Kell Brook showed no signs of rust after a lengthy layoff and a stabbing incident, dominating mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan in the first defense of his IBF welterweight title today in Sheffield. Brook dropped Dan four times en route to the victory, which came after four rounds when Dan's corner called it off.
Brook (34-0, 23 KO) looked sharp right away in the first round, landing clean right hands against the southpaw challenger. In round two, Dan (34-3, 18 KO) was laced with a clean, hard right hand, and then dropped after a follow-up shot. When he got back to his feet, he was clearly still wobbly, and Brook pounced, dropping him a second time.
With half a round left to survive, Dan did a good job getting through the 90 seconds, holding on and staying out of Brook's wheelhouse. But the fight seemed pretty much decided at that point, too, as Dan appeared outgunned and outclassed.
The first half of the third round saw Brook lay back a bit, perhaps not to overcommit himself, and perhaps just looking for that one big shot to finish it off. The latter half of the round saw Brook go back to physical dominance, though, as he beat Dan to the punch and smacked him around the ring pretty well.
The fourth was more like the second, as Brook popped away with combinations and kept landing his right hand. Dan was wobbled late in the round, and went down as his legs and feet seemed to just give up on him. It appeared as though he'd make it to the bell, but right at the signaling of the end of the round, Brook drilled him with a left hook, and Dan was back on the canvas.
Once again, the Romanian got to his feet, but it was probably the hardest knockdown of the fight, too. With his corner working on him, the decision was made to stop what had become a total wipeout, and a sensational performance for Kell Brook was in the books.
What did you think of Brook today? Did he impress you with his dominance over an admittedly second-tier welterweight, and was it more impressive given the fact that he hadn't fought since August, and there were questions about how he might look tonight?
Tough veteran gatekeeper Sergey Khomitsky denied another young fighter from ascending past him, as he knocked out previously unbeaten Adam Etches in the fourth round of their middleweight contest. Khomitsky is now 30-11-3 (13 KO), while Etches drops to 18-1 (15 KO).
Frankie Gavin improved to 22-1 (13 KO) with a 10-round shutout of Bogdan Mitic. This was a tune-up before Gavin's May 9 fight in Birmingham against Chris van Heerden.
Super flyweight prospect Kal Yafai went to 14-0 (9 KO) with a PTS-8 (79-76) win over Cristofer Rosales.
Stephen "Swifty" Smith got back in action with an easy PTS-6 win over stay-busy foe Jacek Wylezol. Smith is now 21-1 (12 KO).
Gavin McDonnell (13-0-2, 4 KO) picked up the vacant European super bantamweight title with a decision win over Oleksandr Yegorov (13-1-1, 6 KO). Scores were 118-109, 118-110, and 117-111.