Brook outguns Gavin, Joshua demolishes Johnson, Linares halts Mitchell, Selby dethrones Gradovich
IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) stopped challenger Frankie Gavin (22-2, 13 KOs) in the 6th round on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.
Unbeaten Brook completely dominated fellow Brit Gavin before punishing his opponent on the ropes with hard punches to force the referee to end the bout.
The champion took charge from the start with his jabs and combinations. Brook continued backing Gavin up onto the ropes in the third round with hard shots. But the challenger kept in the fight by skillfully sliding off the ropes to avoid further attacks.
Southpaw Gavin did occasionally fire back with his own shots, although he was soon retreating once again from Brook's explosive punches. The stoppage Brook was seeking arrived when he unleased a right uppercut followed by a straight right hand in the 6th. As Gavin was forced back to the ropes, Brook followed him and unleased a barrage of punches until the referee stopped the fight at 2:51 of the round.
Also on the card
British heavyweight contender Anthony Joshua (13-0, 13 KOs) scored a brutal second-round knockout of former world title challenger Kevin Johnson (29-7-1, 14 KOs).
Joshua's powerful punches dropped Johnson, who had never previously been stopped, twice in the first round. A assault of rights sent the veteran through the ropes at the end of the session.
The American survived the round but it took Joshua 83 seconds of the second round to finish the job, battering Johnson with more hard shots until the bout was waved off.
Johnson is past his prime and not the same fighter that went 12 rounds with Vitali Klitschko in 2009. But coming into this bout, he was expected to be Joshua's toughest test yet, having gone the distance with Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora in the last three years. But Joshua dispatched yet another opponent with ease.
Joshua has never been beyond three rounds in his 13 pro fights and is now set to step up in competition. Promoter Eddie Hearn promised a big-name opponent for Joshua when he fights on September 12 at the O2 Arena.
WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares rallied from a 5th round knockdown to stop Britain's Kevin Mitchell (39-3, 29 KOs) in the 10th round.
A clash of heads in the fourth left Linares cut on the side of his head and Mitchell cut above the left eye. Then the challenger sent Linares to the canvas in the 5th.
Mitchell landed some good combinations and took charge in the following rounds, until the Venezuelan started landing some solid shots in the 8th which drew blood from Mitchell’s nose and now the challenger’s left eye was almost swollen shut.
Linares piled on the punches and by the 10th Mitchell was forced to the canvas. When he got back to his feet the referee waved it off to save him from further punishment.
Welshman Lee Selby (21-1, 9 KOs) defeated IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (19-1-1, 9 KOs) by technical decision.
The fight was halted in the 8th with Gradovich cut above his left eye due to a clash of heads.
Selby had produced a masterclass and won by scores of 79-73, 79-73, 80-72.
The challenger connected with hooks and jabs while using movement to get out of the way of the Russian fighters shots.
By the 5th, Gradovich was bleeding heavily from a cut beside his right eye but continued to advance and started to land some punches. However, he was unable to build up any momentum in the 6th when he was staggered by a right hand.
Selby's fast combinations and evasive skills was dominating the action before a clash of heads in the 7th round opened up a cut above Gradovich’s left eye.
Gradovich was then stopped a minute into the 8th round after being inspected by the ringside doctor and Selby was crowned world champion.