By Terence Dooley
Sheffield’s Kell Brook (146¾lb) survived some rocky moments to register a win over Carson Jones (146½lb) at his home city’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night. Brook, now 28-0 (18), started well only for a broken nose – and some sluggish footwork once the fight went beyond the sixth – to impact on his boxing, giving Jones, 34-9-2 (24), the chance to punch his way back into the fight during its second half.
It was the second championship distance win in a row for “Special K”, but he had to dig far deeper than he did against Matthew Hatton at the same venue in March to register a tight 114-114, 116-113, 115-113 win over his American foe. Ironically, Hatton pointed to a broken nose when explaining his own failure to push Brook as hard as he wanted to in their meeting, and Kell himself was taken to hospital as a precaution on Saturday night after swallowing a lot of his own blood during the fight’s second half.
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports lauded Brook’s bravery when analyzing the win. Hearn, though, believes that his charge should take an interim final eliminator to shake the cobwebs away and tweak a few things before heading into a showdown with either Randall Bailey or Devon Alexander, who clash for Baily’s IBF belt on September 8.
“There and positives and there are negatives, and we knew on Thursday that Kell would have problems if he didn’t stop him in six or seven rounds,” said Hearn when speaking to BoxingScene. “Obviously he showed great heart and a great chin, so we just have to marry that with the ability and get everything else right.
“He is big at the weight, but he has had five fights in twelve-months and you can’t get it perfect all the time. We’re going to look at it. I don’t want him to prepare like a British champion, I want him to prepare like a pound for pound world champion and he didn’t, so therefore sometimes you don’t perform like one.”
Brook is facing the perennial contender’s problem; the 26-year-old is on the treadmill of contention, is big at the weight and has to get himself up for a series of semifinals ahead of a world title tilt. Hearn feels that the IBF’s current number five ranked 147lber needs to ensure his preparation is perfect for every fight in order to bring the power he showed at British class through to the higher level.
“It is difficult to show your power when you’re not doing your weight properly,” said Hearn. “If Kell had of done he’d have stopped him in six rounds, but I knew he’d get tired past seven or eight rounds.
“It is funny because the British public are saying it was an amazing fight and he was so brave, but I don’t want him to be having fights like that at this level – he should have them at world level. Kell lost so much blood from that broken nose. I thought he showed unbelievable heart, so great bravery, but we’ve got to make things a bit better. They [Jones’s corner] had a plan to soak it up, see what happens and then push on.”
A final eliminator against Argentina’s Hector Saldivia beckons for Brook, with Hearn keen to ensure that his man gets one final outing before heading for the IBF belt – he hopes to prepare Brook for his biggest test by putting him on a big world title bill.
“What can you do other than keep winning?” said Hearn when asked what is next for Brook. “We can try to make the world title fight, but we can have option of a final eliminator against Saldivia and maybe look at that on the undercard of the next Froch card.”
Brook admitted that although his diet was right, he needs to look at the second half of the fight and fine-tune his pre-fight preparation to ensure that he sustains momentum as he seeks to get back among the KOs and drive himself to the top of the world welterweight tree.
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