By Alexey Sukachev
Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire - Kell Brook (28-0, 18KOs) survived some very tough moments but he did enough to win a twelve round majority decision over Carson Jones (34-9-2, 24KOs) in an IBF welterweight title eliminator. The scores were 114-114 for the draw, 116-113 and 115-113 for Brook.
Brook was outworking and outlanding Jones from the start. Jones used pressure and was targeting the body as Brook countered with shots to the head and stiff jabs. Brook was really letting his hands go in the fifth and sixth, getting Jones in trouble.
Jones was starting to rally in seventh and busted Brook's nose in the eight and had the unbeaten fighter in trouble. Brook looked exhausted in the ninth and his nose appeared to be broken as it bled heavy.
Brook really let his hands go in the tenth and had Jones in some trouble. Jones started coming back in the final minute and caught Brook with a flurry of shots. The final two rounds were close with both boxers having their moments. Brook was serious hurt in the final thirty seconds.
With the EBU/British lightweight titles at stake, Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs) put the exclamation mark on his two-fight rivalry with Derry Matthews (30-7-1, 16 KOs), knocking out the winner of the Prizefighter series in the ninth round of a scheduled twelve.
WBA #4 and WBC #7 Rees and Matthews, who captured his BBBofC belt this April by stopping capable Anthony Crolla, met each other less than a year ago in a bout that ended in a draw, after Matthews had his nose broken after an accidental headbutt. This time a headbutt has also bitterly contributed tothe contest - and once again in favor of Rees.
But the start was in Matthews' favour nevertheless. He boxed confidently with his lead left hand and kept the shorter but much more aggressive Rees at bay. It wasn't enough to stop the Welshman in the second stanza, when he started to land harder punches with bulldog determination. Round three was a pure catastrophe for the British champion, who was beaten to the punch, ate a number of heavy single right hands and, what is more important - he was cut badly over his left eye - once again after and accidental head clash at close quarters.
Matthews experienced a short revival in the mid-rounds but as the fight progressed, it became obvious that Rees was connecting with punches of better quality and that was crucial for Matthews' shaky chin. He also made a tactical mistake by trying to rumble rather than box with the Welshman. In rounds seven and eight, Rees was definitely the fresher fighter at the end. He almost stopped his foe in the eighth after an assortment of punches, both legal and dirty. The end came in the ninth when Rees landed another couple of right hands. Matthews went down, rolled over his head, got up at seven but the fight was waved off by referee Howard Foster at 1:28. Another huge win for Rees.