Ross Burkinshaw

 

My battery is at 10% – if it cuts off that’s the reason!”.  Ah, the dreaded phone battery.  But then, this is Ross Burkinshaw that I am talking to, a man who has overcome far more significant issues than low power on a lithium-ion battery.  We made it in one conversation.
Burkinshaw (14-6-2) is a man who at only 28 is on to his second career and has experienced multiple lows to match his significant highs.  Prior to starting on the road to being a professional boxer, Ross had spent time in the army.  Then for six years from 2006, he broke a boundary and managed to hold down both positions, as he tells us:

“I turned pro in 2006, but was in the army until 2012.  I was the first serving soldier to be granted permission to turn professional (Ross was in the rifles).  I was Combined Services champion two years in a row – it meant I didn’t actually go back to my batallion until 2006, which is when I wanted to turn pro.  I moved back to Sheffield and got a civilian flat and trained at a civilian gym from then on.  Used to go to Catterick once a month and talk to recruits about my career – they used me for publicity, putting my face on billboards and the sides of buses around the country.  They would march out to the ring with me so it was great PR for them as well, they even got to march out live on Sky Sports.”

Professional boxer and part of the Army.  Ross sure knows how to pick the hard work careers.  But it is the kind of physical and mental fortitude that would have been drilled in to him during his army career that has helped him during his boxing career as well.  Two years after he turned professional, and having amassed for wins and a draw, Burkinshaw suffered his first loss.
“My shoulder popped out in 2008 in a fight against Abdul Mghrbel which was my first loss.” Ross tells me.  It wasn’t the last time that injury would disrupt one of his fights.  “I continued trying to fight with my left arm, but the ref had realised that my shoulder had popped out and stopped it.  I got back on a winning spree and then ended up getting beaten by Lee Haskins in 2009 for the British flyweight title.”
Over the years that loss to Haskins has proven to be perfectly respectable – this year the Bristol bantamweight picked up the IBF title against Ryosuke Iwasa.  Burkinshaw re-grouped, and picke up three consecutive wins before putting himself in a position to challenge for the British bantamweight title in 2010 against the unbeaten Craig Lyon.  The fight ened in defeat, and was the start of a difficult two years for Burkinshaw who suffered numerous injuries, returning to the ring in April 2012 losing to Michael Ramabelesta.  He then spent a further 15 months on the sidelines before fighting the talented Gavin McDonnell in July 2013.
 had been out 15 months with an injury.  My trainer at the time said it would be a good idea to move up in weight and fight Gavin for the central area title, but after having that period of time out of boxing, looking back in hindsight I shouldn’t have done it.”
McDonnell is another fighter that holds no shame in losing against.  Brother of former world champion Jamie, Gavin has an unbeaten professional record and is looking at world honours himself.  After the loss Ross went back to re-group again.  He put together a string of five consecutive wins, including one particularly impressive victory over undefeated Jason Cunningham of Doncaster.  Is it the what Burkinshaw would rate as his best win?
“It was my best fight – I have a 12 round war!  I was training for a fight in mid September and got a phone call on second September seeing if I would fight for the Commonwealth title.  I told them yeah no problem, then asked when it would be – this Saturday!”  Hardly ideal preparation to step in for a Commonwealth title fight – and it got worse when he found out his opponent.  “They told me it was against Jason Cunningham – I don’t really follow boxing too much any more, I’ve been in the sport 21 years and it can take over your life.  But I had heard of him, so I asked about and found out he was unbeaten, never lost a round and was English champion and former ABA champion.  I thought to myself why not, so I went out there and did it.”
Ross shows off his skills of understatement!  The fight was a war that went the full 12 rounds – Burkinshaw suffering a cut to the head in the 10th round.  At a weeks notice he had put an end to Jason Cunningham’s unbeaten record and captured the Commonwealth bantamweight title.  In his next fight he then did a one round demolition job on Benjamin Smoes of Belgium, in the process capturing more silverware – this time the WBO European bantamweight title.  But then injuries made an unwelcome return….
Challenging for his third different title in three fights, Burkinshaw was this time taking on Klaas Mboyane of South Africa for the vacant WBO Inter-continental title in Rotherham, not far from his home town of Sheffield..  Burkinshaw dominated the early proceedings, taking apart the overseas fighter.  3-1 up on the scorecards after four rounds things were looking good when Ross was unable to return for the fifth round – an issue with his elbow causing him too much pain to continue fighting.
“I felt that pain in my elbow.  But that’s boxing for you, I can’t change it and I will come back from it like I always do.  Injruies, losses, whatever – I always bounce back.”
At the time Ross was slightly less philosophical, talking of the potential of walking away from the sport.  “I was having a bit of a paddy!  I’m certainly not retiring, I’ve got a good few years left in me yet.”  For that we can be pleased.  Ross is still in possession of the European title, but vacated the Commonwealth.

