Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook took a significant step towards a world title shot in the new year with a comprehensive stoppage win over Poland’s Rafal Jackiewicz tonight.
Brook’s WBA Inter-Continental title was on the line against Jackiewicz, but more importantly the fight doubled up as an eliminator for a shot at the WBA ruler Viacheslav Senchenko.
Brook, who now boasts a perfect record of 25 wins and no losses, could not have sent a more definitive message to the rest of the welterweight division in front of a sold-out hometown crowd at the Ponds Forge Arena.
Jackiewicz (38-10-1) had never previously failed to hear the final bell in his 48-fight career, but was outclassed from the off.
At the conclusion the Minsk man looked a shadow of the respected world-level campaigner he has become in recent years and, although he did not look in significant danger when the stoppage came, referee Howard Foster stepped in after six rounds of incessant punishment.
As Amir Khan prepares to step up to 147lbs in 2012, a mouth-watering all-British clash with Brook has been mooted, and the 24-year-old undoubtedly looks like a man ready to rub shoulders at boxing’s top table.
Brook began confidently, his jab regularly finding its way through Jackiewicz’s guard to leave the former European champion with reddened features at the end of the opener.
It was a similar story in the second and when Jackiewicz finally slipped Brook’s slick range-finder to get inside, he received a right hook to the temple for his troubles.
Unfortunately for the 34-year-old Pole, Brook started to bring out his full array of shots through rounds three and four.
A double jab into a left-hook dished out further damage to the head, while a rapid combination to the body had Jackiewicz gasping for air.
A small cut above the left eye and increased swelling meant the challenger’s corner were earning their purse and Brook ramped up the intent in five, repeatedly crashing home right crosses off the left lead.
The end came in the next session as Brook rounded off a clinical display in style.
After raining down the punches on the ropes, the champion beckoned his beleaguered opponent back towards the centre of the ring where a concussive left stiffened Jackiewicz’s legs, and as further rights came in Foster decided he had seen enough.