Former IBF World Welterweight champion Kell Brook scored an impressive seventh round knockout over veteran Mark DeLuca on Saturday night at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. Brook, who was returning to the ring following a fourteen month layoff appeared a bit wary in the first two rounds and did not let his hands go consistently. This would change however, in round three where he dropped DeLuca with a short combination to the head. Despite appearing to be at a disadvantage in terms of hand speed and appearing to have suffered a broken nose, DeLuca was able to get up and the fight continued.
Although he was knocked down, DeLuca was more than willing to engage with Brook and did manage to have sporadic success throughout landing right hands to the head and consistently attempting to go to Brook’s body.The hand speed of Brook would show itself again toward the end of the fourth round when a barrage of punches seemed to have DeLuca in trouble and on the ropes, but he was able to survive the round.
As the fight progressed, Brook continued to administer punishment on DeLuca landing punches with both hands to the head and body. DeLuca remained very “Game” and never stopped trying to return offense. The end would however, come in round seven when Brook connected with a short left hook to the head that sent DeLuca down for the second time. With the effects of the punishment he had sustained throughout the fight clearly evident, the valiant DeLuca was unable to beat the count of ten and that concluded matters at 1:15 of round seven. Kell Brook advances to 39-2, with 27 Knockouts. Mark DeLuca falls to 24-2, with 14 Knockouts.
In an IBF Featherweight elimination bout, former world title challenger Kid Galahad scored a one-sided ninth round stoppage over former IBO World Featherweight champion Claudio Marrero. Galahad used effective angles and combination punching to prevent Marrero from finding a consistent rhythm throughout the fight. Although there were points throughout where both fighters were warned for what appeared to be roughhousing on the inside, Galahad never relinquished control of the fight and after nine rounds of accumulated punishment, Marrero’s corner informed Referee Howard Foster that they were pulling their fighter out of the fight to prevent him from further punishment. Kid Galahad advances to 27-1, with 16 Knockouts. Claudio Marrero falls to 24-4, with 17 Knockouts.
Undefeated Welterweight Anthony Tomlinson scored a ninth round stoppage of Stewart Burt in a British and Commonwealth elimination bout. Anthony Tomlinson advances to 12-0, with 7 Knockouts. Stewart Burt falls to 13-2-1, with 1 Knockout.
In a battle for the unified Women’s IBO/WBC Jr. Lightweight world championship, undefeated IBO world champion Terri Harper successfully unified her crown by scoring a ten round unanimous decision over longtime WBC champion Eva Wahlstrom Harper’s hand speed and lateral movement proved to be too much for Wahlstrom as she was able to out box and outwork the WBC champion over the ten round bout. The highlight of the fight came in the seventh round when Harper was able to score a knockdown of Wahlstrom with what appeared to be a body shot on her way to winning the fight on all three official scorecards. Terri Harper advances to 10-0, with 5 Knockouts. Eva Wahlstrom falls to 22-2, with 3 Knockouts.
Jr. Lightweight Martin Ward scored a dominant ten round decision over Jesus Amparan. The fight was dominated by Ward’s lateral movement and combination punching. Ward scored two knockdowns in the fight, the first from a right hook to the body in round seven, which was followed by another right hook body shot in the tenth and final round to seal the victory. Martin Ward advances to 24-1-2, with 11 Knockouts. Jesus Amparan falls to 16-2, with 14 Knockouts.
Also in the Jr. Lightweight division, unbeaten prospect Donte Dixon scored a fourth round stoppage of Eduardo Valverde. Donte Dixon advances to 3-0, with 2 Knockouts. Eduardo Valverde falls to 2-3-1, with 1 Knockout.
Heavyweight veteran Dave Allen scored a second round knockout of journeyman Dorian Darch. After an uneventful first round where Allen spent most of it standing with his arms at his sides, he exploded in the second round dropping Darch with a left hook to the head followed by several body shots. This was followed by a follow-up barrage that sent Darch down for a second time. Darch sat on the canvas for a few seconds before choosing to lay back and allow himself to be counted out at :53 of round two. Dave Allen advances to 18-5-2, with 15 Knockouts. Dorian Darch falls to 12-12-1, with 1 Knockout.
Unbeaten Super-Middleweight John Docherty scored a first round knockout over late substitute Pablo Mendoza. The tall and rangy Docherty dropped Mendoza with a flush left hook to the head at the end of the first round. Mendoza, who was substituting for original opponent Stanislav Eschner, staggered to his feet and stumbled into a corner pad prompting Referee Howard Foster to stop the fight immediately after the bell rang to end round one. John Docherty advances to 8-0, with 6 Knockouts. Pablo Mendoza falls to 9-4, with 9 Knockouts.
Undefeated Cruiserweight Callum Beardow opened the card scoring a four round decision over Pawel Martyniuk. Callum Beardow advances to 2-0, with 0 Knockouts. Pawel Martyniuk falls to 1-4, with 1 Knockout.
Three storylines emerged coming out of this card that will likely continue to be topics as 2020 continues. First among those storylines is the re-emergence of Kell Brook, who now as a 154lb. Jr. Middleweight could find himself in some intriguing bouts. Perhaps the most interesting possibility for the moment for Brook could be an encounter with former WBO Jr. Middleweight world champion Liam Smith, which would likely be a marquee draw in England where both fighters are based.
Similarly, the story of the unified Women’s IBO/WBC Jr. Lightweight world champion Terri Harper could likely see a move up to the 135lb. Lightweight division where a fight with current undisputed world champion Katie Taylor. In the expanding world of Women’s Boxing a fight between Taylor and Harper is not just one of the best fights that could be made between two of the top fighters in the United Kingdom, but in the sport currently.
For Kid Galahad, his victory over Claudio Marrero puts him back in position to challenge for s world championship. In his previous attempt at a world title, Galahad lost a twelve round split decision to undefeated IBF world champion Josh Warrington in June of last year, the lone loss in Galahad’s career. With Galahad once again the number one contender for the IBF crown, it creates the possibility of a rematch of what was a highly competitive fight.
Although what takes place inside the ring ultimately draws the most interest, there are times where the stories that follow the fighters themselves and the possible lead up to fights that could be made can be just as intriguing. The three stories that surround these fighters are no exception.
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