Special Kell sets up a world title shot
A superb third round KO victory from Kell Brook has catapulted him into mandatory challenger status for the IBF welterweight world title.
Brook overwhelmed Argentine Hector Saldivia in front of his home crowd in Sheffield; knocking “El Tigre” down in the first round before ending it with a stiff left in the third round.
It was another of many of Brook’s coming-of-age events. After a below-par showing against Carson Jones last time out, he and promoter Eddie Hearn sought a more professional preparation for this fight, hiring a nutritionist and a strength and conditioning coach.
Brook said: “It’s been a team effort and I’ve done the hard work … We’re going to turn into a machine.”
The preparation showed as Brook, looking trim and healthy at the weight, strode to the ring to Kanye West’s All of the Lights.
He executed a near punch perfect delivery – a master-class in hitting whilst not being hit – taking his record to an also perfect 29-0 with 19 knockouts.
The victory will likely see him take on newly-crowned IBF champion Devon Alexander, who overcame Randall Bailey last night via unanimous decision, but this is not his only option.
When asked, Eddie Hearn said: “The fight the people want to see is Amir Khan … We’ll have no problems with Amir Khan … We’re ready know.”
Brook added: “I’d love to take Khan’s chin clean off. I think everyone knows I want to destroy Khan. But we’re going to do our own thing.”
On the undercard, Jamie McDonnell beat Nicaraguan Zamora, via eighth round knockout, with Zamora quitting on his stool after McDonnell schooled him for the majority of the fight.
Paulie Malignaggi also won, beating Pablo Cesar Cano via split decision to hold on to his world title belt.
Undefeated Peter Quillin won his first world title taking out Hass N’Dam in New York.
Quillin moves to 28-0 having beaten the previous undefeated Frenchman via a unanimous 115-107 decision.
Lastly, Kenny Anderson overcame Robin Reid in a scrappy affair to take the British Super-Middleweight crown with referee Ian John-Lewis aptly stopping the fight 15 seconds from the end of the fifth round.
Adam Appleton, Boxing correspondent