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18 NOVEMBER 2018


Kell Brook Battles Through Tough Carson Test

Brook edged out Carson(
Brook edged out Carson(

By Andrew Wake at ringside: While Kell Brook isn’t a name that is instantly recognisable to American boxing fans, the unbeaten British welterweight is certainly on a mission to get the respect his skills deserve.


The self-styled “Special One” moved a step closer to being on the radar of fight aficionados Stateside by scoring a majority decision over Oklahoma City’s gutsy Carson Jones.


It’s a result which means he keeps possession of his IBF intercontinental title but he won’t be too overjoyed by that trinket as the more important thing is that the victory moves him a step closer to full world honours.


It wasn’t all plain sailing for the 26-year-old from Sheffield, though. Brook found himself swallowing blood from a busted nose in round eight and, like a ravenous vampire, Jones sprang into life.


Indeed, Brook had to use the circumference of the ring keep the American at range and prevent further damage being done to his snout as the fight moved into the championship rounds.


Prior to that Brook had been in full flow. He won the first six sessions at a canter by boxing smartly and popping hard but straight blows at Jones’ jaw.


For much of those sessions Jones looked bamboozled. He showed all the guile that has served him well through his long and often turbulent career but could rarely find the target cleanly.


When Jones did have a modicum of success in the fifth, Brook merely shrugged the punches off and then detonated a pair of hefty right hands that left the visitor with a swollen left cheek.


The first signs of a real Jones fight back came towards the end of the sixth stanza. He connected with both fists as Brook found himself pressed up against the ropes, but it was a salvo that came too late for him to win the round on this reporter’s card at least.


However, after the shot that landed which turned Kell’s face into a mask of blood, the fight turned into a topsy turvy affair and the Englishman had show a side of his game not previously seen in order to secure the verdict.


The judges scores were 114-114, 116-113, 115-113.


When Jones entered the ring he had the words Dear Judges Please Don’t Rob Me emblazoned on the back of his robe. Despite the closeness of the cards, however, the result is beyond dispute.

Former WBA light-welterweight Gavin Rees continued to collect titles at lightweight when he added to the British crown to his European bauble with a ninth round stoppage of Liverpool’s Derry Mathews.


The pair had met last October but the fight ending in a disappointment for both men as Mathews suffered a broken nose from an accidental clash of heads and the bout was scored a technical draw.


Since then Mathews, 28, had ripped this domestic title from the heavily favoured Anthony Crolla so the stage was set for an enthralling old fashioned unifier.


Mathews did extremely well in the opening two rounds as he countered Rees coming in with a solid right cross.


Rees, with his buzzsaw style, however, could not be contained and attacked his much taller foe in swarms.


By the third, Newbridge’s Rees was whipping looping right hands over Mathews’ guard and before long a laceration had formed across the Scouser’s left eyelid, although it appeared to come from Rees’ head as he followed through after landing a hook.


Something that became noticeable to most around ringside in the third and fourth rounds was that fact that Mathews had stopped throwing his right hand even when the chance to let one go presented itself.


And it wasn’t until midway through round five that he finally detonated a couple of blows with that paw. But had he genuinely hurt it or was he just lulling Rees into a false sense of security?


It mattered not anyway because after taking those shots Rees rocked the Scouser with a short right hook upstairs and from round six onwards it seemed like only a matter of time before the Welshman closed the show.


The end finally came at 1.27 of round nine when a right followed by a swift left dumped Mathews onto his backside and although he was back on his feet at “nine”, referee Howard Foster waved it off.


Rees, in most probability, will now be looking for another tilt at a world title. The likes of John Murray and Anthony Crolla will no doubt be hoping for a shot at the shaven-headed man from the Welsh valleys, but there really is little point for him to stay at domestic level if bigger things are on the horizon.

2008 Beijing Olympian Kal Yafai made a smooth progression into the pro ranks, forcing Wolverhampton veteran Delroy Spencer to retire at the end of the second round.


Yafai looked sharp and his punches landed with increasing accuracy before Spencer decided he’d had enough.


Some boxers struggle with the transition from one code to the other. Yafai, though, looked extremely comfortable without the vest and headguard. Two rounds certainly doesn’t tell us very much, but at this stage the Birmingham man looks like a very good addition to the paid game.


Rocky Fielding opened his account for new promoter Matchroom Sport with a quick fire blow out of Hungarian import Ferenc Hafner.


The 24-year-old super-middleweight from Liverpool, who won Prizefighter against the odds last year, caught the visitor with a right hand inside before an uppercut sent him over.


When the action resumed, Hafner found himself rocking all over the place from Fielding’s blows and Phil Edwards moved in at 2.16 of the first to save the Hungarian from further punishment.


Fielding’s record now stands at 11 – 0 (5 KOs) and he’ll be hoping to press towards a British title shot at 12 stone within the next 12 months.


Lytham St Anne’s former amateur standout Scott Cardle continued his education with a two round demolition of Karoly Lakatos.


Cardle, who has established an attacking style under the stewardship of Joe Gallagher in Bolton, attacked the torso with both fist in the opener before a barrage of blows forced Lakatos turn his back in pain before the end of the second and Mr Edwards moved in. The time was recorded as 3.00 before it came just as the bell was about to toll.


It’s the first inside the distance victory Cardle has scored in four outings, but on this evidence they’ll be plenty more where that came from.


Another boxer adding experience after a decent career in the amateurs is Upminster’s aggressive Ryan “Crash Bang” Taylor.


The flame-haired lightweight got chopping right hands off early against Ibrar Riyaz but had to contend with a journeyman willing to soak up the shots and then throw back.


Taylor took charge in the second and thudded home some hooks. By the forth he was finding Riyaz’s jaw regularly and it looked like the Reading-based Albanian might be unravelling.


But he managed to grit his teeth and battle through until the end. Mr Alexander had the easy job of handing Taylor his fifth paid victory with a score of 60-55.


Sheffield’s Sam O’Maison became the 86th man to defeat East Ham’s always game Johnny Greaves.


Fighting out of the southpaw stance despite being right-handed (we were told he’s right handed anyway) the Yorkshireman from the Ingle camp, moved in with his hands low and brought up fast and short right hooks.


In the second a sweeping hook dropped Greaves to the ring apron and he had to fight through several other hurting moments in this four-twos affair before hearing the final bell.


Mr Edwards scored it a predictable 40 – 35.


Chatteris debutant Jordan Gill was in full control as he eased to a 40-36 verdict over Nuneaton southpaw Kristian Laight on the bill’s opener.


And rounding things off at just after midnight in front of a crowd which could be described as sparse at best, Mancunian barber Rhys “Pure Silk” Roberts couldn’t prove a cut above Welshman Dai Davies and had to settle for a 58-58 draw after six rounds.


Twitter: @andywakeboxing

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