No plans are in place for his next fight yet – “we have talked about October but it will more than likely be in November now”.  The former soldier now has his career in the hands of Dennis Hobson, a promoter who has done big things for a number of fighters from the North East.
“I’ve known Dennis since I was about 11.  I used to carry Clinton Woods’ belt to the ring for him and Dennis was Clinton’s manager and promoter.  I was signed with Frank Maloney as a promoter and Glyn Rhodes as my manager then in 2010 I moved on to Ricky Hatton.  Once I had got over all the injuries I wanted to look elsewhere – me and Glyn ended up parting company.  I ended up then training with Ryan Rhodes and had meetings with several manager and promoters.  I believe Dennis was the man for me.  Ryan (Rhodes) was one of my heroes growing up so I love having him train me.”

It sounds like Ross has got himself in a good place now mentally and physically.  Despite the loss in his last outing, there are some exciting fights available both domestically and further afield. I put some names to him – Jamie McDonnell, Lee Haskins, Stuart Hall.  “I’m up there with all of them.  Who knows what can happen.  I don’t like to call out other fighters or knock other fighters, but if the fights come along and my manager thinks it’s the best route for me I will take them.”
Holding the European belt gives Burkinshaw a number of options, never a bad thing as a fighter.  He can look to build on that title, consolidate it or come back for a fight in the UK.  “Before I have lost and had to come back at the very beginning, that doesn’t have to happen this time.”  Ranked in or around the top ten with a number of the governing bodies he is also able to pick from various routes.  The aim is still the same – to become a world champion.  “We are looking at the WBO route, but someone mentioned to me the IBO.  It’s not greatly appreciated in boxing but Ricky Hatton has been a champion, Klitschko, David Haye – there’s many boxers.  If it gets me a title then who knows?  I’ll go any route.”
That willingness to build his career down whichever route suits him will undoubtedly prove a benefit as Burkinshaw looks to re-build again.  This time he has a more stable base than before, less of a job to do to reach the aim.  Inuries have plagues this likeable Yorkshireman and possible held him back from achieving more in his boxing career to date – but if he can stay clear and get back on a good run then there are plenty of fights availableto him domestically and internationally.  Right place and right time are important to any fighter – Ross could be ue his lucky breaks soon enough.
Ross wanted to pass on his thanks to his sponsors for their continued support:
Worksop Timber Company
Juice To You
BFN Nutrition
Rhodes Asbestos
Alpha Plus

The Shefffield Star

Dream come true for ‘Smokin Shaun’

They calll him Smokin’ Shaun

And while Sheffield boxing has had more then its fair sharte of heartbreak recently, following the death of Scott Westgarth, the sport has certainly been a blessing for one city sports fans.

Shaun Barker, age 27, suffers from cerebral palsy and had to try and overcome movement diffieultiec in his daily life.

Yet he loves being put through his paces by trainer and former WBO European, Commonwealth and English champion Rose Burkinshhaw at the BossBoxFit gym in handsworth.

Shaun, who lives in Crookes, said he initialy heard about the gym from Support worker.

He tried it – and love it.

He saidthe exercise “helps me improve my disability and gets me out to meet people.”

Shaun, whose favourite boxer is Sheffield former world champion Kell Brook, added; “I enjoy keeping fit, Rose is very good at his job and favourite shot is left (hock.”)

Sheffield United and Sheffield Steelers fan Shaun isin training at Burkinshhaw’s gym in Richmond Park Rd, for a white collar boxing match at Rotherham’s New York Stadium on May 18, when he be in the ring to help raise money for Hallam FM Cast for kids.

Burkinshhaw said: “I take my hat off to this kid Shaun for not letting hid disability, cerebral palsy get better of him.

“His carer told it was his dram to box, so I thought to myself – why not? We can make this happen and it is a pleasures to help him achieve that.

