By Elliot Foster
Kell Brook returned with a devastating display in his home city.
The former IBF welterweight world champion moved up to super-welterweight and claimed the vacant WBC Silver title at the FlyDSA Arena.
Brook boxed Sergey Rabchenko, a former Ricky Hatton-trained fighter, in his comeback from back-to-back defeats in Sheffield, exclusively live on Sky Sports.
The fight was over in the second round after Brook hit the Belarusian with a stiff right hand which forced him to the canvas.
Rabchenko was unable to get to his feet and the referee, Steve Gray, called a halt to the action after one minute and 27 seconds of the second stanza.
Brook will now be looking to get into the world title mix at 154 pounds, with a world title fight against Jermell Charlo mentioned by ’The Special One’s’ promoter Eddie Hearn.
He’s now back to winning ways –– and Brook is excited to be back in the ring after a deep, dark 18 months and defeats to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence. Jr.
“You thought you got rid of me and I’m putting everyone on notice. I’m back, I love the sport and I’m here to stay,” Brook told Sky Sports afterwards.
“I’m going to get back into the gym, my hands are good, it was just about when in this fight –– it was just about timing –– and I felt comfortable.
“I was relaxed, strong and stable, the weight was good and it was like my first fight again. The feeling is back; I’ll be back at it as soon as possible. Everyone wants to see the [Amir] Khan fight, but I can become a two-time world champion.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said afterwards: “Kell’s career was on the line tonight, ut at 154 pounds, we’ve put them all on notice and I believe he’s going to be a two-weight world champion in 2018.
“Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook is a fight we all want. Kell will be ringside for that [when Khan fights in Liverpool on April 21], he’ll be out again in June and then we can make the fight before the end of the year.”
Khan will fight Phil Lo Greco at the ECHO Arena at a 150-pound catchweight, exclusively live on Sky Sports, and Hearn has underlined the importance that ‘King’ Khan wins the fight against Lo Greco to set up a super-fight.