Kell Brook has propelled himself to superstar status in the boxing community after finally fulfilling his dream of becoming a world champion.
You have to know the story of the past couple of years of Brook's life to understand just how significant an achievement this is for the Sheffield man.
Brook has had three world title fights against the former IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander cancelled due to injuries on both sides. The boxer fell into a dark place following these disappointments and considered giving up the sport.
Thankfully for fight fans and Brook himself he was able to overcome his struggles and has remained undefeated coming into this fight with Shawn Porter with an impressive 32-0 record.
Porter, aged 26, became the world champion last year with an upset victory over the aforementioned Devon Alexander.
Porter then defended his belt in emphatic fashion against the veteran Paulie Malignaggi. He was in destructive form and was utterly dominant. Porter dismantled Malignaggi via TKO in the fourth round.
This performance gave Porter the reputation of being a hugely dangerous boxer and many labelled him as a mini version of Mike Tyson with his all-action style and undefeated record.
Most felt that Porter would prove too much for the slick Brook and that he would knock him out. The general consensus was that Porter had been in with the higher level of opponent so far in his career and that this would be a massive step up for Brook.
The vast majority wrote off Brook coming into this fight in Carson, California and early on it appeared as though the doubters were to be proved right.
Porter's pace was relentless in the early rounds as he kept coming forward looking to land big shots. He kept on trying to bully Brook around the ring but failed to land clean shots consistently.
Brook looked solid but was landing single shots early on and in his home country Porter seemed to be claiming the early rounds with his higher work rate.
The more the fight went on the more Brook began to land the cleaner punches. Brook seemed to be the stronger man after the half way point and was slowly but surely busting up Porter's face.
Porter looked exhausted but to his credit kept up the pressure but he had to resort to bursts of action rather than the all-out aggression present earlier on.
Brook won most of the later rounds and with the final bell bringing the fight to a close there was a sense of belief that Brook had done enough to edge a tight win.
Brook was given the victory via a majority decision with the scores of 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112. The 117-111 scorecard looks unfair on Porter and it was a tighter affair than that score reflects.
Euphoria for Brook
Just how much this victory meant to Brook was obvious, as he fell to the canvas in ecstasy at finally achieving his dream. He has proved to the world that he is a truly world class boxer and he has now completely changed his life.
There is nothing better in sport than to see a man who has overcome adversity and been written off travel to an opponent's back yard and achieve his ambitions in life. Brook has proved the many doubters wrong and well done to him.
Brook is now one of the three welterweight champions along with legends Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The Brit is in line for some huge match-ups, with names like Keith Thurman, Juan Manuel Marquez and of course Amir Khan all mentioned.
Brook vs Khan
The fight the boxing fans want is most certainly against Khan. Khan and Brook have been rivals for a long time now and with Brook now a world champion there would appear no reason why the two cannot face off.
The fight would be huge in Britain and it would definitely fill a football stadium. Both men are supremely talented and picking a winner would be extremely tough. That is exactly why the fans would take to this fight.
The fight would be one which would transcend the normal boundaries of our sport and would attract attention from the wider public and casual boxing fans much like that of Carl Froch and George Groves.
Whatever is next for Brook one thing is for certain, he will be involved in a huge fight. He has shown the world that he is indeed a special fighter in a performance in which he wasn't able to exert his usual fluidity but was able to adapt to get the job done.
Brook himself told Sky Sports: “It’s been a long time coming.
“It was a tough, tough fight. I needed to dig in at times, but I trained hard for this fight. I’ve come over here, to his back yard, from little old England and I’m the new champion.
“I’m not a judge, but I felt in control. I felt like I was catching him with the cleaner shots. He was trying to be rough, hit me on the back of the head, but I did what I needed to do.
“When the bell rings you can always feel if you’ve won or not. I did feel that it was close, but I knew that I’d nicked it.
“It was a scrappy fight. But I did what I had to do and now I’m champion of the world.”
It made for brilliant viewing to be sat there in the middle of the night watching a new world champion crowned and to see just how much it meant to him.
I am proud to say that I was one of the few writers to predict a win for Brook in this fight and I congratulate him on a job very well done.
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