“I’m told that he needs to build his muscles and we can do that, we are focusing on his legs and arms and doing eveything his movement.

“He came in walking with aid of a stick but we’ve got him walking without, around the gym. He loves it, Shaun will be in the ring first in our May show in Rotherham and he just car’t wait.”

Meanwhite, the nation’s boxing administrater are evaluting a new handheld brain scanner thst could be used by ringside doctors. The British Boxing Board of Control is supervising triald of the device carried out by the London Air Ambulance.

The scanner apparently detect brain bleeds with an accouracy of 90% ofien befor any symptoms suck as headaches becomes apparent. The move is being backed by Westgarth’s brother Adam. Who believes all profesional shows should have a scanner available.

Kell Brook

Amateur Career

Kell Brook have his fire at age 12 under the guidance of Brendan Ingle. At the end his amateur career, he has won 31 of his 36 fight, winning two Amateur Boxing Association of England Titles and two Nation al Association of Boys Clubs British Boxing Championships and a gold medal in the 4 Nations.

Professional career

Welterweight

Early Career

Brook’s first fight as a professional took place in September 2004 with a 6-round points victory over experienced journeyman Peter Buckley at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield. He would fight again four more time that year to end 2004 with a record of 5-0 in just four months. Brook went about learning his trade against a host of journeyman before getting the opportunity in June 2008 to fight for the British title having compiled a winning record of 16-0.

Domestic and regional success

The championships fight at London’s York Hall saw Kell Brook take on Welshmen Barrie Jones for the vacant crown. The fight was not without controversy however as the previous incumbent, Kevin McIntyre, had been stripped of the title after he sustained an injury and had to pull put his scheduled defence against the Yorkshireman. Brook ended up winning the vacant belt with a 7th round of Jones who has come in at relatively short notice.

Having won the belt Brook was then ordered to face the former champion and the bout took take place In Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall on 14 November 2008. Prior to the fight and referring to the bad blood that built up between the two fighter’s Brook said “Once I knock out McIntyre in style then they will be no question mark over who should be British champion.” When the fight finally did happen, Brook put McIntyre down three times in the first round to win by TKO to sent the Glasgow crowd home disappointed.

On 30 January 2009 Brook returned to the York Hall to meet former marine Stuart Elwell in a voluntary second defence. The fight again ended quickly when the referee stopped the fight in the 2nd round handing victory to Brook. He claimed to Lonsdale belt outright on 20 July 2009 when making his third defence against Prizefighter winner Michael Lomax. The fight, at the MEN Arena In Manchester, was on the undercard to Amir Khan’s world championship victory over Andreas Kotelnik and saw Brook win by stoppage in the third round. After the fight Brook said that he believed he was the best Britain but couldn’t say for sure until he’s beaten Chorley’s Michael Jennings who has challenged to a match-up.

On 25 September 2009, Brook pipped fellow champion Nathan Cleverly for the prestigious title Young British of the year, as voted for by the Boxing Writer’s Club. The vote was the closest in the history of the award with Brook claiming the honour by one vote over Cleverly who held both the British and Commonwealth titles at light-heavyweight. In winning the award Brook joined a list of boxers which included the likes of Ken Buchanan, John H Stracey, Barry McGuigan, Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe and Amir Khan.

Brook’s first fight of 2010 took place in Liverpool on 12 March 2010. The fight, for the WBO Inter-Continental title, pitched Brook against Poland’s Krzysztof Bienias, a man last beaten by Junior Witter in 2005 and with a run seventeen straight win. Brook collected his second career title when in the sixth round the fight was stopped by the referee following a dominant display by the Yorkshireman. Brook’s long awaiting fight against Michael Jennings was due to be next on 3 July 2010 until a rib injury forced the fight to be postponed for the second time. The fight, for Brook’s British belt was then scheduled to take place between Jennings and former Commonwealth champion John O’Donnell before O’Donnell pulled out and was then rescheduled between Brook and Jennings. Finally, on 18 September 2010 Brook boxer Michael Jennings at the LG arena in Birmingham. Kell won the fight in round 5 following a bad cut above the eye sustained by Jennings which the referee deemed bad enough to stop the fight. The win doubled ad Brook’s fourth defence of the British title and his first defence of the inter-continental belt. On 9 December 2010 Brook made his second defence of the inter-continental title beating Ghana’s Phillip Kotey with the referee waving the fight of during the second round. The win ensured that Brook kept his number on ranking with the World Boxing Organisation.

