British welterweight Kell Brook is the new IBF champion following a bruising battle with previously undefeated Shawn Porter at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The 28 year-old seemed a little overawed when the fight began, but shook Porter at the end of the first round just to let the American know that he has the power to trouble him and doesn’t mind going into the trenches.
From then on Brook’s confidence grew, and he managed to stave off the marauding Porter for the next two rounds by finding himself some space and picking the title holder off as he came in swinging. Even being cut in the second round due to a headbutt didn’t affect the Yorkshireman, although Porter came back through sessions four to seven to even the fight up despite himself suffering the same fate in the sixth.
From then on though it was all Brook as ‘Showtime’ tired badly down the stretch and although Porter was always busy, his shots just weren’t connecting and ‘The Special One’ was getting through regularly.
Into the final round and Porter needed a miracle on my card to avoid losing his belt, and even though he did manage to impress sufficiently to take the last, it wasn’t anywhere near enough to retain his championship.
Jimmy Lennon Jr. drew gasps from the crowd when reading out the first card from UK judge Dave Parris, who scored it a 114-114 draw, although he was overruled by his US colleagues who saw it 117-111 and 116-112 to Brook. My card read 116-113 due to Brook earning a share of the spoils in the first, but there was no doubt who the winner was and the title changed hands correctly when the dust had settled.
Brook now holds all the cards for a potential clash with domestic rival Amir Khan in the next twelve months, and could even be major negotiator in talks to face either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao in a unification next spring.
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