Ezekiel Kell Brook is a British professional boxer. He held the IBF welterweight title from 2014 to 2017, and has challenged once for the unified WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight titles in 2016. At regional level he held the British welterweight title from 2008 to 2010. In May 2017, Brook was ranked as the world’s best active welterweight by The Ring magazine. As of August 2020, he is ranked as the world’s third best active light-middleweight by BoxRec.
Brook had his first amateur fight at age 12 under the guidance of Brendan Ingle. At the end of his amateur career, he had won 31 of his 36 fights, winning two Amateur Boxing Association of England titles and two National Association of Boys Clubs British Boxing Championships and a Gold medal in the 4 Nations. An early inspiration for Brook was Naseem Hamed, who was also trained by Ingle at the same Wincobank gym.
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 times 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 journeymen before getting the opportunity in June 2008 to fight for the British welterweight title having compiled a winning record of 16-0.
Domestic and regional success: The championship fight at London’s York Hall saw Kell Brook take on Welshman Barrie Jones for the vacant title. 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 out of his scheduled defence against the Yorkshireman. Brook ended up winning the vacant title with a seventh-round technical knockout of Jones who had come in at relatively short notice.
Miscellaneous wins: On 17 March 2012, Kell Brook took his undefeated run to 27 fights by beating Matthew Hatton, brother of Ricky Hatton, by UD 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 title. Brook floored Hatton in the ninth round but could not knock out his Mancunian opponent. The fight gave record breaking viewing figures for Sky Sports’ Fight Night Live programme as well as being the most watched fight of the year in Britain.
Brook vs. Alexander cancellation: After becoming the mandatory challenger, Brook was set to fight Devon Alexander for the world title on 19 January 2013 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. 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 Masonic Temple in Detroit, Michigan. Then Alexander announced he had a bicep injury causing the fight to be rescheduled yet again to 18 May 2013 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Brook vs. Jones II: After the saga with Devon Alexander, Brook took a rematch with Carson Jones in Hull on 13 July 2013. Brook took the early rounds of this contest looking far too powerful and quick for the American. Brook went on to win by eighth-round TKO to take his record to 30–0. It was announced shortly after the rematch with Jones that Brook would next face Vyacheslav Senchenko at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on 26 October 2013. Senchenko had recently beaten Ricky Hatton, causing him to 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 friend within the sport.
Brook vs. Porter: After beating Senchenko, Brook was once again the mandatory challenger for the IBF welterweight title and faced newly crowned champion Shawn Porter on 16 August 2014 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Porter was the favorite to win and came out aggressively as he pressurised Brook, relying heavily on looping shots. Brook kept his composure, however, and showcased his 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 vs. Dan: Six months after sustaining a life-threatening injury, it was confirmed that Brook would finally make the first defence of his IBF title against mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan. The fight took place on 28 March 2015 in Brook’s home town, Sheffield. Dan became the mandatory after beating Kevin Bizier in December 2014 via split decision. Brook came out landing straight punches. In round two, a straight right hand wobbled Dan.
Brook vs. Bizier: On 2 September 2015, Hearn announced a deal had been reached for Brook to defend his title against Argentine slugger Diego Chaves, after a deal could not be made with Brandon Rios. The fight was scheduled to take place at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on 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 very dangerous.
Jessie Vargas negotiations: It was announced on 12 May 2016 that negotiations for a unification fight with WBO titleholder Jessie Vargas were under way. Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports he had offered a huge amount of money to make the fight happen and while he conceded Brook might have to travel to America, Vargas insisted he was willing to cross the Atlantic. Danny García, the WBC champion, was top of the list, but Hearn conceded the Vargas fight looked more likely.
Brook vs. Golovkin: On 8 July 2016, it was announced that Brook would face undefeated, unified WBA, WBC, IBF, and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. The fight took place on 10 September 2016 at the O2 Arena in London. There were negotiations for Golovkin to fight Chris Eubank Jr. However, negotiations fell through and Brook agreed to move up two weight divisions to challenge Golovkin. The fight aired in the US on HBO and on Sky Box Office pay-per-view in the UK.
Return to welterweight
Brook vs. Spence Jr: In January 2017, Brook and his team were in talks with Amir Khan over a potential grudge fight, whilst also keeping the mandatory fight with Errol Spence Jr. as second choice. During negotiations, Khan urged Brook to fight Spence first and eventually talks broke down between Brook and Khan. Eddie Hearn mentioned talks were already ongoing with Spence’s manager Al Haymon for a fight to take place possibly in the UK in May. Hearn received an extension from the IBF for negotiations between himself and TGB Promotions boss Tom Brown, as they were progressing.
Light-middleweight: On 30 May 2017, Brook admitted he may have to move up to light-middleweight. Brook had successful surgery on his eye in June 2017 and said that he would start training again in the summer looking to make a ring return in late 2017. On 21 November, promoter Eddie Hearn announced that Brook would be moving up to light-middleweight in hopes of becoming a two-weight world champion. In an interview, Brook stated that he would return at light-middleweight for the sake of his health, however could still return to welterweight afterwards.
Brook vs. Rabchenko: Eddie Hearn, on 11 December 2017, announced that Brook would return to Sheffield at the FlyDSA Arena on 3 March 2018 against former European champion Sergey Rabchenko on Sky Sports. Rabchenko is known for 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 vs. Zerafa: In early October 2018, it was reported that Brook and Khan had made some progress in their ongoing negotiations. With Brook stating that 147 pounds would not be an issue, Khan demanded they include a 10-pound rehydration limit, which meant neither boxer could weigh over 157 pounds on the morning of the fight. Brook rejected the idea and insisted they fight at catchweight.
Outside of boxing
Brook has been involved in two stabbing incidents, the first in Sheffield in 2007. Secondly, on 4 September 2014, whilst on holiday with his pregnant wife in Tenerife, Brook was stabbed in the leg, in what he said was an unprovoked attack. The incident took place around 2 a.m. local time at Golf del Sur in San Miguel de Abona. A spokeswoman stated that he had lost a lot of blood.
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