Is he really the ”Special One”? That is still to be determined, but what is for sure, is that Kell Brook is the new IBF welterweight champion of the world. Brook outpointed the now former champion, Shawn Porter, last Saturday in Carson, Calif. and with the win, and the performance, Brook is now a major player in the welterweight division.
Before the fight with Porter, Brook was hopelessly underrated and overlooked, and may well be yet again in the future. But what he exhibited against Porter was enough to gauge that he is more than capable of mixing it with 99 percent of the 147 pound division. His poise, crisp punching, head movement, power, footwork and counter punching were genuinely something to appreciate.
Porter was spoken about before the fight as being a potential opponent for pound-for-pound number one Floyd Mayweather in the future. His aggressive style was impressive to a lot of people, and after Marcos Maidana gave Mayweather a tougher fight than expected last May, a Maidana-type performance from the more athletic Porter was seen as a challenge for Mayweather.
Even more so considering the strength of Porter, but although the American usually manhandles his opponents, he could not manhandle Brook on Saturday night, who is clearly a huge welterweight himself. Porter could not beat him for strength, and he sure could not beat him for boxing ability. The package that Brook now brings to an already stacked division is a very intriguing one.
The division is the most talent rich in Boxing with the likes of Mayweather, Maidana, Porter, Manny Pacquiao, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Keith Thurman, Robert Guerrero, Amir Khan, Devon Alexander and the soon-to-be moving up in weight Danny Garcia. Now Brook adds his name to the list, and of all of those names, he is one of only three champions alongside Mayweather and Pacquiao.
Brook has a fantastic blend of strength and skill; he would be the strongest man in the ring in almost any fight he could have at welterweight. Yet, avoiding the battle of strength on the inside, and fighting Brook at range seems a difficult task with his quick hands, educated footwork and that bludgeoning jab that he posses. He’s a good judge of distance and his defense is not to be overlooked after going 12 rounds with the ”mini-tyson” and yet the only blemish on his face was a small cut from an illegal headbutt.
Brook has a lot of options now moving forward and there are some marquee matchups for him to participate in. Especially as he is not tied to either HBO or Showtime, and he is not affiliated to any American promoter; he has free reign to fight whoever he likes from whichever stable he chooses. In time, he and his team will choose and his next opponent will become clear, but what is already clear is that Brook is now a major player in the talent rich welterweight division.