Brook sees off Senchenko to set up world title shot
Kell Brook (31-0) took a year of frustration out on Vyacheslav Senchenko (34-2), stopping the experienced Ukrainian in the 4th round on Saturday night at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.
'The Special One' certainly produced something a little out of the ordinary in his home city, a chilling right hand knocking down an opponent who had only been beaten once before in 34 fights.
Brook had beaten Hector Saldivia at the same venue just over a year ago in a final eliminator, only for his dream of a world title shot to be ruined by injuries to both him and current IBF champion Devon Alexander.
Attempting to put himself back at the head of the queue, he faced a man who had already broken British hearts once before, sending Ricky Hatton back into retirement last year in the Mancunian's own back yard.
There seemed a danger Senchenko could scupper Brook's best laid plans too when he caught him with a right hand on the temple. It left the crowd gasping as the 27-year-old seemed to momentarily lose his state of equilibrium.
However, all the blow effectively did was switch Brook into top gear. He responded in the true style of a champion, finishing the job soon after with some unerringly-accurate punches.
The jab - a punch he had used with great success from the off - teed him up for a huge right that caught Senchenko flush on the side of the jaw. He fell towards Brook, leading to him taking a couple more glancing blows in a dazed state, before eventually toppling face first towards the canvas.
The 36-year-old did well to rise off the floor in time to beat the count, but proved unable to convince the referee he was fit to carry on.
"I believe I made a statement," said Brook.
"Once I hurt him I knew I could take my time. Maybe I got a bit lackadaisical and ended up getting caught, but I thought to myself, 'I'm going to get you back for that', and I did.
"I got the jab working from round one. I just felt like I could hit him at will at times. I'm just happy that I got revenge for me, the fans and Ricky (Hatton).
"I've just stopped a world-class fighter - nobody is going to stop me. I want the best out there, so bring on whoever you want to bring on. I'm ready."
Promoter Eddie Hearn revealed afterwards that while a clash with Alexander, who is due to defend his title against Shawn Porter in November, is the team's first choice, they have already discussed other possible options.
"We've been working on a few bits as well, so we have got options," he said. "Everybody wants the fight between Kell and Amir Khan, and Adrien Broner is a fight we'd love to get over here as well.
"One thing I know for sure - nothing is going to stop Kell Brook from becoming a world champion. He's had a rough, rough ride and people have given him stick, but nothing will stop him."