SHEFFIELD boxer Kell Brook kept his world title ambitions on course with a comfortable points victory over Lovemore N’Dou at a triumphant city homecoming, writes Graham Walker.
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Unbeaten welterweight Brook moves to 24-0 but was unable to extend a run of eight wins inside the distance against wily veteran N’Dou (48-13-2), who is still yet to be stopped in an 18-year professional career.
Brook, aged 25, fighting in his home city for the first time in six years, survived some brief early scares to comprehensively outclass the former IBF light-welterweight title champion by scores of 119-110 (twice) and 118-111 on the judges scorecards.
Victory secured Brook the vacant WBA Inter-Continental belt, but his attentions will now turn towards the welterweight division’s major prizes.
N’Dou’s famed survival instincts kicked in down the stretch as wave after waves of punishing Brook attacks were absorbed for him to reach the final bell.
After being taken past seven rounds for the first time in his professional career, Brook was pleased to have experienced an important chapter in his boxing education.
“I maybe said I’d stop him to hype it up and get people interested, but at the back of my mind I knew it would be a 12-round fight,” he said.
“It’s a big learning curve in my career, my first 12-round fight. Maybe I held back a bit and there were some things I did wrong, but that’s all learnt now.”
Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn echoed the sentiment, adding: “He needs more fights like that against tough opponents. He’ll watch that video 100 times and being so smart, so clever he’ll continue to improve.”