On 8 April 2011 Brook split from promoter Frank Warren and Joined the Matchroom Sport boxing stable under Eddie Hearn with Brook saying he was “really buzzing” to have joined the outfit. Hearn said that he was “excited adding Kell to our stable” which had also recently signed Jamie Jackson former amateur British light welterweight champion part-time technical coach now working in the engineering industry. Speaking of Brook he said “Kell ooze class and has that that something about him – in short he is going to be a superstar. Brook’s first contest for the promotional outfit was on 25 June 2011 at the Hillsborough Leisure Centre in Sheffield and resulted in a unanimous 12 round points decision against Lovemore N’dou, claiming the WBA version of the inter-continental title in the process.

Brook vs Hatton, Jones

On 17 March 2012, Kell Brook took his undefeated run to 27 fight be beating Matthew Hatton, brother of Ricky Hatton, on points in Sheffield. The scores were 119-107, 119-108 and 118-109 all in favour of Brook. In front of nearly 10,000 fans at the Motorpoint Arena, Brook added the IBF International welterweight title to his WBA Inter-Continental crown. Brook floored Hatton in the ninth round but could not knock out his Mancunian opponent. The fight gave record breaking viewing figures for Sky’s Fight Night Live programme it was also the most watched fight of the year in Britain. Afterwards he said on the prospect of facing Kham: “of course I want Khan, I’ve been banging on about Amir Khan, but I’m going to do my own thing and if that fight happens, it happens, and I’ll smash him. I want to fighting at the top table with elite fighters. I think I’ve proved I deserve to be there.”

Brook faced American Carson Jones at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on Saturday 7 July 2012. Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport promoted the fight with it being billed “Edge of Glory” as both fighters saw this fight as a stepping stone to shot at world title. The fight was shown on Sky Sport 1. The weigh in took place in Sheffield’s Winter Garden on 6 July with Brook weighing in at 10 ST 6 IB 10 oz (60.16 kg) and Jones weighing slightly less at 10 ST 6 IB 6 OZ (60.4 kg). Brook dominated however as the fight went on he began to the and Jones was able to land shots of his own. Brook’s nose was broken in the 8th round which made it yet more difficult for him come back into the fight. He was most floored in the final round but was able to hold on until the bell. Brook did enough in the early rounds to win the fight by majority decision, as the judge’s scorecards rend 114-114, 116-113 and 115-113 in brook favour. Brook was take to Hospital after the fight due t blood lose from hid broken nose.

Brook vs Saldivia

In August 2012 Matchroom Sport announced that Brook World face Argentinian veteran Hector Saldivia at the Motorpoint Arena In Sheffield on October 2012. The winner would that because the mandatory challenger for the IBF welterweight title held at time by Randall Bailey. At a packed weigh in the day before the fight at Sheffield’s Meadowhall Centre both fighters weight in under the 147 IBS limit. Brook started strongly knocking Saldivia down midway through the first round. The second round was very similar with Saldivia unable to deal with Brook’s superior accuracy and power. In the third Brook landed a solid well timed straight which sent the Argentinian to the flood again. This time he struggled to get up as his legs wobbled beneath him and the referee stopped the contest in the third round.

After becoming the mandatory challenger, Brook was set to fight Devon Alexander for the world title on 9 January 2013 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. However, Brook announced he had sustained an ankle injury and the fight was pushed back until 23 February 2013 and the venue changed to the Mosaic Youth Center on Grand in Detroit. Then Alexander announced he had a bicep injury causing the fight to be rescheduled yet again. However, Kell would later put out of the fight again re-injuring his ankle, with fellow Brit and Matchroom Stable mate Lee Purdy talking his place but retiring in the 7th round.

Brook vs Jones II, Senchenko

After the sag with Devon Alexander, Brook took a fight with Carson Jones in Hull on 13 July 2013, in a rematch of their original fight just over a year previously, which brook won a via a narrow majority decision. Brook took the early rounds of the contest looking for too powerful and quick for the American. Kell when on to win stoppage in the 8th round to take his record to 30-0.

