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 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.

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.

Zerafa ducks into a right hand

Zerafa ducks into a right hand

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

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.

Double jab on Saturday night

Double jab on Saturday night

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.

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

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.

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

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

"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.

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.

"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.

Kell and his team celebrate victory. Pic Dean Woolley

Kell and his team celebrate victory. Pic Dean Woolley

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."

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.

Ricky Charlesworth;s blow by blow account