Carson, CA--- Last night on Showtime’s main event bout, Shawn Porter proved everything that he wasn’t while Englishman Kell Brook proved everything that he was. Predictions before the fight highly favored Porter stopping Brook, but with better boxing, counterpunching and a lot of clinching, Brook was able to frustrate Porter and land the cleaner punches which won him most of the close rounds.
Brook being overlooked came in the aftermath of the impressive and explosive performance Shawn Porter had in his last outing against veteran Paulie Malignaggi this past April. While it was an impressive outing and showcased the many talents that Porter possesses, its now hard to shake the feeling that that fight told us more about Malignaggi than it did about Porter.
Brook’s reputation before last night was that of a british fighter with visible elite skills but never proven. Not having faced any fighters that are well known to the masses, the majority of people wondered if his skills and poise would remain once he faced top level opposition. Facing Porter proved not only that he belongs but that he can also dominate in and near the division. He got crowned champion the way champions should, beating someone people truly considered one of the legit belt holders in the division. In a time when belts are randomly and politically made available to fighters who don’t deserve them, its nice to see someone get it done the right way.
Porter’s game plan at the start of the fight was his usual, to bully his opponent. Brook, aware of this, quickly established his jab to interrupt Porter’s momentum and keep him at a distance. Unable to effectible get close to Brook and do his usual work inside, Porter became frustrated and started to rush Brook as oppose to working his way in with jabs and combinations. That approach was ineffective for Porter all night as Brook was always ready for the blunt attacks which he usually welcomed with several left hooks up top followed by a clinch.
That would be the technical storyline of the fight and unfortunately for Porter he was unable to adapt. He was doing the exact same thing in 12th that he did in the 1st.
After being announced the winner, Brook celebrated with his team while Porter showed clear disappointment in loosing for the first time in his career. Brook now crowned champion was quick to call out Keith Thurman who was sitting ringside and all the top dogs of the division including the king of the sport Floyd Mayweather.
A bout with Maywather seems unlikely, but a possible Thurman match-up could be possible in the near future. They are both undefeated and both have shown and expressed their desire to face the truly best fighters in the division. Unlike most top fighters today, these two don’t seem to have politically correct answers prepared for their post fight interviews, they are clear in who they want to face and when they want to face. That’s something to admire and could well lead to a battle of words that puts them face to face inside of the squared circle sooner rather than later.
Another possible bout for Brook is against countryman Amir Khan which would lead to what would be considered the biggest possible fight in England. Officially Kell Brook made $200K last night, but with a performance like that in America, knowingly or not he invested millions in his future. He now has a belt and as he expressed in the post fight interview, people can’t avoid him anymore, they have to fight him.
With powerful promoter Eddie Hearn behind him and already proven here in America, we can all expect to be seeing a lot more of The Special One on TV.