‘Special K’ bids to go up another level in 2012

Kell Brook, right, of England lands a left punch to the face of Luis Galarza in a welterweight boxing match in Atlantic City N.J., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. Brook won by a TKO in the fifth round. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
Kell Brook, right, of England lands a left punch to the face of Luis Galarza in a welterweight boxing match in Atlantic City N.J., Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. Brook won by a TKO in the fifth round. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
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KELL Brook rounded off a good year with a win on his American debut and is now set for an even better 2012.

After destroying the best of British and European, Sheffield welterweight Brook needs to be known stateside to make it into the big time. Brook is largely unknown in the States but introduced himself with a classy fifth-round stoppage of Puerto Rican tough guy Luis Galarza in Atlantic City on Saturday.

Brook, nicknamed ‘Special K’, bided his time before finishing off his opponent clinically. As one of the main supports to the conclusion of the super six tournament between Andre Ward and Carl Froch, Brook realised the enormity of the occasion and how he had to perform.

“I’ve always boxed in Britain so to have been here on a massive show is a great feeling and I’m ready to come here again and again. You’ll be seeing me here again and there will be an even better performance,” he said.

“Boxing fans all round the world are watching this tonight and I’ve hit a new audience now. They’ve just seen a good performance from me - but I can and will be giving them more in 2012.

“There’s no rush to go for a world title, it’s about being brought on at the right pace and I trust Eddie Hearn and the team to get me there in the right way. It’s only a matter of time but I’m not panicking.”

A showdown fight with Amir Khan looks unlikely in the short-term with the Bolton fighter now keen to re-gain his world titles down at light-welter.

Khan was critical of the quality of opponent Galarza in his analysis, suggesting that Brook should’ve beaten him earlier but Brook’s promoter Hearn tweeted afterwards: “So bored of Khan can’t even be bothered to talk about him.”

Hearn did however announce big plans for Brook in the new year.

“He will 100 per cent fight for a world title in 2012,” he confirmed. “Tonight was really important for the development of Kell Brook. It’s been a great year for him.”

Brook had Galarza hurt within the first round. A straight right caught Galarza on the chin with just seconds to go in the opener and the bell arguably saved an early stoppage.

Keeping his cool, Brook put his shots together in dominating fashion and rocked Galarza with some heavy right hands in the third round.

Spirited Galarza lasted until the fifth round when Brook exploded. Six shots were fired in, the fifth a savage right hook, before referee Allan Huggins had seen enough.

“This was a learning curve - the whole week was a test to see how I get on over here,” said Brook. “I was nervous about how my body would react to the travelling and so on, and I’ve passed that with flying colours and will come back even better. Luis had a go and stayed there until the end really but this was his world title fight and he wasn’t going to go easy.”

The IBF is looking like the most likely route for Brook. Champion Andre Berto defends his title against Victor Ortiz in February and Brook could face the winner.