Kell Brook recorded a six round stoppage of Frankie Gavin in the second defence of his IBF World Welterweight title at The O2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Brook looked every inch a world ruler as he bossed his Birmingham foe from the off, and while the former World Amateur king gamely stuck with the Sheffield star, but in the sixth round the champion quickly ended matters with a brutal and sustained attack on the ropes.
Gavin actually landed a crisp shot of his own but Brook’s riposte shook Gavin to the core and the champion did not let him off the hook – not letting the 29 year old get out of his range and referee Steve Gray halted the contest with nine seconds of the sixth round to go with Gavin slumped on the ropes.
Brook took his unbeaten record to 35-0 and said that the best is yet to come as promoter Eddie Hearn revealed a late-August date for his third defence.
“There are many more things to come from me,” said Brook. “In the dressing room the adrenaline wasn’t running and I was excited. But it is a big show and I knew I had to go out and perform. I want big, big fights now
“You’ll have to speak to Eddie. It is getting boring now, me and Amir Khan. He doesn’t want to hear it. I have the title so why not come and fight me. Frankie had the cojones to get in a fight with me so I take my hat off to him.
“Frankie is very crafty and they smart in the ring so I knew he would be tricky for a few rounds but I knew it would be a matter of time until I nailed him.
“I know he won the worlds in the amateurs so I was texting my skills against him. He is a very talented boxer and I have just told him that.
“We were just about to put the foot down on the gas. We could see Frankie was tiring with some of the shots we were catching him with and I came up with a good shot and capitalised on it.”
Frankie Gavin added: “I am alright. I know what the ‘chocolate brownie right hand’ is all about now. He is strong, he is very good. I wasn’t going to go down easy and he caught me with a good two shots in the second round.
“I would have carried on then. He is a fantastic fighter but I will be back; I am really enjoying my boxing. I have lived the live this year better than I have ever lived it and nothing is going to change now. I will come back stronger.
“I have no regrets, not at all. I fought for a World title and didn’t disgrace myself, I did as well as I could. I will be back and hopefully I will have another shot soon.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn: “Frankie stepped up to fight one of the best Welterweights in the world and deserves a lot of credit. He has the European title to deal with as well. This is the stage he belongs but he came up against a very, very strong, powerful Welterweight in Kell Brook. He took shot at that is what this is about.
“It is deja vu, we did this in Sheffield nine weeks ago. Everybody wants Brook against Khan but what can you do? He is waiting for Floyd Mayweather but that fight isn’t happening in September. Apparently he thinks it could happen next May.
“It is a waiting game and it is disappointing for the British public because Kell Brook wants to fight Amir Khan. We get excited about it but lose the excitement when you can’t see it happening. We look on, we look at the likes of Brandon Rios, Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao. August 29 was pencilled in before Gavin, potentially at Bramall Lane in Sheffield – he needs those big fights and those big names from America to come over. At the end of august or beginning of early September in Sheffield we need to bring him a big name now.”
Anthony Joshua MBE became the first fighter to stop Kevin Johnson inside two rounds in an awesome display of power at The O2, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Joshua blasted away at the American from the off, hurting Johnson immediately and then flooring him late in the round. Johnson was down once again on the bell but gallantly came out for the second stanza – but he only managed 80 seconds of the round before referee Ian John Lewis spared the American – who had never previously been stopped – from further punishment.
The 24 year old Londoner made it 13-0 and 13 KOs in the paid ranks inside three rounds – and Joshua said he will be back in the venue in the autumn to cause more havoc in the Heavyweight scene.
“I come out here and perform in front of everyone who comes to support me,” said Joshua. “This is what it is about.
“I have travelled about so many places with Matchroom but The O2 is my home and it is filling up more and more every time.
“This is what I am here to do. My coach really drills me in the gym n it is only right the hard work pays off. I want to dedicate that to Mitchell and John Ryder. We all share a changing room. It is an individual sport but they are my stable mates. They will bounce back
“People say that guy will test me, this guy will test me. It is only going to get tough and I will fight tougher opponents, the game doesn’t stop.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn added: “That was devastating. We witnessed the future Heavyweight champion of the world. We have to do things right and we will progress him at the right pace. “He will be out in July in Manchester and you will love the fight we have here for September 12. He is a great fighter and he is Great British. We have a few names there but we will fill this place again. This guy is going to beat every single Heavyweight in the world. We have a chance for a heavyweight to fly the flag for Great Britain and let’s all enjoy the journey of Anthony Joshua.”
