Errol Spence defeats Kell Brook to win welterweight title

May 28, 2017

Undefeated American welterweight Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) went across the pond and dethroned defending champion Kell Brook (31-2, 25 KOs) via an 11th round knockout, winning the IBF Welterweight World Championship Saturday in front of 27,000 raucous fans at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England.

“I came out and I tried to do my best tonight. I’m happy I won, but I’m critical of my performance,” Spence said. “I was overshooting my left. I give myself a B-minus. I had a little trouble overusing my counter left."

Spence, who with this victory became the first American to dethrone an Englishman on British soil in nearly a decade, executed a brilliant game plan to strip Brook of his belt before his hometown crowd.

The early rounds were close and competitive with Brook holding the upper hand.  But Spence, a southpaw, attacked Brook's body and added in jabs and counter lefts for good measure.  As a result, Brook started having problems with his badly swollen left eye, starting from the seventh round.

Brook, who was clearly disappointed with his performance, acknowledged that Spence hurt him in the seventh.

“I got caught on the left eye in the seventh and it felt really bad,” Brook said. “It was the one the worst feelings I ever had. Kind of like when GGG hit me on fracture my orbital bone. It was devastating. I just couldn’t see."

Spence dropped Brook in the 10th, and Brook took a knee in the 11th due to his inability to see out of the left eye.  Brook was counted out and referee Howard Foster waved the fight off.

In the final three rounds Spence out-landed Brook 92-27 overall, and 72-25 in power shots.  Spence landed 44 percent of his power shots (comparable to the nearly 43 percent he landed in his four previous CompuBox-tracked fights) and 71 of his 246 total connects were to the body.

“This fight was tougher than I thought it was going to be," said Spence.  "I showed I can take a punch and I can throw a punch. I can face adversity and I can win."

When the 27-year-old Texan was asked about his plans for the future, he answered without hesitation, “Now is man down, start of season two. I want to unify divisions. I want all the champions. I want [Keith] Thurman, Manny Pacquiao. I want to fight the best, just like true champions do.”

In the co-feature event of the evening, super middleweight George Groves won the vacant WBA Super Middleweight title with blistering assault that ended in stoppage at 1:13 of the sixth round.

“I’ve got no words,” Groves said filled of joy. “It’s a lifetime’s work achieved. I’m over the moon. I want to thank everyone who made this happen, Shane McGuigan who has resurrected my career, and now I’m mature enough to admit that he brings the best out of me."

Groves (26-3, 19 KOs), who was making his fourth attempt to win a world title, out-classed and out-landed his opponent, former super middleweight world champion Fedor Chudinov (14-2, 10 KOs), landing 58 percent of his total punches as well as 78 percent of his power shots.

“In the end, I would have carried on punching until everyone had left and they kicked me out," said Groves.  "I wasn’t going to let this belt slip.  [Chudinov] was catching me around the back of the head from the start, he has really devastatingly long arms, but I found my feet.”

By Staff of and news services

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