It was announced shorth after the rematch with Carson Jones that Brook would next face Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on 26 October 2013. Senchenko had recently beaten Ricky Hatton forcing him retire for good from boxing. Brook said he was using this as motivation and wanted to “get revenge” for a British boxing hero and a personal within the sport. Hatton was ringside for the fight and spoke to Kell in the dressing room just prior to the fight. The opening and second round were very cagey encounters with neither fighter wanting to give too much away with Brook Knocked his opponent down with a powerful right with Senchenko taking the 8 count and continuing. Brook started the fourth strongly out boxing his Ukrainian opponent although Senchenko did unsteady Brook for a few seconds before Brook sent Senchenko back to the canvas with another right. Referee Shada Murdaugh concluded that Senchenko was in no position continue and Brook was declared by technical knockout.

Brook vs Porter

After beating Senchenko, Brook was one again the mandatory challenger for the IBF welterweight world title. Shawn Porter was the favorite to win and came out aggressively as he pressurized Brook, relying heavily on looping shots. Brook kept his composure, however, and showcased formidable defensive attributes, strength, and clean punching throughout the fight. Brook’s technical ability took over after the middle rounds as the straight one-two combinations hurt Porter. Brook defeated Porter to win the title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on 16 August 2014 by a majority decision (114-144, 116-112, and 117-111). Brook landed 158 of 441 punches (36%), mostly jabs. Porter threw 308 more power punches, In total landing 156 of 626 throw (25%). Porter felt as though he won the fight, “I thought that I was effective with my attack, but he was ready. I’m not giving any excuse. I wan a rematch. I’ll find him where he’s at. And I’ll take it from him”. Brook claimed he wanted the all-British showdown with Amir Khan. The fight did not generate as many viewers as expected, an average of 661,000 viewers on Showtime. The whole card averaged jut 514,000 viewers.

 Brook vs Dan, Gavin

Six months after sustaining a life-threatening injury, is was confirmed that Brook world finally make his first defence of the IBF title against mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan (34-2, 18 KOs). The fight took place on 28 March 2015 in Brook’s home town, Sheffield Dan became the mandatory after beating Kevin Bizier a second time in December 2014 via split decision. Brook came out landing straight punches. In round two, a straight right hand wobbled Dan. Brook followed up with a right uppercut than sent Dan to the canvas. Soon after, Brook landed two straight right hands, the first wobbling Dan and second creating another knockdown. In the fourth round, Brook threw a straight right and left hand that hurt Dan and followed up with a furry that corner subsequently stopped the fight in between rounds. The fight was broadcast live in the afternoon on Showtime in USA averaging 143,00 viewers and peaked at 166,000 viewers. A replay aired in the evening averaging 230,000 viewers, peaking 284,000 viewers.

On April 10, 2015 Matchroom Sport announced that Brook would be making second defence is the space of two month against British boxer Frankie Gavin (22-2, 13 KOs) at the O2 Arena on 30 May on Sky Sport Box Office with a strong undercard including Lee Selby, Kevin Mitchell and Olympic medalidt Anthony Joshua. The bout was known for being the first all-British welterweight world title fight. Brook successfully defended his IBF welterweight for the second time. Brook landed his jab from the start and picked up the pace as the fight went on, cutting of the ring and walking through his opponent.  Gavin remained defensive but did occasionally find success. In round six, Brook showed versatility a variety of combinations, mixing sofa and hard punched, while Gavin attempted to avoid trading. As Brook landed an uppercut however, Gavin exchanged a right hand, which was countered by Brook’s straight left hand. Gavin staggered back up to the ropes, and the referee stopped the fight as Brook threw another flurry.

 Brook vs Bizie

On 2 September, Hearn announced a deal had been reached for Brook to defend his title aganst Argentine slugger Diego Cheaves (23-2-1, 19 Kos) after deal could no be made with Broandon Rios. The fight was scheduled to take place at the Motopoint Arena in Sheffieldon 24 October, which would be Brook’s third fight in seven months. Brook praised Chavez ahead of the fight, “Chaves is a rough, tough, durable fighter who is dangerous. Ge’s bringing something to the table. He’s coming off a draw to Tim Bradkey, was ahead on the cards against Brandon Rios until was disqualifued and gave Keith Thurman a solid fight, so we know what level he has mixed at and how good he is.” the fight postponced and ultimately cancelled on 16 October after Brook injured his ribs during a sparring session. The rest of the still took place as scheduled.

