Bramall Lane was rocking on Saturday night as 30,000 screaming fans roared on their local hero Kell Brook. Sheffield’s own was the main event as he defended his IBF welterweight title against American sensation Errol Spence in a mouth-watering clash.
The undercard wasn’t too bad neither. A professional debut, three Olympians, an ever-popular ‘White Rhino’ and a Brit hoping to achieve his first ever world title.
The bright lights were on Yorkshireman Dave Allen, who had the chance to become Commonwealth champion against Lenroy Thomas.
The heavyweight showed glimpses of promise, though his opponent was the much busier fighter landing the cleaner and heavier shots.
The bout went the whole distance and Allen’s fairytale hit the skids. On a split decision, the judges scored the contest 115-114, 113-115, 115-114 in favour of Thomas
The Olympic trio of Joe Cordina, Lawrence Okolie and debutant Anthony Fowler went according to plan.
They all delivered punch perfect performances as they ousted their opponents in the first round of asking.
George Groves was up next. It was a must-win for the Londoner. Would he be able to win on his fourth attempt with Shane McGuigan? You bet he could.
After an anxious couple of rounds, Chudinov gained the upper hand, with blood pouring from the eye of Groves. However, the Saint began to find his groove in what was a pulsating affair.
He threw quick and fierce combinations as well as his vintage jab. The defining moment came in round six, with the 29-year-old elusively throwing dozens of shots within seconds to ply the pressure to Chudinov without any reply. Referee Steve Gray interrupted to stop the fight.
The crowd erupted with Groves conquering past demons to become the new WBA ‘super’ super-middleweight champion of the world.
The shackles are off. With Callum Smith getting the chance to become WBC champion, we could be set for some classic British tussles between himself, Groves and old foe James DeGale.
Then there was the main event. ‘Special K’ Brook against ‘The Truth’ Errol Spence. The crowd did their best to unsettle Spence as they jeered him throughout the beginning of his entrance. Continuous chants of Kell Brook’s name echoed around Bramall Lane. The place was rocking.
The opening six rounds were highly competitive with the initial outcome hanging in the balance.
As the fight went into the second half of the clash, Brook’s left eye begun to swell and got significantly worse towards the latter stages. The second successive time an eye injury had hindered Brook.
His previous fight against GGG, a double eye fracture to the socket hampered his charge to victory. Spence, unfazed by the hostile atmosphere, sent Brook to the floor in round ten. The fan
The home favourite displayed brave resilience to see out the round but the fight was soon over in round eleven as he was back on the floor after dropping a knee with his eye closing up.
Spence jumped to the turnbuckle to celebrate Brook’s dismay, living up to all the hype surrounding him in the build-up of the fight.
A new superstar was born, and the newly crowned IBF champion will now target showdowns between Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao whilst Brook prepares for surgery in hospital. Fingers crossed he can come again.
What now for Brook? A warm up fight would be his best option before setting up a huge summer showdown. Could Brook and Amir Khan finally be on the cards?
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95