After 10 years and 33 fights in the paid ranks of the sweet science, Kell Brook finally became the welterweight champion of the world on Saturday night when he outthought and outboxed defending champion Shawn Porter to claim a majority decision at the famous StubHub Centre in Carson, California.
For the first time in his professional career, the 28-year-old Sheffield star entered the ring as the underdog. In actual fact, many people anticipated a destructive knockout win for the man they call 'Showtime'.
In his last outing in April, Porter bulldozed his way through Paulie Malignaggi en route to a shocking fourth-round finish and the boxing fraternity stood up and took notice of the tank-like Ohio native.
Although Porter's demolition of the seasoned 'Magic Man' was both eye-catching and impressive, the result flattered him somewhat. You see, Porter knew that no matter what he did that night, whatever mistakes he may have made, Malignaggi simply couldn't punish him.
With that priceless knowledge firmly in his mind, he mugged the older and smaller man, with zero regard for what came back at him, to defend the title he had snatched from Devon Alexander (25-2, 14KO's).
Brook (now 33-0, 22KO's) was scheduled to do battle with Alexander on three occasions in the early part of 2013, before injuries sustained by both boxers forced the clash to fall by the wayside. In the Briton's absence, Porter (now 24-1-1, 15KO's) stepped in to shock the slippery southpaw and unexpectedly lift the red and gold IBF world championship belt.
Nobody has ever doubted Brook's talent. However, fans and pundits have often expressed concern over his commitment to the sport, his stamina and the level of opposition he had faced.
With the exception of a scary date with Carson Jones, Brook had had his own way with everybody he had stood across the ring from. That night he wasn't fit enough and he hadn't made the weight in the correct way.
After a sensational six rounds of beautifully brutal dominance, he found himself running on empty whilst trying to fend off an onrushing Jones who was still trying to win.
Brook scraped through his gut check and he rectified the problems that had turned an easy fight into an all out war.
In a later rematch with the hard American, Brook did the job that he should've done the first time around and scored a one-sided stoppage.
Date with destiny
After thrashing former WBA titlist Vyacheslav Senchenko and then Alvaro Robles in a keep busy dust-up, Brook found himself preparing for his date with destiny.
With three months of training at the famous Ingle Gym in Sheffield, in the baking sun of Fuerteventura and also in Las Vegas under his belt, the former British champion and IBF number one contender was literally in the best shape of his life.
Porter started fast with wild swings and ragged combinations on the inside, but the challenger remained calm and slammed the champion with stiff jabs at every opportunity.
Porter seemed to be stunned right on the bell that ended the opening stanza, when Brook landed a rapid one-two to the jaw.
Nevertheless, Porter is a supremely fit human being and, if he was indeed stung, he recovered quickly and maintained his fast start in the second session.
The first half of the championship contest was quite an even affair as far as momentum goes, but it was the visitor who was landing the cleaner and more technically correct blows.
Porter rushed in, as was expected, and he was naughty with his head, shoulders and rabbit punching - without warning or penalisation from referee Pat Russell.
As the fight grew older, Porter's electric work rate gradually became rather pedestrian, and the Englishman grew in confidence.
From being on the back foot for the majority of the fight so far, Brook found himself dictating the pace of the action from centre ring.
In the late rounds, Brook was superb and secured his maiden world title with a sound game plan, accurate punching and intelligent defence. Porter went from roughing up the unbeaten underdog with ruthless aggression and incredible strength, to being pushed back and manoeuvred around the ring himself.
When the final bell sounded, Porter looked a beaten man. And the judges confirmed that with scores of 114-114, 116-112 and 117-111.
There are no longer any question marks hanging over the head of Brook. He boxed at a good pace for the full 12 rounds without running out of steam, he took numerous heavy shots and he came through a few tricky moments.
'The Special One' also became the first British welterweight to win a world title from an undefeated American champion, in America, since Lloyd Honeyghan knocked out Don Curry in 1986.
The British fans are now calling for a blockbuster showdown with long time rival, Amir Khan, who was watching on from the Sky Sports studio.
Also on the bill, red hot British prospects, Luke Campbell MBE and Callum Smith, both claimed thrilling knockout victories on their American debuts.
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