The undefeated 26 year-old started well, gaining the advantage over the opening few rounds, before ‘Mr. Jones’ found his range and made what turned out to be an entertaining contest, nip and tuck right until the final bell.
Despite taking Brook’s best shots in the early exchanges, Jones was undeterred and found success easy to come by from the halfway stage. A crunching uppercut in the eighth had Brook’s nose gushing with blood and Jones had much the better of the affair from then on as ‘The Special One’ struggled with the injury.
Brook showed a good chin and plenty of heart though to hang on and did have his own successes as Jones piled in. At the final bell, Brook looked relieved to get through what was certainly his toughest test yet and was given a 116-113, 115-113 decision by two of the judges at ringside to claim a majority victory.
Third judge Manfred Kuechler saw the fight 114-114 to the amazement of some in the arena – although it is not impossible to see how as I gave Brook just a one round win with a card of 115-113.
The Yorkshireman could now be in line to face Hector Saldivia in a final eliminator for a shot at the IBF belt, with promoter Eddie Hearn admitting that Brook had some way to go before he could call himself the finished article.