Nine months ago I wrote an article entitled ‘Now is Kell Brook’s time to shine’. Within my words though was a warning that Brook would miss his chance if he allowed procrastination to steal his time. The time for deep thought about becoming a world champion was over, decisive action was required if ‘The Special One’ was to realise his dreams.
As the action unfolded last night between Kell Brook and Shawn Porter I had the sinking feeling that the words I had written were coming back to haunt me. Instead of seizing the initiative on the biggest night of his life, I felt Brook was thinking too much and not acting enough.
Procrastination was threatening to ruin his dreams of becoming a world champion. Or so I thought.
Although Brook showed from the outset that he was the better boxer, it seemed his periods of success were too sporadic to warrant him being ahead on any of the judge’s scorecards by the half way point. However, Brook’s calculated demeanour contrasted sharply with Porters careless strategy. The Sheffield mans salvation was that the clean, effective blows were coming from him. Whilst I was surprised by Brook’s relative inhibition, I was staggered by how ordinary and basic Porter looked. In the build up to the fight ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter stated that he had many different styles he could use to beat Brook.
Yet from the opening bell it was abundantly clear that Porter’s only tactics were to try and bully Kell Brook and overwhelm him with relentless activity marinating crude attacks. After witnessing wave after wave of clumsy assaults from Porter it was hard to believe that the 26 year old was being touted as the man to solve the Mayweather riddle.
Still, however unpalatable the approach of Porter was, it looked like his recipe for success was working as the fight wore on. In between rounds the action replays on the big screens clearly showed that Brook was punctuating the action with the more classy and accurate punches. Nonetheless, you still got the nagging feeling that Brook’s bursts of quality were too infrequent to merit him winning the title against the champion in his own backyard.
Kell Brook’s case was certainly helped by how poor Porter looked though. Still the challenger was being too tentative when he should have stamped his authority on the contest when he backed Porter up. I was screaming at the screen, exhorting Brook to unleash a barrage of blows on Porter whenever he had him near the ropes, but he let him off the hook time and again. Despite showing he was the superior technician in aesthetic terms, his performance seemed more style than substance. In world title fights the onus is always on the challenger to really be the chief protagonist in the action, yet Brook’s procrastination was playing a big part in the narrative as his dream threatened to turn into a nightmare.
However, in the championship rounds the plot thickened. With both men sporting nasty cuts, the tide was turning subtly in the favour of Brook- but not by much. The frenetic pace Porter set was taking its toll on the champion. Although he was only visibly beginning to tire by the 9th, he had long since run out of ideas by that point.
As the fight crept into the closing stages, Porter’s increasing fatigue was just further proof that his bullying strategy was betraying him. Far from winning Porter the fight, his relentless but incoherent onslaughts were ineffective and only served to waste his energy and allow Brook to put him on the back foot in the closing stages of the bout. Despite all the incessant pressure applied by Porter, Brook stubbornly refused to be bullied by his bull-like opponent.
Apart from the cut, which was caused by a head butt, Brook was unblemished and was never in any trouble. Porter was never in any real danger either despite his badly marked face attempting to tell a different story.
Truth be told, Porter barely landed a clean blow on Brook throughout the entire fight. But was Kell Brook really doing enough to rip the title from the champion on foreign turf?
I didn’t think he was.
And going into the 12th round I thought Kell Brook needed to go for broke in search of the knockout to stand any chance of emerging victorious.
You can sense my surprise then when Kell Brook’s arm was raised at the end of the action.
Sure Brook may have been lucky to get the benefit of the doubt, but Porter has got no one to blame but himself. He cannot expect to always be successful against the best fighters in boxing with such an archaic approach. He must go back to the drawing board and abandon his bullying, bull-rushing style if he wants to restore his former glories.
For Brook, this was by no means a classic performance, but he will not care one little bit because his dreams have come true; he is now ‘the champion of the world baby!’
To be sure, Brook can be better, and he will need to be because the biggest names of the best division in boxing now have the Sheffield man firmly in their sights.
Thanks for Reading BN24 Fans.
What do you think.. Did Kell Brook deserve decision against Porter?
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