Brook battles past Jones
'Special K' survives nervy finish to move to 28-0 as a pro
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: July 8, 2012 12:29pm
Kell Brook came through the toughest test of his career so far to maintain his perfect record with victory over American Carson Jones in Sheffield.
The hometown favourite moved his record to 28-0, though only after getting the nod from two of the three judges by 116-113 and 115-113 verdicts, the other official scoring the bruising 12-round bout a draw.
"I'll come back stronger. I'm still unbeaten and I proved I've got the heart. It did get tough in there but I stood my ground, got through the fight and did what I needed to do to get the win."
Kell Brook Quotes of the week
'Special K' certainly showed off his undoubted boxing skills in the first half of an IBF welterweight eliminator that did not disappoint the Sky Sports viewers, as well as those watching on inside a raucous Motorpoint Arena.
However he was forced to dig deep in the final six rounds, a suspected broken nose not helping his cause as the American pushed him to the limit.
Jones had won his last eight fights by stoppage and it looked like he might extend that run in the closing stages, pinning his opponent back against the ropes by consistently marching forward in a straight line.
I learned a lot – Brook
For much of the early stages Brook's speed and silky punching had baffled his rival, even appearing to wobble him in the fifth after a left-right combination.
Yet, as each round ticked by, it became clear the Yorkshireman was struggling with the frenetic pace.
A short right in the eighth left Brook with a badly bleeding nose that could never be controlled, despite the best efforts of his corner, while his replies were as much about upsetting Jones' rhythm as they were about putting a spanner in his motor.
The bell was much needed at the end of the ninth and although he did seem to wobble the man from Oklahoma City in the next, it was a fleeting moment of success against the tide.
To his credit, though, Brook refused to buckle under the pressure. Continuing to fight fire with fire, he battled bravely to the final bell, answering any doubters who questioned either his heart or chin.
In the end his fast start was just enough to make sure his '0' didn't go, though he admitted afterwards a need to tighten up his preparations in future.
"It was a tough fight but I came through it and got the result after 12 hard rounds," the 26-year-old, who is likely to face Argentinian Hector Saldivia next, said. "I think the nose is broken and it affected me. I was tired halfway through.
"I think I got the diet right but I need to get top men involved so I can sustain it through the whole fight. Things need to be addressed.
"I'll come back stronger. I'm still unbeaten and I proved I've got the heart. It did get tough in there but I stood my ground, got through the fight and did what I needed to do to get the win.
"I didn't like Carson in the build-up but he's earned my respect here."