Kell Brook put in a valiant display but surrendered his IBF welterweight title following an 11th-round stoppage defeat to Errol Spence Jr at Bramall Lane.

Fighting in front of around 27,000 highly-partisan fans in his home city of Sheffield, Brook more than matched Spence Jr for the first eight rounds but swelling over his left eye ultimately turned the bout in the American’s favour.

Brook incredibly rallied from a 10th-round knockdown but, with his left eye nearly closing, he took a knee in the 11th and referee Howard Foster opted to end the contest.

It was only the second defeat of Brook’s 38-fight professional career, while Spence significantly enhanced his reputation as he improved his record to a perfect 22-0, with 19 of those wins coming inside the distance.

Spence Jr was rated “the real deal” by no lesser an authority than Sugar Ray Leonard and the 27-year-old lived up to the billing as his speed over Brook’s power eventually told.

Brook was making the fourth defence of his world title but was fighting for the first time since suffering his maiden loss in the paid ranks when he stepped up two weight classes to challenge middleweight king Gennady Golovkin last September.

The 31-year-old sustained a broken right eye socket in the fifth-round stoppage loss which required surgery to repair and there were fears the injury, as well as coming back down to the 147lb division, could significantly hinder him, with even his promoter revealing he would have preferred his charge to campaign at light-middleweight.

But he opted to remain at welterweight and take on his mandatory challenger Spence Jr, who reached the quarter-finals at the London 2012 Olympics and came highly-rated from his fellow Americans, including Leonard and former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.

Brook was down in the 10th after Spence Jr continued the assault but the Briton, roused by a boisterous home support, came roaring back and responded in kind.

But Brook, nursing the opposite eye that needed surgery, was down again, voluntarily taking a knee. It proved to be the final action as Spence Jr claimed a ninth stoppage win in a row and, most importantly, Brook’s world title.