Kell Brook not so Special on the night - but maybe that will convince Amir Khan to take him on at last

Flush on the jaw: Kell Brook v Michael Zarafa. Pictures by Dean WoolleyFlush on the jaw: Kell Brook v Michael Zarafa. Pictures by Dean Woolley
Flush on the jaw: Kell Brook v Michael Zarafa. Pictures by Dean Woolley
Kell Brook arrived in Santa shorts - and duly delivered the gift of victory to his Sheffield Arena fans.

But it was one of those Christmas presents that was, well, nice...but not quite what we'd all wanted.

We'd sat back and waited for him to unwrap a big, flashy knockout win over an Aussie opponent that some thought wasn't fit to lace Kell's gloves.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Instead, Michael Zerafa can fly the 10,500 miles back home to Melbourne with his reddened, bruised head held high.

We'd expected '˜Pommie-Granite' from Brook - that the Brit would put the challenger Down Under in the early rounds.

Instead, Brook - having started with promise - didn't unleash the sustained power we've come to admire.

And on several occasions he did land, the blows boomeranged back in Saturday's WBA super welterweight title eliminator.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Zerafa ducks into a right handZerafa ducks into a right hand
Zerafa ducks into a right hand

As a spectacle, it wasn't as damp a squib as the single other under-achieving Brook performance of the eight at the Arena, that against Carson Jones in 2012.

But it did fall disappointingly short in entertainment value, compared to the colourful Jono Carroll IBF final eliminator with Frenchman Guillaume Frenois that had preceded it and ended in a blood-curdling draw.

The fans LOVE Kell in this city.

But some felt he was too one-dimensional on Saturday night, were worried when he got caught on the ropes, wanted to see more head movement and repeatedly begged him to go for the body.

Double jab on Saturday nightDouble jab on Saturday night
Double jab on Saturday night

Obligingly, the taller Aussie had kept crouching low, allowing Brook to try and rain down chopping shots - but the rusty Sheffielder missed too often.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was interesting to hear contrasting views expressed in the ring, immediately after the 118-10, 119-109, 117-111 points win.

Brook, who had attracted overwhelming fight odds of 1/50 to win, admitted he had been flat but insisted that he'd had the best training camp ever, under John Fewkes. And he said The Special One would be Special again.

"Normally I'm sharp but I couldn't let that right hand go. In training, I've been exceptional but at least I've got the win" he said before walking with sullen face back to the dressing room.

Ouch: one in the face for Kell. Pic Dean WoolleyOuch: one in the face for Kell. Pic Dean Woolley
Ouch: one in the face for Kell. Pic Dean Woolley

Fewkes - whose contribution was no doubt analysed by former trainer Dom Ingle, a spectator in the crowd, felt the 32-year-old had boxed ok.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"People have big expectations of Kell but for me, he boxed well. He came through 12 rounds and the things we were working on worked. The reason he got hit too much was because he was trying too hard" volunteered Fewkes.

But neither view chimed with promoter Eddie Hearn, who is not afraid his own man to criticise where he thinks its fair.

"Kell knows that was below par. If I was Amir Khan, I'd be on the phone now' he said.

Brook would accept a reverse charge call.

He said: 'I want to make it public I will agree to 147lbs and the re-hydration (10lbs clause) for Khan. The time is now. Give the fans the fight they want. 2019 I'm on a mission."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Kell and his team celebrate victory. Pic Dean WoolleyKell and his team celebrate victory. Pic Dean Woolley
Kell and his team celebrate victory. Pic Dean Woolley

And, if anything good is to come out of Saturday night it may be that - Khan feeling Brook is now well past his sell-by-date and more easily beatable. He might just sign the deal; but then again...

At any rate, Brook's underwhelming win had at least edged him closer to a fight against Jarrett Hurd, who holds the WBA and IBF super-welterweight titles.

And Brook didn't do too bad after that Carson Jones flop '“  within two years of it, he was world champion.

Related topics: