Brook Returns With A Bang, Knocks Out DeLuca
Fighting for the first time since 2018, there were questions surrounding the overall ability of Kell Brook. Would injuries and ring rust get in the way of his comeback? Inside the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, England, we ended up seeing a whole new Brook.
The former IBF Welterweight Champion dominated Mark DeLuca in front of family and friends, knocking him out in the seventh round to win his third fight in a row.
Brook (39-2) was a bit rusty during the opening rounds, which was expected. As the third round hit, however, something changed. Brook started to get hot, hitting hooks and combination shots. DeLuca (24-2) tried going above and below but Brook countered with combination shots. While Brook tried hitting an uppercut and didn’t land he still looked smooth. Rights and uppercuts broke the nose of DeLuca, and less than a minute into the third Brook knocked him down for the first time.
“The first few rounds were a little bit rusty,” Brook stated after the fight. “‘The Bazooka’ was very tough and durable, he was a very smart fighter. I had to chip away for a clinical finish. I think you’re always questioning yourself, but I believe in what I’ve been doing in the gym.”
Brook celebrated early following that shot, but immediately went back and pounced on an injured DeLuca. By the end of the third Brook was smiling at DeLuca, signifying he was back.
The rest of the fight was all Brook, as he just outpointed DeLuca every step of the way. Brook hit plenty of jabs and body shots, as blood was pouring out of DeLuca’s nose. “Bazooka” tried hitting his own shots, which landed, but Brook didn’t look like he was in pain. DeLuca was saved by the end of the round as Brook was dominating by the ropes.
Rounds five and six had more of the same results, as Brook hit curved rights to blast the head of DeLuca. Brook’s front-foot style was working as his dominance continued. In the seventh, DeLuca was pushed through the ropes but got back up. He should have stayed down as Brook ended it a few moments later with a vicious equalizer overhand shot to put him out for good.
Kell Brook announced his return with a BANG 💥 pic.twitter.com/XKRpy5aGfe
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) February 8, 2020
The loss ends DeLuca’s three-fight win streak. The win puts Brook back in a spot he was in prior to his knockout loss to Errol Spence Jr. in 2017: contender.
As far as the future goes, Liam Smith expressed interest in facing Brook after the fight. A fight against Amir Khan might be out the window, but Brook’s goal to become a double champion is still not far out of reach.
“He’s got the mind, the brain, and the engine,” said Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn. “It’s not too late for Kell Brook. I believe he can become a two-weight champion.”
Undercard and Main Event (2 p.m. ET, DAZN)
Kell Brook def. Mark DeLuca via KO (1:15 into round seven)
Terri Harper def. Eva Wahlstrom via unanimous decision ( 98-91, 99-90, 99-90) – WBC and IBO World Super-Featherweight Championship
Kid Galahad def. Claudio Marrero via stoppage (going into round nine)
Dave Allen def. Dorian Darch via KO (:53 into the third)
Martin J. Ward def. Jesus Amparan via points decision (100-88)