It was billed as Judgement Day, and it was Kell Brook that won the bragging rights in the war of the roses with a stunning sixth round stoppage of Amir Khan at the Manchester Arena in their catchweight contest at 149 pounds.
After several missed opportunities to meet in the past, the two finally got it on. Khan had served as a world champion at super lightweight, while Brook was IBF welterweight champion from 2014 to 2017. Both men had history against Terence Crawford, with Khan stopped in six in April 2019, and Brook halted in four in November 2020. Khan was under the guidance of Brian ‘Bo-Mac’ McIntyre for the first time, while Brook was back under the tutelage of Dominic Ingle.
There was controversy from the start which saw a delay over gloves. The fighters eventually did make their ring walks, with Brook putting his gloves on whilst inside the ring after being told he risked not being paid for the fight if he didn’t comply.
With the formalities were done it was down to business. Khan’s speed was on show in the first round, as he landed some flashy combinations, but Brook’s defence held firm. Brook uncorked a right hand that stiffened the legs of Khan, and wobbled the Boltonian to open up old fragilities. Brook connected again with a combination that again troubled his opponent, and a pulsating opening frame came to a close.
Khan was looking to unload his power shots, but Brook was more than up to the task in round two, dodging the jab and timing Khan with regularity. Khan had a much better third, but was clipped at the end of the round that left him stunned once again. A right hand at the end of round four left Khan troubled and on unsteady legs.
A combination had Khan going in the fifth, and he took the meaty shots well from Brook, but the Sheffield man was relentless, picking his shots with precision, and round six began with a right hand that yet again froze Khan’s legs. Brook sensed blood, and more stiff combinations led to referee Victor Laughlin seeing enough, calling a halt to the action.
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) February 19, 2022
Jonas wins world title
In her third tilt at a world title, Natasha Jonas jumped up three weight divisions, and made it third time lucky to take the vacant WBO super welterweight crown with a second round stoppage of former world champion, Chris Namus, who stepped in at short notice.
Jonas (11-2-1, 8 KOs) had been held to a draw by Terri Harper in a bid for the WBC and IBO titles at super featherweight, and she also pushed undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor to the wire in a tight points defeat.
A massive straight left hand dropped the visitor in the opening round, and Namus (25-7, 8 KOs) did well to see out the session.
The minute break was not nearly long enough, as Namus was felled by another massive left hand from ‘Miss GB’ and with the towel about to come in during the count, referee Howard Foster called a halt to the action to crown the Liverpudlian a superb victory.
Clarke makes explosive start
Heavyweight hope, Frazer Clarke made his professional debut, and the 2020 Olympic Bronze medallist needed just over two minutes to stop the overwhelmed debutant, Jake Darnell (0-1).
Clarke (1-0) was a class apart from his opponent, and he was in such control that Darnell’s corner threw the towel in.
Azim brothers victorious
Adam Azim also caught the eye, halting Jordan Ellison in three rounds.
Azim (3-0, 2 KOs) floored Ellison (13-36-2, 1 KO) in the opening round with a right hook to the body, and the end came in round three where a left hook to the head forced an end to proceedings.
Rea wipes out McCarthy
(12-0, 5 KOs) impressed on the undercard, wiping out Craig McCarthy inside a round of their middleweight encounter.
A left uppercut on the end of a combination did the damage, with McCarthy (8-1-1, 2 KOs) out cold.
Brown claims English belt
Germaine Brown (12-0, 3 KOs) became the new English super middleweight champion, as he outscored Charlie Schofield (17-2, 1 KO) over ten rounds to claim the title. Two scores of 99-92, and a third at 98-92 gave the Londoner the win.
Riley makes successful UK debut
Viddal Riley moved to 5-0 (2 KOs) dropping Wilbeforce Shihepo (25-14, 18 KOs) in the opening round on the way to a 60-53 win on the referee’s scorecard.
Abdul Khan (3-0) also remained unbeaten, scoring a knockdown against Ricky Starkey (2-21-2) before taking all four rounds of their featherweight contest.
At super bantamweight, Ibrahim Nadim (6-0) took all four rounds against Taka Bambere (1-23, 1 KO).