Terence Crawford retains WBO world welterweight title, stops former champion Kell Brook
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) started slow but finished powerfully, stopping former IBF champion Kell Brook (39-3, 27 KOs) in round four at The Bubble at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV Saturday night.
The fight began tentatively. Both fighters showed respect. They jabbed. Neither landed much. Brook fired lefts to the belly and head. Both landed. His plan, to wait and counter, was working. Crawford connected with a short hook near the end of the stanza.
In round two, Brook’s jab continued to land. Crawford clipped Brook with a lead right. Brook’s left was causing Crawford problems. Due to this, he switched to southpaw but Brook likely won the round.
Crawford, still fighting out of the southpaw stance, shot out right jabs in round three. Suddenly, he was landing. Brook connected with a right, but ate two more jabs. Crawford, upping the ante, popped Brook with two rights, Brook fought back, but his jab wasn’t landing as much.
In round four, Crawford, in close, landed a snappy right hand that send Brook stumbling into the ropes - which likely saved him from going down. A follow-up combination wobbled Brook some more. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in and called the result a knockdown. Brook gave Weeks a look like, ’What the hell happened? Crawford advanced with purpose. He would end matters now.
The defending champion let fly with five head shots, buckling Brook’s legs and causing him to sag near the ropes. Weeks had seen enough and waved off the contest.
The time was 1:14 seconds.
“I was trying to gauge the distance and find my rhythm,” said Crawford. “Kell is a tremendous talent. He lost to the better man tonight.”