One of the headlining matchups on this weekend’s TV Boxing Schedule is Brook vs Bizier. Set for 12 rounds, with Kell Brook’s IBF Welterweight title on the line, Bizier will be flying in from Quebec to upset the odds. Before the clash gets underway, let’s take a look back at the Top 5 Best Performances of unbeaten Sheffield-born Brook.
1. Brook vs Shawn Porter
The Porter bout makes the top spot and for very good reason. This was considered to be a 50/50 fight long before the first bell, and Porter, who was making the second defense of his IBF title, had just dogged Devon Alexander and obliterated Paulie Malignaggi. Porter was, and still is, a physically overwhelming fighter, a bully, and probably has one of the highest punch outputs in boxing today.
Brook had his work cut out here, with Porter making this is a truly competitive fight, doing his best to smother and break Brook’s rhythm. But Brook held his composure tremendously well, even after picking up a cut on his left eye following an accidental head butt in the 2nd round. He fought his own fight.
The affair was close down the stretch, and though Brook’s Majority Decision win may still divide opinion in some quarters, it never became controversial. While Porter was busier, Brook’s sharper, cleaner blows made a greater impact on the judges, with Porter getting rocked once in the later rounds. Brook therefore deserves a lot of credit for this performance, given Porter’s awkward, energetic, incredibly difficult style to deal with.
You can catch Showtime’s Brook vs Porter Highlights below:
2. Brook vs Vyacheslav Senchenko
Senchenko wasn’t generally considered to be a Brook-beater going in, but there were some scribes – including myself – who took his threat level seriously. Senchenko wasn’t a marquee name, or hot on anyone’s Welterweight Top 10 – as I recall – but he had enjoyed a brief stint as WBA world champion before being picked apart by Paulie Malignaggi in 2012. Senchenko was pretty solid, still world level, and had troublesome power.
The bout was billed as a revenge fight of sorts due to Senchenko having ruined a much-hyped comeback attempt by Ricky Hatton a few months earlier. And if Hatton, a fellow countryman and national hero, and Brook were looking to exact revenge, it was swiftly accomplished on fight night.
But it wasn’t all one-way traffic in this short-lived affair. After getting floored in the 3rd round, Senchenko managed to rock Brook and unload a brief assault himself for in the 4th. The surge from Senchenko was admirable, but Brook soon regained control and got back to business. Brook pulled off another exclamation mark win, knocking out his foe for the count with a devastating hook-uppercut combination. Brook had exhibited dangerous power once again, and looked to be becoming one of the division’s best finishers.
3. Brook vs Carson Jones II
Both of Brook’s fights with Carson Jones are probably interchangeable with 3rd and 4th place on this list, but I’ve gone with the rematch given Brook stopped Jones and never really allowed him into the fight. Jones of course gave Brook hell in their original encounter (below), but things were a lot different this time around.
Brook was more focused, brutal with his attacks, and simply refused to let Jones off the hook, punishing the stateside visitor with blows that only a granite-chinned fighter like Jones could endure. Brook scored a knockdown courtesy of a flush uppercut in the 2nd round. Jones beat the count, escaped the hellacious round and, to his credit, managed to endure Brook’s assaults for 5 more rounds and change.
The referee issued one of those rare standing counts in the 8th – which usually hints to the referee showing great concern for a fighter – and halted the action completely not long after. Jones protested the stoppage, but most of us watching applauded the third man’s mercy. With bogeyman Jones out of the picture, Brook could finally move on.
4. Brook vs Carson Jones (I)
When this fight was made, hardcore boxing fans knew of Jones’ toughness and fortitude, but I can’t imagine anyone foresaw the American visitor taking ‘Special K’ into the trenches. For the first 5-6 rounds, Jones was eating a lot of punches, with Brook seemingly unable to miss with his accurate, economical attacks. Jones, yet to be significantly rocked, was prepared to walk through walls, hoping to eventually find Brook. But it was yet to happen.
Jones managed to get Brook’s attention in the 6th, 2and from that point on turned into a nightmare opponent. Jones simply refused to back down, and with Brook, perhaps now tiring, began to let his hands go, piling on pressure Brook was yet to experience in a pro boxing ring. With Brook’s nose soon bloodied, he found himself in a pivotal, career-changing fight. If Brook were to lose to Jones, observers would question his fighting heart. But if Brook were to win, it would force his doubters to step off and show respect.
Brook survived some shaky moments en route to winning a Majority Decision that night. It had been the toughest night of Brook’s career, but he had survived his first acid test, and now, was an even larger attraction. Of course, Brook knew he now had to make a bigger statement against Jones in a high risk-high reward rematch.
5. Brook vs Matthew Hatton
Matthew Hatton, brother of British national treasure Ricky, had plenty of confidence going into his meeting with Brook. Hatton, an unrefined yet gutsy warrior, wasn’t expected to ask much of Brook, but wasn’t expected to be owned by Brook either. Hatton deserves credit for going the distance, but the rugged Mancunian often found it hard to reach the bell ending each round.
Hatton, a capable operator, was made to look pedestrian throughout each stanza, which often left him no choice but to smother Brook’s work and hang on for dear life. Brook, who scored a 9th round knockdown, won the contest by shutout scores, leaving the ring unscathed and unmarked. The Sheffield upstart had passed the test with flying colors, and was ready for his first solid challenge. Enter freight train Carson Jones…
Do you agree with our Kell Brook Top 5 Performances? Chime in with your own list in the comments below. You can catch Brook vs Bizier, plus the rest of the Matchroom Boxing’s ‘All of the Lights’ card, from 3:30pm EDT/7:30pm GMT on Sky Sports 1 (UK) tonight.