Kell Brook rises again with Arena demolition

Kell Brook celebrates his win over Sergey Rabchenko
Kell Brook celebrates his win over Sergey Rabchenko
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It took just one massive right hand for Kell Brook to announce his return.

One right hand to announce his arrival in the super welterweight division.

Brook warms up before his big fight

Brook warms up before his big fight

One right hand to put the entire weight class on notice.

One right hand to let everyone know there is plenty more to come from the man known as the Special One.

There was plenty special about the manner in which he brought to an end his clash with Sergey Rabchenko less than two rounds in.

A jaw rattling upper cut sent Rabchenko stumbling backwards before Brook bowled over an overhand right that crashed into the temple of the Belarus fighter.

Brook fells Rabchenko in the second round

Brook fells Rabchenko in the second round

Rabchenko’s legs buckled in sickening fashion until he could not stand any longer.

It was clear he would not get back to his feet in time to make the count.

Brief, brutal, Brook lit up the Arena yet again in 267 seconds of dominance.

As debuts in a new weight class go, it was not bad at all.

Brook was undoubtedly expected to beat Rabchenko but there was no way anyone truly expected it to be so easy.

This was an opponent who had lost just twice in a 12 year career and only one of those defeats came by stoppage.

Rabchenko was meant to give Brook something to think about and also provide him the chance to look strong, skilful and slick.

In short, to show he still had it.

Brook certainly did that, even if it came in much quicker fashion than expected.

The move to super welterweight looks to have suited the 31-year-old.

And it became apparent in the days before he stepped through the ropes on fight night.

He was much more relaxed at the pre-fight press conference earlier in the week than he has appeared for some time.

Cracking jokes both on the stage and off, he truly seemed in a good place.

The buzz in the Ingle gym currently will have certainly helped, as will the presence of some of the sport’s biggest characters.

But not having a hungry stomach will undoubtedly have been the main factor.

He delighted in telling reporters he was heading out for food with his nutritionist after the press conference – something previously unheard of from him a day out from the weigh-in.

And when he stood on the scales 24 hours later, he looked as in good a condition as he has for some time.

It was in sharp contrast to the last time he weighed in, before his defeat to Errol Spence Jr.

Frankly, Brook looked ill after boiling himself down to welterweight again – ultimately one time too many.

But nine months later he looked like a genuine athlete, a powerful boxer ready to unleash hell in the ring.

And he backed that up with his blistering performance on fight night.

After looking unnatural for so long at welterweight, he looked the exact opposite over his reintroduction to the boxing world.

Those seven extra pounds have been good to him.

And now the champions at 154lbs will have to sit up and take notice.

With Brook claiming the WBC Silver title in his demolition of Rabchenko, he has put the organisation’s standard bearer Jermell Charlo in his firing line.

But the other sanctioning bodies will have paid attention with the super welterweight division lacking the big name to lead the way.

Also taking notice will have been long-time rival Amir Khan – set to return to the ring himself next month against Phil Lo Greco.

Brook and Khan finally look to be on collision course now they both find themselves under the Matchroom promotional banner.

Head honcho Eddie Hearn says both men must simply keep winning to ensure interest in a blockbuster clash remains high.

The pressure is firmly on Khan to deal with Lo Greco in convincing fashion to show he could hang with Brook.

But after witnessing his rival’s return, he is unlikely to fancy a move up to 154 as much as Brook will not relish the prospect of dropping those seven extra pounds another time.

There is still plenty of negotiating to do to bring a rare elite British dream fight into reality.

But Brook has taken care of the first step of his side of things pretty well indeed.

Bigger tests than Rabchenko will come. The return performance ensured that.

And his previously damaged eye sockets will come under much greater scrutiny.

But Brook has shown there is plenty of life left in the old dog yet.

He has risen again.