Having written much on the possibility Kell Brook would discover he had too little soul left in his old dancing shoes on his return this weekend, I was delighted to see him look both powerful and dynamic in stopping the competent Sergei Rabchenko in the second round of their Super-Welterweight clash in Sheffield tonight.
In doing so the 31-year-old won the WBC’s Silver title at the weight, a festoon for which no plausible explanation for either it’s existence or significance has ever been committed to ink.
The finishing combination was precise and illustrated Brook’s quality and skill, a right uppercut brought down the castle walls of Rabchenko’s resistance and the right hook to the temple which followed captured his ‘flag’ and scrambled the signal between his legs and mind.
With many of the demons of his back to back defeats and injuries squashed it would be easy to press Kell to be rewarded with title shots, or for the long over due scrap with Amir Khan to finally come to fruition. However, with this win being his first in two years and with his punch resistance remaining untested, it may be wise to secure another progressive bout to ready his body, and mind, for the rigours challenging for a world title places upon its constituents.
Most important for this observer, who has interpreted every comment and facial expression offered by the former Welterweight champion as a sign of vulnerability and lost desire, was the entirely natural smile he wore in the thrall of victory. Too much of what was said in the pre-fight media tours sounded uncertain and cliched. Boxing is richer for Kell’s continued relevance and I hope he has meaningful fights before his time is up but, importantly, he remains engaged with the sport in some shape or form beyond that final bout, whenever that may occur.
On the evidence of tonight, it appears he has sufficient remaining, for that fight to be a little way off just yet. Welcome back Kell.
Feel free to read the news feed Sky created during the bout.