verdict: Brook by way of unanimous decision.
Occupying the centre of the ring, Brook boxed tentatively while Hatton got his jab going, unleashed two-punch flurries and fought in circles. Midway through the opening stanza, however, Brook began to take the initiative and, instead of blocking Brook’s lead punches with his high guard, he attempted to catch the shots which allowed Brook to punch through Hatton’s gloves… a worrying flaw for a fighter normally known for his defensive expertise.
In round two, Brook further aggravated Hatton’s bloody nose with big-time overhand rights. A thinking man’s fighter, Brook waited for his openings, punched with accuracy and denied Hatton passage to a clean shot himself. There was little magic cast by Matthew in round three as he was unable to pull the trigger. Brook stalked Hatton, set the pace and restricted his opponent to the outer circle of the ring, who only managed to land one meaningful punch for the entire stanza – a right hand over the top.
When Special K made his ring walk, he was accompanied by former world champion Junior Witter, an alumnus of the Wincobank gym where Kell is trained by Dominic Ingle and, like Witter, Brook was able to switch between orthodox and southpaw to further confuse Hatton.
In the fifth, Hatton began to unload… he double-jabbed, and let go of the right hand, roughing Brook up on the inside, he clinched and landed uppercuts. A master of range, Brook, though, was able to sneak back into the distance Hatton would not be able to find flesh from, before stepping back in to pump straight rights into the away fighter’s nose.
Through the middle rounds there was little Hatton could do to prevent Brook finding the side of his jaw with left hooks, his temple with looping left hands, his chin with right uppercuts and the bridge of his nose with orthodox jabs. When Hatton refused to allow Brook dictate the distance the fight was fought at, he scored well, particularly when he sent close-range shots into Brook’s ribs from the inside and boxed his way out of clinches.
Brook upped the power in round nine and made a strong statement by canvassing Hatton with a counter punch from the left. Brook fist-bumped the air, celebrating the knockdown in a scene British fight fans were not used to as Hatton had gone 12 rounds with super welterweight Saul Alvarez whilst remaining turgid. The punch, though, was testament to Brook’s timing and his ability to knock any opponent off-balance.
The image of each fighter prior to the commencement of combat in the 11th told the story of the fight… Hatton’s nose was stained in blood and he was breathing heavy out of his mouth. Brook, in contrast, was composed, breathing through his nose and looked calm and relaxed.
A wild ruckus broke out in the 12th as Hatton attempted hail Mary punches that had little effect against the defensively-intuitive Brook, while Kell, too, sought to load up on power and gain a second knockdown. That never arrived, but with the completion of the 12-rounder, a comfortable distance victory did. Brook out-landed Hatton by an astonishing 3:1 ratio, extended his career record to 27-0-0, 18ko and shone in front of 10,000 fans in Yorkshire.
On The Beak – Admin
Britain’s two top welterweight pugilists fight for domestic supremacy in a high-profile clash dubbed War of the Roses on Saturday, March 17 as stylish Sheffield boxer-puncher Kell Brook (26-0-0, 18ko) puts his undefeated record on the line against defensively-savvy Matthew Hatton (46-5-2, 16ko) at the Motorpoint Arena, an arena in his hometown that is expected to entertain over 10,000 fans come fight night. Below, they can be seen preparing for battle…
(Videos embedded above and below credit – YouTube, MatchroomBoxing)
On The Beak – Admin
Carl Frampton will make the second defence of his Commonwealth super bantamweight title as the chief-support bout on the undercard of Kell Brook versus Matthew Hatton at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield on March 17. Frampton delivered a punch-perfect performance in his first defence on Saturday, January 28 with a stunning seventh round knockout of Kris Hughes at York Hall, Bethnal Green.
Barry McGuigan’s protégé moved to 12-0 as a pro in front of a sold-out east London crowd and the 24 year-old will fight in front of the biggest crowd of his career so far on March 17 before Brook and Hatton meet in their blockbusting welterweight clash.
“It’s a wonderful bill for Carl to be fighting on,” said McGuigan. “The arena will be full of proper discerning boxing fans who will be eager to see Carl in the flesh. We are anxious to keep him busy this year to solidify his position as the most exciting super bantamweight in Britain and he is chomping at the bit to be involved in this massive night for British boxing.”
Also on the undercard, former British welterweight champ Lee Purdy will hope to get back on track against Nottingham’s Adnan Amar. Purdy claimed the British strap with a fine fifth round stoppage win over Craig Watson at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester in April and then repeated that feat in a rematch in Watson’s backyard of Oldham three months later. He faced Colin Lynes in his second defence at York Hall in November with a chance to claim the Lonsdale belt for keeps, but Lynes tore up the form book to take the belt on points.
John Ryder steps into double figures as a pro on the night, taking on Alistair Warren in an eight-round middleweight clash. Ryder, 23, picked up his sixth win inside the distance on the Frampton-Hughes undercard with a second round stoppage of Mariusz Biskupski taking his unbeaten run to 9-0. Standing in the way of the Islington man’s perfect ten is Huddersfield’s Alistair Warren (8-1-1), the 24 year-old who fought for the WBC super middleweight youth title in November 2010, losing to Hugo Kasperski.
Amateur star Scott Cardle makes his professional debut at lightweight on the night, while unbeaten Dudley middleweight Ryan Aston faces Barnsley’s Lee Noble and Sheffield Heavyweight David Howe also features.