Kell Brook came through the biggest test of his career with flying colours after claiming an impressive points victory over Lovemore N’dou in Sheffield.
The 25 year-old was roared into the ring by the packed out crowd in the Hillsborough Leisure Centre and as promised, he dazzled his hometown crowd with a fine display against the teak tough Australian-based South African to claim the vacant WBA Inter-Continental Welterweight title.
Brook took control of the fight from the third round and never looked in trouble against the 39 year-old, and as the fight moved into the closing stages, he had his followers on their feet as he got closer to becoming the first man to stop N’dou in 63 fights.
But N’dou showed great heart and strength, holding on to deny Brook a 17th stoppage win in his career but he was awarded the fight by all three judges (118-111, 119-110, 119-110). Aside from the victory, Brook showed his full repertoire of punches, proved he could take a punch after absorbing N’dou’s best flurries and also went the distance for the first time in his career – a remarkable achievement after six months out of the ring.
“I expected it to go 12 – I said I wanted to stop him to hype it up and get people interested but in the back of my mind, I knew it was going to go the distance,” said Brook. “It’s a big learning curve in my career going the full 12 for the first time. Maybe I held a few things back and there were certain things that I did wrong but I know what they were. He’s very tough and keeps coming for the whole 12 rounds.
“I wanted to float about and try different things because I’ve never been 12 rounds. He threw some good shots but I think I took them well and always knew where I was in the fight. He knows every single trick in the book and he knows his way around the ring and how to survive.”
“All the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up when I walked out there. I loved every minute of it. Eddie wants to get me out again maybe in October and I want to be more active because I have been a bit stagnant. With the sort of crowd we had here tonight, I’ll be asking Eddie to keep me in Sheffield because it was buzzing in there. Everyone in Sheffield loves their boxing and we’ll be looking for an even bigger show next time.”
Elsewhere on the bill, there were mixed fortunes for the locals. Sheffield heavyweight Richard Towers claimed a points win over Ismail Abdoul but Wayne Reed was stopped by former World Champion Robin Reid in the fourth. Paul David saw off a spirited Billy Boyle, Liverpool’s Lee Jennings was impressive in taking out Chris Truman in the opening round and Ryan Aston had a victorious debut against Iain Jackson.
June 27, 2011