By Rich Lopez
Boxing was back in Sheffield, England and it marked the return of former welterweight champion Kell Brook. The main event and a four fight undercard was streamed on DAZN and promoted by Matchroom Boxing. After a fourteen month layoff and now campaigning in the super welterweight division, Brook gave his fans a warm welcoming.
In the main event, Kell “Special K” Brook (38-9, 27 KO’s) of Sheffield, England stopped Mark “The Bazooka” DeLuca (24-2, 13 KO’s) of Quincy, Massachusetts, in the seventh round. It has been a long layoff for Brook and it was apparent in the first round. Both fighters felt each other out. Brook was coming forward and studying his opponent, while DeLuca was looking to counter punch. The action picked up in round two. Brook started to let his hands go and landed a few straight punches to the head of DeLuca. Finally after shaking the rust off, Brook got going in the third round. Brook landed a right hand that hurt DeLuca. Brook then landed a right hook and a left hook that dropped DeLuca. A bloodied DeLuca got up and finished the round. DeLuca, who is an ex-Marine, was tough as they come. He stayed strong and was fighting hard in the fourth round. Brook took his time but then landed a flurry of punches to the head of Deluca. Brook continued working combinations to the head of DeLuca in round five. DeLuca at times would land a nice body shot on Brook but he was more on the defensive. In round six, Brook sensing his man was wearing out, landed a barrage of punches on DeLuca. In round seven, Brook landed a hard right hand that hurt DeLuca. DeLuca decided to trade with Brook. As the fighters exchanged punches, Brook landed a stiff left jab that connected and dropped DeLuca. DeLuca was on his back and then started to get up slowly. However, the ref counted him out and the time of the stoppage was 1:15 of the seventh round.
Brook got the win and the knockout he was looking for. It remains to be seen how far he will go in the super welterweight division. He is aiming for a world title shot and his chances are good. As of now, the super welterweight has good talented fighters and there is no lineal champion as of yet. Brook’s comeback win today will put him in the mix with fighters such as Jeison Rosario, Jarrett Hurd, and Jermell Charlo.
In the co-feature, the WBC World Female Super Featherweight Championship changed hands. Local favorite Terri Harper (10-0, 5 KO’s) of Yorkshire, England earned a ten round unanimous decision and dethroned Eva Wahlstrom (23-2-2, 3 KO’s) of Finland. The first round was a feel out for both fighters. Harper seemed to edge the round by being a little busier of the two fighters. Wahlstrom came forward in round two but she was being out boxed by Harper. Round three was closer as Wahlstrom got in the inside and landed a right hand followed by a left hook on the chin of Harper. Wahlstrom got busier in rounds four and five. She did a better job of timing Harper with good counter right hands. In round six, Wahlstrom connected with a good right hook in the inside and was getting the better of the exchanges. After six rounds, the fight was even but then Harper stepped it up. In round seven, Harper dropped Wahlstromwith a quick right hand that caused a flash knockdown.Wahlstrom got up and decided to trade with Harper but was being outgunned. Towards the end of round eight, Harper landed a huge left hook that hurt Wahlstrom. At this point, Harper took over the fight. She decided to move and outbox Wahlstrom in rounds nine and the final tenth round. Harper was the winner after ten rounds with scores of 98-91 and 99-90 (twice).
Harper just added herself as one of the top female fighters by winning the WBC World Female Super Featherweight Title.
In an IBF Featherweight Title Eliminator bout, Kid Galahad (27-1, 16 KO’s) of Sheffield, England impressively stopped Claudio“The Matrix” Marrero (24-4, 17 KO’s) of the DominicanRepublic, in the eighth round. Galahad got to a good start immediately in the opening round. He was the busier of the two fighters and landed quick punches to the head of Marrero. In round two, Marrero started the round fast throwing a flurry of punches to the body of Galahad. In an exchange, both fighters landed hooks on each other. Galahad finished the round strong. Galahad was sticking and moving and landed straight punches to the head of Marrero in round three. Marrero picked up the pace in round four. He backed up Galahad with a good right hand. Galahad would once again finish the round strong. In rounds five and six, Marrero was looking frustrated as he could not land any good shots on the elusive Galahad. Galahad showed good speed and movement. In round seven, Marrero was stunned by a right hand from Galahad. Marrero was looking more tired and he was bleeding from his nose. Marrero took more of a beating in round eight as Galahad was landing hard punches at will. When the round ended, the corner of Marrero saw enough and made a decision to stop the fight.
Galahad’s only blemish on his record was to IBF Featherweight champion Josh Warrington in close contest. With this win, Galahad once again earns another title shot against IBF champion Josh Warrington. Expect a rematch soon between those two fighters.
In a six round heavyweight bout, David “White Rhino” Allen (18-5-2, 15 KO’s) of Doncaster, England, stopped Dorian Darch(12-12-1, 1 KO) of Aberdare, England, in the third round. Allen started the opening round coming forward with hands down and switching stances. Neither fighter did much in the round. In round two, Allen invited Darch to stand and trade with him but there was not much action going on in the round. Allen finally decided to let his hands go in round three. Allen wobbled Darchwith a left hook. Allen then landed a few body shots that dropped Darch. Darch got up but then went down again with head shots from Allen. Darch stayed down and did not want anymore. The time of stoppage was 53 seconds of the third round.
The opening bout of the telecast was a ten round super featherweight bout. Martin “Wardy” Ward (24-1-2, 11 KO’s) of Leeds, England, outworked Jesus Amparan (16-1, 14 KO’s) of Mexico, to earn a ten round unanimous decision. The best round for Amparan was the opening round. As Ward focused on boxing and moving, he was caught by a right hand from Amparan that staggered him. Ward grabbed Amparan and backpedaled the remaining round. After regaining his composure, Ward put on a boxing exhibition for the remainder of the fight. In rounds two and three, Ward boxed well moving side to side. Ward was teeing off on Amparan with straight right hands and uppercuts. Amparan picked up his pace in rounds four and five, but was too slow for the quicker Ward. Amparanlooked more frustrated in round six as Ward continued to counter punch him effectively. Ward dropped Amparan in round seven with a straight right hand to the body. Amparan got up and Ward went back to the body. From rounds eight to ten, Ward went back to boxing and focused on his counter punching. The tough Mexican hung in tough but was outclassed. The referee scored the fight a shut out with a score of 100-88 for Ward.