In January 2016, is was announced that after nearly a year without fighting, Brook would make a third defence of his IBF title against mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier (25-2, 17 Kos) at the Sheffield Arena on 26 March. Hearn and Bizier’s promoter Yvon Miched agreed purse bids. Bizier became the mandatory after knoking out Fredrick Lawson in November 7, 2015 in Miami, USA. Brook stopped Bizier in the secound round. En route to landing ‘big fight,’ Brook rocked Bizier with a left to the jaw and he then further dazed Bizier with a series of hooks. After taking acount, Bizier did not look that interested in carrying on and Brook unleashed a combination that left canadian crumpled in a heap. This was Brook’s secound mandatory fight since winning the IBF in 2014. After the bout, Brook and Hearn talked about unification fight against the likes of Tim Bradly, Danny Garcfa, Keith Thurman and Jesse Vargas.

Jessie Vargas negotiation

It was annoubed on 12 May 2016 that negotiation for a unification fight with a WBO titleholder Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 Kos) where under way. Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports he had “offered a hugs amount of money” to make the fight happen and while he conceded Brook might have to travel to America, Vargas insists he is wiling to cross to Atlantic. Danny Garcia, thw WBC champion, was top of the list, but Hearn conceded the Vargas fight looked more likely. Hearn said the fight will take place 20 August, 27 August, or 3 September at Bramall Lane in Sheffield. Vargas confirned via his Twitter account that the bout is set for 3 September. Nogotiation fell through on July 9 for the unification title fight, when is was announced that Brook would be moving up two weight divisions to chellenge Gennady Golovkin instead.

Middlewegught

Brook vs Golovkin

On 8 July 2016, it was announced that Brook would face undefeated Unified Middlewegught titleholder Gannady Golovkin (35-0, 32 Kos). The fight took place on 010 September 2016 at the O2 Arena in Londom. Brook was scheduled ti fight bout against Jessic Vargas, Likewise, there were negotiation for Golovkin to fight Chris Eubank Jr. However, negotiation fell through and Brook agreen to more up two weight divisions to challenged Golovkin. The fight air in the United Stated on HBO and Sky Box Office pay-per-view in United Kingdom.

On September 5, the WBA withdrew its sanction for the fight. Although they granted Golovkin a special permit to take the fight, they that their titlr would not be a stake. The ranson for the withdrawal was becouse Brook had never competed in the middlewegught division. WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. Said, “What I most regrest is that there no boxers at 160 pounds who will fight against ‘Triple G,’ and Brook has to move up two divisions to fight against him.” The Golovkin camp were said to be disappointed with the decision with promoter Tom Loeffice saying, “somehow the WBA thorugh is was too dangerose for a welterweight to move up to middlewegught to fight the biggest puncher in boxing. I guess that is a compliment to GGG as they sanctioned [Adrien] Brook moving up two division [from lightweight to welterweight] to fight Paulie Malignaggi 2013, and Roy Jones moving up two division [from light heavyweight to heavyweight] to fight John Ruiz [in 2013] for WBA titles, and Kell Brook us undefeated and considered a top pound-for-pound boxer.

On the right, Brook was staggered ealy in the first round, but kept his composure, growing stornger as the round unfolded. In the opening rounds, he was trading blows with Golovkin, but suffered a damaged eye socket, and after punishment in the fifth, Ingle therw in the towel, losing by TKO. Despite this, Brook won many admirers for his spirited performance stepping up twp weight divisions to make the fight. Ingle confirmed Brook has gone through surgery successfully. Accoding to Compubox punch stats, Golovkin landed 133 of his 301 thrown (44.2%), whilast Brook landed 85 punched, having thorwn 261 (32.6%). Thre fighy was aired live on HBO in the afternoon and drew an average of 843,000 viewers and peaked at 907,000 viewers, This was considered to be a huge success for an afternoon showing. A replay was shown later in the evening as part of the world super flyweight title fight between Roman Gonzales and Carlos Cuadras. The replay averaged 593,000 viewers.

Retuurn to welterweight

Brook vs. Spence Jr.

