Errol Spence jr (22-0, 19 KOs) as long been considered the heir to the throne of the Welterweight division but tonight was to be his coronation, dethroning the previous king Kell Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) in front of his hometown support at Bramhall Lane, Sheffield, England.
Question marks surrounded Brook’s return to Welterweight, suggestions that the rise in weight going up to Middleweight would come back to haunt him, but showed no sign of surfacing in the early exchanges, although the same couldn’t be said of the later rounds.
Brook looked sharp, mixing shots to the head and body of the American who for the most part stayed composed, using the jab effectively to gain distance.
Brook landed a good right hand in the fifth, the first really telling punch, which shunted the head back of Spence, the Sheffield support roaring their approval from the football grounds terraces.
Brook’s work slightly slowed, showing tiredness in the seventh, Spence sensing a changing of the pace slowly but surely started to turn the screw, Brook’s face showing the effects that the hard-hitting American was now on the ascendency.
Round nine was to be the beginning of the end, Brook’s grasp of his title was loosening, Spence rocking him in a big shifting round before the inevitable knockdown came in the tenth. Brook’s legs looked heavy as he returned upright, his face bloodied as he dabbed his left eye that was leaking claret.
Spence looking for a grandstand finish jumped on Brook as soon as the action got back underway, rattling off combinations with referee poised to step between them, but Brook replied with a champion’s heart, from somewhere, somehow finding enough in his ever depleting reserves to land shots of his own, it was to be his last hurrah.
Spence lived up to his nickname of “The Truth” proving his time had come to take his rightful place as IBF champion, Brook after shipping another combination retreated to the ropes before taking a knee from the damage that already been done to his eye, to his credit he rose at the count of nine but the writing was already on the wall as referee Howard John Foster brought an end to the assault in the eleventh round of a great fight between two of the divisions best.
Fight Rating (Out of 5)
Errol Spence Jr