Kell Brook got out to decent start, but Terence Crawford offered a stellar finish at the MGM Bubble in Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday night. In round four, the 33 year old Crawford in the southpaw stance got to work with nasty tosses. Power in both hands basted Brook, and the Nebraska welter made sure he closed that show, upping his record to 37-0 (28 KOs) and retaining his WBO welter crown.
The timing: at 1:14 of the fourth, the dazed Brook (39-3, has been stopped by Crawford, Errol Spence and Gennadiy Golovkin) was removed from further punishment. He'd won the first two rounds on two cards, but then Bud got his fill of scouting, and down to bad-ass business.
Crawford spoke to Bernardo Osuna after. He said at the start he was wanting to find his distance. He then got busier, and that activity rate worked for him. Promoter Bob Arum stood next to Bud, interesting in that late in the week, we saw a story which laid out a rift between Bud and Top Rank. Arum said that Errol Spence and Danny Gacia will fight Dec. 5, and he'd put Bud in with both the same night, and it would make a helluva PPV.
Arum continued. He said Spence would try and avoid Bud as long as he can, because “he knows he can't beat Terence Crawford” He said Bud would whup Spence about as quick as he did Brook.
Bud to Osuna said he'd like to fight Manny Pacquiao next. Arum said the money was there for Bud vs. Pacman, and then COVID interceded. “Now, they've called us, and said if Terence is successful we'd like to resume talks,” and do Pacman vs. Crawford after Ramadan, in the spring 2021.
Brook spoke to Mark Kriegel after. He said he got caught with a shot he didn't see, and that's boxing. He said he'd rather go out on his shield, rather than an injury. And what about Bud? Brook said Bud has fast hands and knows what distance to be at. “Nobody has ever done that to me, in sparring (even),” Brook said. He said, indeed, he was in great condition, and yes, he could have been more relaxed, and perhaps gotten into a rhythm. He said Errol Spence, who he also fought, is really good, and so is Crawford, he didn't offer a compare and contrast. “I think that's the fight to make,” he said, and he didn't want to predict how Spence vs Crawford would go. “Terence is a great talent,” he said, in closing.
Brook is 34, and 4-3 in title fights, for the record.
The bout had a heckuva warmup act, with the controversial Joshua Franco v Andrew Moloney scrap. They'd done this before, and Franco got the win then. He got a “No Contest” this time, as the ref said an accidental butt caused the swelling on the right eye of Moloney. The commission reviewed tape for 25 plus minutes and stayed with the NC call. Twitter didn't agree. Franco held onto the WBA super fly crown after two rounds of fighting and a heaping parcel of controversy.
ESPN replays showed a couple real sharp jabs landing on the right eye, and we didn't see anything like a butt that seemed as telling.
Andrew Moloney said after, “They took this away from me. The injury was caused by a punch. I can’t believe this.” I was in control of the fight and on my way to a clear victory. I deserved this win. I landed 50 punches on that eye. It was not even close.”
Bob Arum thundered after, “This is an absolute disgrace. There was no headbutt. Andrew Moloney should be the new champion.”
Back to the main event…In the first, the challenger Brook showed good hand speed.
In round two, his jab was again sharp. Bud was righty and it wasn't where he'd stay.
In the third, Bud got busier. Then round four…Bud scord a knockdown. Brook ate a right, went into the ropes, but was buzzed after three follows. The ref Tony Weeks gave him a mandatory eight. He got worked against the ropes, and the ref Weeks hopped in with Brook still on his feet but out of it. Two mean rights, two clean lefts and Weeks saved the Brit from further damage.