In January 2017, Brook and his team in Amir Khan over a potental grudge fight, whils also keeping the mandatory fight Spence as sceond choice. Duting negotiation, Khan urged Brook to fight Errol Spence Jr. First and eventually talks broke doen between Brook and Khan. Eddit Hearn mentioned talks were already ongoing with Spence’s manger Al Haymon for a fight take place Possibly in the UK in May. Hearn reccived an extension from the IBF for negotiation between himself and TGB Promotions boss Tom Brown, as they were progressing. The purse bids for the fight wes set for February 7 by the IBF. On 1 February, Hearn Claimed that Brook will keeping his title and make the defense against Spence and that he had reached out to Spence’s team, to no replay. He assumed that they wanted the fight to go to purse bids. Spance said that he had no problem travelling to UK for the fight, reagardless of negotiation. With a deal close to being reached a day before the purse bids, the IBF granted a week extension, pushing the purse bid back 7 days. On 7 February a deal was reached for the fight to take place in Sheffield on 20 May 2017. At a press conference at Bramal Lane, Sheffield in 22 March, the fight was offcially announced to take place on 27 May 2017 live on Sky Box Office in the UK and Showtime in the UK.

In from of 27,000 fans in attendance, Brook lost his IBF welterweight title after being stopped in round 11. In a fight where mostly power shots were landed, Spence threw combinations to the head and more to the body, wearing down Brook. Brook did well working the counter, and landed his own shots to the body, but Spence come back with his own shots. In round 10, Spence, having Brook against the rops unloaded some heavy power shots, which caused Brook to take a knee. In round 11, before the fight was stopped, Brook motioned many times that he couldn’t see through his lefty eye and voluntarity took a knee, again counting as a knockdown. The referee started started the 10 count whith Brook counldn’t make, giving him back to back defeats and his first as a welterweight. His trainer Dominic Ingle was also on the ahead on their scorecards (97-92, 96-93, 95-94). In the post-fight interview, Brook credited Spence admitting he lost to the better boxer, “It was a very tough fight. I would say Spence is one of the best kids I’ve been in with, if not the best. I got caught in the seventh round, in the eye, and it felt like the same as in the Golovkin [fight]. Probaby not as bad as that time, but I was getting hit on it over the rounds and it was getting worse. The lest round, he caught me in it and I just stood there, double vision, and coudn’t see out of the eye […] so I had to stop.” Spance landed 246 of 633 punched throw (39%) whilst Brook landed 136 of 442 (31%). For the fight, Spence earned around £1 million and Brook earned a guaranteed £3 million.

The fight was show in the afternoon in the US on Showtime and averaged 291,000 viewers, and paking at 337,000 viewers. This was considered low number, even for an afternoon showing, possibiy due to being a hoilday weekend. Brook spoke to Sky Sport the following day and confirmed that a CT scen howed he had broken his eye socket, meaning he would likely have surgery.

Light-middleweight

On 30 May 2017, Brook admitted he may have move up to light-middleweight. Brook had successfully surgery on his eye in June 2017 and said he would srart training again in the summer looking to make a ring return in late 2017. On 21 November, promoter Eddie Hearn that Brook would moving up to light-middleweight in hopes to becoming two-weight world champion. In an interview, Brook stated that he would return at light middlewegught for the sakr of his health, however could still return to welterweight afterwards.

Eddie Hearn, in 11 December 2017, announced that Brook would return to Sheffield at the FlyDSA Arena on 3 March 2018 against former European Championship Seegey Rabchenko (29-2, 22 Kos) on Sky Sport. Rabchenko is known fighting in the UK on some occasions, most notably defeating Brook’s fellow gym buddy Ryan Rhodes in 2012. The WBC Silver light-middleweight title would be at stake for the fight. Brook weighed 153.4 pounds while Rabehenko weighed 153.4 pounds. Brook stopped Rabehenko in round 2 to claim the vacant WBC Silver belt. In round 1, Brook used his hab and right hand, with Rabchenko on the back foot laving himself open. In round 2, Brook hurt Reabchenko with a right uppercut. The shot wobbled Reabchenko, causing him to back up on unsteady legs. Brook then hit Reabchenko with a straight right hand to the head which put him down. Rabchenko slowly got to him feel at the count of nine, however clearly hurt, referee Steve Gray halted the fight 1 minut 27 seconds of round 2. “I’ve put everyone in the divsion on notice. It was all about getting timing right, and I was getting it right. Timing beats speed. I felt very comfortably. I’ve only gone up 10 pounds from yesterday. I needed to get back to wining ways. I’m back at it.” Along with Hearn, Brook stared he would put pressure on rival Anir Kham for a future fight.