Kell Brook says he’s ready to fight for World honours after producing a dominant display to beat Matthew Hatton at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.
The Sheffield star richly entertained a crowd touching 10,000 in his hometown with a tremendous display, rarely troubled by his Lancastrian opponent who was fighting in his 50th bout. Hatton used every minute of his experience to hear the final bell having hit the canvas in the ninth round and although Brook couldn’t quite force the stoppage, the gulf in class between the number one and two welterweights in the UK was evident on the judge’s scorecards, that ruled 118-109, 119-108 and 119-107 in favour of the Steel City man.
If Brook’s jab was the weapon of choice again as he moved his unbeaten record to 27-0, the variety, accuracy and intensity of his complete arsenal was on display against Hatton, and as The Special One settled the debate on who is the top welterweight dog in the country, his thoughts turned to dominating the World stage – and after tasting hero-worship in his hometown, he hopes his promoter Eddie Hearn can deliver it in Yorkshire, and reiterated his desire to fight Amir Khan.
“No-one can touch me domestically now – I’ve proved I’m ready for a World title push,” said Brook. “Winning a big fight in front of 10,000 in my hometown is just a dream come true. I was nervous before but I’m only human, all those fans were in there were watching me and that’s pressure I’ve never had.
“I said before that I thrive on it and I grew as I walked to the ring and absorbed those nerves and just soaked it all up – it was beautiful, and I know that Eddie is going to deliver me big fights and that will become the norm.”
“I want Khan now. He thought Matthew was the better fighter and I proved him wrong, and I would smash Amir.
“I thought I was in control for the whole fight and I never really got out of first gear. Matthew is incredibly brave though and a gallant performer, I knew he was a tough guy going into this fight and he’s proved he’s got great heart and so much grit.”
While Hatton’s 50th fight ended in disappointment, the 30 year-old once again showed the enormous courage and determination that saw him take future pound-for-pound king Saul Alvarez all the way for the WBC light middleweight last March. Hatton mustered everything he had to gain bright spots in the fight but ultimately conceded that Brook’s accuracy and speed were unanswerable – and were evident to devastating effect inside the opening stanza.
“Kell broke my nose in the first round,” said Hatton. “He was magnificent – he was the better fighter and there’s no disgrace losing to him. He is a world class boxer and I am sure that he’ll go on to fight for World titles.”
Talk will now focus on Brook’s next move and Hearn said after that fight that he would begin work on getting Kell the World title fight he has earned – and also issued a challenge to Amir Khan.
“I was told when I signed Kell that he didn’t sell tickets,” said Hearn. “He has wowed Sky Sports viewers with a tremendous performance in front of 10,000 fans, and he didn’t even move through the gears. He’s special, he’s clinical and he has shown that tonight. It was a great show and he topped it off with a brilliant performance and one that has shot his profile through the roof.
“The lad had not boxed in his hometown since he was a teenager and now we’ve put him in the biggest Arena available and he’s packed the place out – show me another British fighter who can do that.
“We are ready for Khan now. Money talks and I am ready to arrange that. If this fight doesn’t happen then it’s them who have bottled it. We’d sell bundles and bundles of tickets for the fight – it would bring back pay-per-view for Sky Sports and both fighters would make a fortune. So the question is – will Amir take it?”