Ricky Hatton would dearly love to see Kell Brook emulate his achievements and win a world title.
Saturday’s eighth round stoppage of tiresome American Carson Jones will, doubtless, help Brook on that path.
But Hatton, a ruthless brawler when he was in his pomp, believes the Sheffield welterweight needs to be more cold blooded.
He said it was “a great result for Kell” adding: “The way he puts his punches together at times is a joy to watch. World class. This year has been frustrating for him but when the kid’s looking for the door I’d love to see Kell get nasty and kick him through it.”
Brook, now only has a big September 21 Sheffield Arena date against an unnamed opponent (Robert Guerrero, Shane Mosley, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Andre Berto, Randall Bailey and Marcos Maidana have all been mooted) between him and the much-postponed-through-injury IBF title tilt against Devon Alexander.
The weekend saw Brook took his upwardly mobile career to 30 straight wins.
The 27-year-old Grenoside warrior, in action for the first time this year following much-publicised injury problems, started off in commanding style against Jones, a son of Oklahama City (W35, L9, D3.)
Jones, who regards himself as a chef, ate a fair amount of glove in the early stages of the catchweight contest.
As in their first fight, 12 months ago, Brook looked strong and focused, landing big rights. An uppercut forced Jones to take a knee in only the second round. The damage continued until the fourth when Jones – shades of their last encounter – grew confidence from a couple of shots and, head down, started taking the fight to Brook. Brook’s nose – broken in the first bout – was bleeding.
The Sheffielder shrugged it off and, behind that trademark, laser jab he began forcing the American back.
Jones won’t like watching back the eighth round. He was forced to take a standing count after a sustained assault and was then smothered by the referee Michael Alexander as Brook pounded him.
Personally, given Jones’ undoubted durability, I’d like the ref to have stayed out of it for a while.
“It was an okay performance, nothing special,” said Brook, who had earlier stated he’d wanted to make a statement.
“I just planned on coming here and having some fun, because I haven’t boxed for a while, get some cobwebs off. He’s very tough. I hate him at times. I’m happy I got a few rounds out. I’m not comfortable at that high a weight, the next weight I’m down at welterweight, so I’m looking for a big fight.”
One-time Sheffield United footballer Curtis Woodhouse despatched Joe Elfidh, on the bill at Craven Park, Hull. He had Elfidh, from Harworth, down three times, the last a clever left hook counter, prompting Doncaster ref Howard Foster to wave it off two mins 10 seconds into the third.
The former Blade and former light welter is now hoping to go after the best lightweight talent, domestically after leaving light welter. “If someone would have said to me when I was playing football in the Premiership, that six years later, you’ll be boxing at Hull’s KR ground, I’d have given them a left hook,” he said. “It does seem a little surreal, but I’m loving every second of it, it’s the best game I’ve ever been involved in. I’ve met some brilliant people along the way, but to cap it off I need that British title. I promised my dad on his death bed I’d win a British title. Nothing’s changed.”