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KELL (BROOK) KOs JO-JO (DAN)

March 28, 2015, Queens,  IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KOs) knocked down number one, mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan (34-3, 18 KOs) four time en route to a 4th, round TKO.  Dan was knocked down by a compact Brook left hook as the bell sounded to end the 4th round.   He beat referee Earl Brown’s count but was clearly wobbly and disoriented, so Dan’s corner didn’t let the game fighter come out for the fifth round.  The fight was broadcast by Showtime International Boxing.

The fight began with both fighters being somewhat cautious, but Dan, who was expected to move, stood his ground demonstrating a willingness to exchange.  Brook landed some strong jabs as he dominated the round.  In the second round, Brook missed with a lead left hook but caught Dan with a straight right that buckled the challenger.  Dan avoided Brook’s right cross by leaning into him, but this made Dan vulnerable to Brook’s right uppercut.  The punch lifted Dan off the canvas like Foreman-Frazier I back in 1973.  Dan was given a standing eight count but was still feeling the effects of the devastating uppercut.  Brook rushed him immediately and landed a straight right that sent Dan right back to the canvas.  There was nearly two minutes left and Dan looked Done.  Brook landed solid punches and continued to stagger Dan, but to Dan’s credit, he took the punishment and finished the round.

The third round would be a tough round for Dan.  Even though he wasn’t knocked down, he absorbed lots of punishment.  The 4th round proved to be too much for Dan.  With 36 seconds to go, Brook caught him with a left hand that landed high on the top of his head.  Dan was already on very shaky legs and went down.  After another standing eight count, a desperate Dan charged Brook as if he was the one who scored the knockdown.  Brook avoided a wild right hook by Dan and countered with a short left hook that put a battered Dan down for the last time.  Dan beat the count but was in no condition to continue.  He could barely walk back to his corner.  Dan’s corner tried to revive him between rounds, but it became obvious that a minute’s rest would be insufficient.  The chief second informed the referee that Dan could not continue.

Brook, who beat Shawn Porter by decision for the title, shares Great Britain’s affection with fellow welterweight, Amir Khan.  A Brook-Khan fight would be a huge attraction.  “You know, I didn’t think I’d ever box again, and here I am filling up arenas,” said an emotional Brook during the post-fight interview.  This was Brook’s first fight since he was stabbed last September with a machete in the leg requiring him to get 32 stitches.  It was believed that Brook might never fight again, but here he was, seven months later, defending his title.  “Who does everyone want me to fight?  Do they want me to fight Khan?  Marquez?  Brandon Rios? Bring them on.  I’m world champion,” boasted Brook.  Who knows? He might end up fighting Mayweather or Pacquiao this fall.  One thing for sure, Brook makes the welterweight division that much more attractive.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at cliffb@puresportsny.com

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