Jorge Linares successfully defended his WBC World Lightweight title in a helter-skelter clash with Kevin Mitchell at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The three-weight World champion was defending his belt for the first time but Mitchell looked set to take it from him, dropping the champion in the fifth, but terrible damage to Mitchell’s left eye hampered his attempts to win a World title at the third attempt, and when Linares dropped him in the tenth, referee Victor Loughlin stopped the contest with just three seconds left in the round – with Mitchell ahead on two cards and level on another.
Lee Selby ripped the IBF World Featherweight title from Evgeny Gradovich with a stunning display at The O2 in London, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Selby ran rings around the Russian champion from the off, peppering him with classy shots from all angles, picking off the relentless come-forward visitor at will and making him miss on his rare attacks.
Gradovich – defending his crown for the fifth time and coming into the fight as the IBF boxer of the year – sustained a bad cut by his right eye from an accidental head-clash and Selby’s constant heavy blows made that gash worse and worse by the round, with the referee halting the contest in the eighth round.
The fight went to the judges but the dominance of Selby was clear, and the judges agreed with cards of 79-73, 80-72, 79-73 naming Selby as the new World champion.
“I can’t explain how I feel,” said Selby. “I have been working for this for so long. I started boxing 20 years ago and had my first amateur fight 18 years ago. It means so much and I would like to dedicate this to my brother Michael who is always looking over me.
“When I go into a fight I go it to adapt. In for the first round I go behind the jab, see what they come with and I have that style where I can adapt. If I have to go forward I go forward or I can box on the back foot. I see what they come with, I listen to my corner and I box to my instructions
“I caught him and I wobbled him. I didn’t bother following up, I was going to break him down. He is a similar fighter to my last opponent Joel Brunker so I was planning on breaking him down but we had two accidental clashes of heads and that stopped the fight.”
Dave Ryan successfully defended his Commonwealth Light Welterweight title by stopping John Wayne Hibbert with a brilliant turn-around performance in a stunning show opener at The O2.
Ryan was dropped by Hibbert in the third round clipping short right and again in the fifth round from three shuddering rights to the body.
But the Derby man rallied instantly and turned the fight on its head, with a great seventh round rocking Hibbert but the he responds in kind before putting Hibbert down twice and giving referee Victor Loughlin no option but to stop the contest.
“I’ve got a big heart,” said Ryan, who takes Hibbert’s WBC International title too. “It was such a tough fight He caught me with a great body shot and I had had some rib problems, so that was hard to come back from. He hurt me in every rounds.
I’m taking my boxing more seriously now and I am working on my power, so it’s onwards and upwards from here. I will see what is out there.”
Scotty Cardle beat Craig Evans on points 116-112, 116-112, 116-112.
Cardle was on top in the early section of the bout but Evans was a constant threat in the fight, but the Lytham St. Annes man kept the Welshman at bay and was awarded the belt by four points on all three judges’ scorecards to bring yet another British title into Joe Gallagher’s gym.
“I knew I was going to go down to the wire,” said Cardle. “He’s a tough man and I have nothing but respect for him – I went into the last round thinking I needed to win it, it felt like that close a contest. I don’t think I slowed down, I just think he is a hard guy and he has got a great engine – but so have I.
“I am right in the mix but I am not going to speed things up too fast – we’ll talk defences with Eddie soon but I am going to enjoy this tonight.”
Nick Blackwell won the British Middleweight title at the third attempt, stopping John Ryder with a sixth round onslaught.
Ryder had the better of the opening half of the fight, but Blackwell rocked him with a big right hand and leapt all over the Londoner, hurting him immediately with a left and then pouring on the pressure to force Howard Foster to jump in and stop the action.
“I can’t remember the last time I cried but I couldn’t help it then,” said Blackwell. “I’ve worked so hard to get this belt, I always feel that I can come on strong in the late rounds. I don’t think John was in a position to defend himself but he’s a proud man and he wanted to fight on and so would I if the tables were turned.”