Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Kell Brook floored then saved on his feet by the referee in the fourth round against WBO champion Terence Crawford; Conor Benn can become Britain’s leading welterweight prospect if he beats Sebastian Formella next Saturday night, live on Sky Sports
Last Updated: 15/11/20 7:56am
Kell Brook was knocked down then stopped by Terence Crawford inside four rounds of their WBO welterweight title fight in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
A right hook from Crawford sent Brook spiralling into the ropes, before the champion closed the show clinically and quickly by landing a flurry of punches.
Brook was battling for an all-time great British result on foreign shores but, instead, Crawford delivered a demonstration of why he is considered one of the world’s pound-for-pound top boxers.
“Never in my career, nobody has ever done that to me in sparring or anything,” said Brook.
“I got caught with a shot I didn’t see. I’m gutted because nobody could’ve gotten me in better condition.”
Brook had travelled to the US in 2014 to dethrone an undefeated American champion in Shawn Porter for the IBF belt but, six years later, was in Vegas without trainer Dominic Ingle or promoter Eddie Hearn.
In his corner was Spanish trainer Carlos Formento who Brook had met on Instagram.
He also arrived amid questions about the two broken orbital bones suffered in defeats to Gennadiy Golovkin and Crawford’s rival Errol Spence Jr.
But the opening three rounds were encouraging for Sheffield’s Brook.
He was winning on two of the three judges’ scorecards but his hope was eroded in a brutal flash.
Crawford landed a flush right hook from his southpaw stance – only the ropes held Brook up, so the referee ruled a knock-down.
Crawford’s finishing instincts then took over and he bludgeoned Brook with further punches until the referee called a halt.
He has now stopped eight consecutive opponents inside the distance, including Brook’s rival Amir Khan, and has extended his unbeaten record to 37-0 with 28 KOs.
Spence Jr, the IBF and WBC champion, puts his titles on the line against Danny Garcia next month.
But Crawford said about his next fight: “I already said who I want. I want Manny Pacquiao [who holds the WBA belt].
“I want to revisit that fight. That was a fight that should’ve happened right now.
“But being that the pandemic happened, and they weren’t going to allow fans in the Middle East, they had to put a hold to that.
“Everything was 95 per cent done. We had the venue. The money was almost there. It wasn’t quite there. That was the only thing we were waiting on.
“Kell is a tremendous talent. He came and he tried to take my title. He was in shape. He made the weight. There were no excuses to be put on the table. He came off of three wins.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said: “Terence Crawford showed, once again, why he is the best welterweight in the world.
“It was a dominating performance over a very good fighter in Kell Brook. Terence ranks up there with all the great welterweights I’ve promoted.”