In a bout that was billed as the War of the Roses, it turned out to be quite the opposite.
Kell Brook (21-0-0) vs Michael Jennings (36-2-0) was possibly the most anticipated domestic fight of the past two years, already having been cancelled due to Brook being put out of action with a virus. Many saw the fight as a very close match-up with nothing between the fighters, maybe giving Brook the slight edge due to his explosive style, and the devastating way in which he had despatched many of his previous opponents.
The one advantage Jennings held over Brook was his experience. Michael had previously fought on the world stage in a WBO title fight against Miguel Cotto, getting stopped in the 5th, but it was valuable experience nonetheless. Experience which Kell Brook didn’t possess.
The bout was an eliminator for Manny Pacquiao’s WBO title and was to be fought with the WBO Inter-Continental and British titles on the line, and would surely prove who was the best domestic fighter at 147 pounds!
Brook made an unusual but effective start to the fight, working well behind his jab, taking his time and not looking for the usual knockout punch, a sure sign of his respect for Jennings.
The fight continued in the same manner for the remainder of the opening round, and the first half of the 2nd, with Jennings scrapping on the inside, doing his best to keep Kell from exploding out of the blocks. Brook finally got his chance to show what everybody had been raving about when he unloaded at the end of the second, with Jennings walking onto a huge straight right.
Jennings started to come alive in the third and did some solid work with the jab. His movement was starting to frustrate Brook, preventing him from building momentum.
The fight continued in similar fashion in the fourth with Jennings yet again proving to be too sharp for Brook, who couldn’t seem to find his rhythm or his range. Jennings was showing signs of his experience at a higher level.
The bout seemed to come alive at the beginning of the fifth round with some nice exchanges until the fighting went to the inside. As punches were thrown from both fighters, Brook leaned back and threw a left uppercut, which in all fairness wasn’t very well placed, but glanced off of Jennings’ chin and grazed across the outside of his left eye, opening up a nasty cut. Immediately the referee demanded that the ringside doctor take a look at the cut, with the verdict being that it was too bad for Jennings to continue. The referee waved the fight off 49 seconds into the round and provided Brook with a TKO victory.
Kell was subdued in his celebrations as the fight obviously hadn’t ended how he would have liked, but one thing is for sure, the win has propelled Brook on to the next level, on to the world stage ready for a fight to claim the WBO welterweight crown!