Kell Brook dominates Jo Jo Dan in welterweight title defense
Defending his IBF welterweight title for the first time, Kell Brook knocked down challenger Jo Jo Dan four times en route to a technical knockout victory after his opponent’s corner stopped the bout after the fourth round. Brook successfully defended the title in front of his hometown crowd at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England (broadcast on Showtime).
It was a special event for “The Special One.” It was not only his homecoming fight after beating Shawn Porter in the United States to win the title but just one month later in September, Brook’s life was in jeopardy when he was stabbed four times while on vacation in Tenerife by a machete-yielding lunatic.
The serious injury to his leg cut short Brook’s homecoming, originally slated for November, so the anticipation for kept building for not only him but his UK fans. Brook relished the moment as he made his appearance in front of the capacity crowd of around 14,000 passionate fans. With the lights off and basking in a spotlight on him, Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” blared throughout the arena.
It was clearly an emotional moment for Brook but once in the ring, he was ready for whatever his mandatory challenger brought to the table. Both he and Dan were tense to begin but Brook eventually found a home for his lead left hand toward the end of the first. Forty seconds into the second round, Brook landed a big right hand that stunned Dan and an uppercut then dropped him. After he withstood referee Earl Brown’s 10-count, Dan, on wobbly legs was dropped by a straight right hand seconds later.
Dan just survived the round by buying time, as he clinched his way helplessly until the end of the round. The same went on for much of the third but Dan eventually found his legs to kick off the fourth. Just when you’re about to give credit to Dan, who seemed to have been winning the round, he was dropped from an uppercut with about 30 seconds remaining in the round. Brook smelled blood and in sync with the bell ending the round, dropped Dan again with a check left hook.
Dan survived the 10-count for the fourth time in the fight but between the rounds, he and his corner both indicated that enough was enough. Conceding was a smart decision for Dan and his team because it was Brook’s night to shine and he fought magnificently on an emotional night. “I’m back baby!” Brook shouted proudly in his distinct English accent in the post-fight interview. He and his promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, played up a potential super-fight with fellow UK welterweight Amir Khan. An obvious fight to be made and one that could come in June, which is right around the time in which Brook said he plans on returning to the ring.
Through all that has happened in the past few months, Brook, 34-0 (23), seems unbreakable and that’s exactly what this fight was billed as. He’s won by way of knockout in five of his past six fights and the only victory that wasn’t a stoppage against Porter last August. Dan, 34-3 (18), isn’t the first contender one may think of in the talent-rich 147-pound division but the fact is, the Romanian-Canadian National had never been beaten in this fashion in his entire career.