Unbeaten welterweight contender Kell Brook prepares for a homecoming showcase as he takes on former title challenger Matthew Hatton in a 12-round main event Saturday evening at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England.
The bout – which airs live on Sky Sports marks the 2012 debut for Brook (26-0, 18KO), who comes in on the heels of a 5th round stoppage of Luis Galarza in his stateside debut last December.
Brook faces a step up in class in facing Hatton (42-5-2, 16KO), who rebounded from last year’s brave-in-defeat showing against Saul Alvarez with a hard-fought decision win over previously unbeaten Andrei Abremenka last October.
Unbeaten super bantamweight prospect Carl Frampton provided the quickest result of the night, making quick work of overmatched Prosper Ankrah in their televised co-feature.
The feel of the fight was more about providing a showcase for the fast-rising Frampton than there existed the threat of a competitive fight. Ankrah was in over his head from the moment he signed the contract, evidenced by his approach early on as he merely served as a punching bag.
Frampton ramped up the attack in the second round, proving to be the beginning of the end. Power shots deterred Ankrah before a left hook put him away, bringing an end to the night at 2:45 of the second round.
The knockout is Frampton’s third straight as he improves to 13-0 (9KO). The Belfast native spent less time in the ring than he did behind the mic during his post-fight interview, much of which was spent calling out Scott Quigg, who was in the house on the Sky Sports broadcast panel.
Both sides insisted a willingness to move forward with such a fight, though Quigg stated he is committed to a showdown with Rendall Munroe later this spring.
Ankrah snaps an 11-fight win streak – though against nondescript competition – as he heads back to Ghana with a mark of 18-3-0-1NC (13KO). All three of his career losses have come by knockout.
Light-hitting Kerry Hope offered the best performance of his career in scoring a massive upset decision win over previously unbeaten Gregzgorz Prokza.
Things went according to script for the first five or so minutes of the bout, but the night changed dramatically when a headbutt late in the second round eft Prokza with a cut over his left eye. Hope treated the wound like a bulls eye, pumping his jab and doing his damnest to worsen the cut.
Prokza regained control in the fourth, but began to fall apart in the middle rounds. Hope’s lack of knockout power was his major deterrent, as he had a fatigued Prokza in trouble on several occasions but could never land that final blow to put away his opponent.
Referee Phil Edwards struggled to maintain order throughout the bout. Prokza landed punches well after the bell in three separate rounds, but it was Hope who wound up getting docked a point prior to the start of the ninth due to misconduct at the end of the eighth round.
The closing rounds were about survival of the fittest. Hope looked rejuvenated heading down the stretch, proving to be the difference in the narrowly scored cards in the end.
Hope advances to 17-3 (1KO) in scoring the biggest win of his otherwise dismissed career.
Prokza came in riding a wave of momentum from a 3rd round knockout of Sebastian Sylvester last October, but loses for the first time as a pro in falling to 26-1 (19KO).
OFF-TV RESULTS (PROVIDED BY MATCHROOM SPORTS)
Lee Purdy (17-3-1, 10KO) registered a mild upset in the final non-televised bout of the evening, scoring two knockdowns en route to a 5th round stoppage of Adnan Amar (25-2, 7KO). Purdy overcame a rocky 2nd round to floor Amar in the third, then again in the 5th in prompting the referee to halt the contest.
Lightweight newcomer Scott Cardie (1-0, 0KO) enjoyed a successful pro debut in pitching a 4-round shutout over journeyman Sid Razak. Cardie came out guns blazing, but was forced to settle for a distance fight as Razak (8-9, 3KO) fought on the defensive for the remainder of the contest.
John Ryder and Alaistar Warren never fought beyond the sixth round prior to Saturday, but managed to extend each other to the eight-round distance in their middleweight preliminary. Both fighters let it all hang out in the first half of the fight. Ryder (10-0, 6KO) remained in control for the most part in taking a 79-74 decision, but Warren (8-2-1, 4KO) made his presence felt every step of the way.
Unbeaten prospect Ryan Aston pitched a shutout in fending off a scrappy Lee Noble in their 6-round middleweight bout. No knockdowns were scored in an entertaining though one-sided affair, as Aston (6-0, 2KO) won by score of 60-54 over Noble (13-33-2, 3KO).
The card’s curtain raiser saw Eamonn O’Kane remain unbeaten with a 6-round points win over local southpaw Wayne Reed. O’Kane scored a fifth round knockdown in cruising to a 60-54 shutout as he improves to 4-0 (2KO). Reed snaps a two-fight win streak as he falls to 8-4-2 (3KO).