Errol Spence Jr stops Kell Brook to win IBF welterweight title

"It was a tough fight and Spence is one of the best kids I've been in with, if not the best", Brook said, a notable statement considering he fought unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in his last outing.

Spence arrived in the United Kingdom with a lot of expectation, and he more than lived up to the hype by forcing two knockdowns to disappoint a partisan 27,000-strong crowd at Sheffield's Bramall Lane. But Spence always looked the busier, as Brook's left eye began to swell from the eighth round.

The 31-year-old sustained a broken right eye socket in the fifth-round stoppage loss which required surgery to fix and there were fears the injury, as well as coming back down to the 147lb division, could significantly hinder him, with even his promoter revealing he would have preferred his charge to campaign at light-middleweight.

"I'm ready to fight, it will be one for the books", Spence said.

'I remember the surgeon saying last time after the Golovkin fight I could have gone blind if I'd had one more round so I had that in my mind. "I live to fight another day - I'm gutted that, in front of my home fans, I've lost my belt". Later the deposed IBF king revealed: "They kept me in hospital till 3am where I had a CT scan on my eye". Cruiserweight Okolie, who looks very impressive indeed, and also won inside a round to delight the rowdy support and extend his record in the paid ranks to three fights undefeated. "He came to America to get the title and I came here to take it from him", said Spence. I really believe that fight next summer would make sense.

Why is Brook fighting Spence?

Spence turned Brook's left eye into a mess, and the champion was retreating after taking so much to the body.

Thunderous boos filled the stadium as the challenger from Texas, Errol Spence Jr (22-0, 19 KOs), made his way into the ring. Can he beat Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Terence Crawford? "I was a little bit off with my offense and defense, but I give Kell a lot of credit". This is what true champions do.

"I'm devastated. I knew from round seven that the eye had gone and progressively as the rounds went on".

Hearn refused to countenance the drop in weight as an excuse for the loss to the Texan, but, while Brook insisted in the immediate aftermath that he can still campaign at welterweight, his promoter thinks he should be moving up when he returns to action. You've got to take it away from me, rip it out of my hands.

  • Julie Sanders