(Kell Brook, right, pounds Carson Jones)
Kell Brook beat the living daylights out of rock-solid Carson Jones at Hull’s Craven Park on Saturday. The Sheffield marksman, 27, pounded the indomitable visitor with piercing jabs and chopping right hands that repeatedly span the American’s head around as though fixed to a swivel. Somehow, Jones, 26, impelled himself to stage a mini-revival in 4th, when once again he managed to rupture Brook’s nose, yet he had been soundly thrashed up to the point referee Mike Alexander called a halt, perhaps a tad prematurely, at 1:07 of the 8th, with Jones on his feet and protesting bitterly.
Staged at a 152 lb. catch-weight, conditions which figured to suit Brook rather than Jones, the home boxer benefited from an enhanced pop to his punches that enabled him to disrupt Jones, 35-10-3 (25), from initiating the type of concussive rhythm that generally allows him to grind opponents into the mat.
Brook, Sheffield, Yorkshire, 151, laid down a painful marker in the opener. Jones, Oklahoma, USA, 151 ¾, was checked with terse jabs and waves of right hands that were whipped in behind his high guard with real malice. Jones pushed hard to up the ante in the 2nd yet copped a searing right hook that forced him to retreat and then take a knee as Brook carpet-bombed him with clubbing rights before surprising him with a cute right uppercut. As Jones doddered back to his corner on the bell, Brook growled right into his face -- an unedifying mean streak that will nevertheless serve him well in this cruellest of livings.
Jones took a pounding in round 3 -- during which he flirted with calamity -- as Brook incorporated a thudding body assault into his artful work upstairs. Jones, though, has a touch of the bogeyman about him and he doggedly edged his way back into the fight, squishing Brook’s nose with a right hook against the ropes in the next session and refusing to go away.
Brook refused to entertain a retread, though. Re-establishing dominance in round 5, he calmly twisted the knife in the 6th and 7th before closing the show in round 8 – bopping Jones’ head hither and thither like a kernel in a popcorn machine. Jones would have gladly carried on, yet had taken enough head punches for the third man to exercise prudence. Brook, who rises to 30-0 (20), has been promised a marquee name in September and is back on track.
Derry Mathews performed a nice line in escapology against impressive youngster Tommy Coyle to claim the vacant Commwealth lightweight crown. A mile behind on the scorecards and visibly wilting, the 29-year old survivor lashed out with a Hail Mary left hook in round 10 that clattered Coyle, 23, against the ropes and forced referee Phil Edwards to gazump him at 2:41.
Coyle, Hull, Humberside, 15-2 (7), had swept the early rounds with a kinetic, edgy display of counter punching. Mathews, Liverpool, Merseyside, 33-8-2 (18), remained comfortable enough in biding his time. “I’ll get him next round”, seemed to be his line of thinking, yet as each frame slipped through his fingers, his confidence dwindled as his chances diminished. In fact, just prior to the dramatic finish, Coyle had caught his second wind while Mathews, nose bloodied and eyes swelling, looked spent.
As Coyle, 134, moved in for another successful raid against the ropes, he winged in a right body shot and instinctively tried to pull back out of range with his hands down by his sides. Mathews, 134 ¾, ever the opportunist, hit him for six with the sweetest left hook he has even thrown. Coyle bravely regained his feet but was rescued wisely so that he could fight another day. “Dirty” Derry was magnanimous in his praise of the local lad after another dramatic night in a career of them.
British and Commonwealth featherweight champion Lee Selby, 26, maintained his unbeaten record with an uncomfortable victory over Viorel Simion, 31. Selby, 16-1 (6), Barry, Wales, performed his usual pot shotting from range, however, Simion, Lehliu Gară, Romania, 16-1 (7), fought a well-ordered and systematic fight, pressuring Selby throughout while countering him adeptly with use of his left hook. In a bout that required close attention in order to judge, scores were predictably all over the place and read: 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 – all of them in Selby’s favour.
Debutant Luke Campbell slapped Andy Harris, 2-6 (0), around for 88 seconds to rack up his first professional victory while former GB team-mate Anthony Ogogo claimed his third in quick succession, with a 5th round TKO over Gary Boulden, 7-10 (0).