The former world champion propels himself back into world title contention by claiming vacant WBO inter-continental super-welterweight title
Kell Brook dropped game American opponent Mark DeLuca in the third round and finished the former US Marine in the seventh with an impressive performance on Saturday night.
The former world champion propelled himself back into world title contention at the Sheffield Arena by claiming the vacant WBO inter-continental super-welterweight title.
A 14-month absence from the ring saw Brook return with sharpness and venom, and DeLuca’s desire to fight fire with fire made it an entertaining spectacle. “I want the biggest fights out there, and want to show that I still belong at the top level,” said Brook, who has spoken of going through “dark times” after losses to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence.
On the strength of this performance, and decisiveness in the mid-range with a devastating finish, Brook is clearly back.
Earlier, Britain’s Terri Harper claimed the WBC women’s super-featherweight title with a unanimous points victory over Finland’s Eva Wahlstrom. Harper, 23, from Doncaster, claimed the world title in just her 10th fight, having joined the professional ranks in 2017.
Harper took the decision 99-90 twice and 98-91 on the judges’ cards. Wahlstrom had lost only one of her 26 previous bouts, which came when she stepped up to lightweight against unbeaten Irish champion Katie Taylor in New York two years ago.
Earlier, Kid Galahad earned another shot at the world title by stopping Claudio Marrero in eight rounds in a final eliminator for the IBF featherweight championship – the belt still held by Josh Warrington, who retained the belt last year on points against fellow Yorkshireman Galahad. It was the only defeat of Galahad’s 28-fight career but he is now set for a rematch, although the champion could first face WBO titleholder Shakur Stevenson first.
Galahad asserted himself from the opening bell, being warned by referee Howard Foster for use of the elbow and dirty tactics, but his movement and jab kept Marrero, of the Dominican Republic, on the back foot.
The visiting fighter was out-thought and out-boxed in the first half of the fight before, in the seventh round, Galahad landed heavily on Marrero’s nose with a powerful one-two.