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Brook survives toughest test of his career

ESPN staff
July 7, 2012 « Marray breaks British drought with doubles triumph | Chartbeat test »

Kell Brook survived an almighty scare to preserve his unbeaten record and advance his welterweight ambitions with a points victory over Carson Jones on Saturday.

Brook, hoping to move within one bout of a world title shot with a victory in Sheffield, had blood gushing from his nose from round eight in a contest that he never had his own way - the judges eventually getting him out of jail as they awarded him a tight victory, 116-113 115-113 114-114 on the scorecards.

"Carson Jones has won my respect tonight," Brook, struggling with his breathing, said afterwards. "It was a fight I needed, to dig in - if you don't get through the fight you don't win."

It was a result far closer than Brooks would have wanted, as the 26-year-old displayed the classier boxing credentials over the course of the 12 rounds but nevertheless appeared to be out on his feet as the final bell rang.

Much of that was as a result of stiff punch Brook took in the eighth round, one that left him with a suspected broken nose as blood streamed down his face for the remainder of the contest.

Jones tried to take advantage of his opponent's struggles as the momentum began to turn his way in the final rounds, but could not find the crucial punch in the closing stages.

"I think it was a close fight," Jones said. "Hopefully we can do it again, and make it right. I should have started a bit earlier and it might not have been as close.

"But I take nothing away from him, he's a great fighter."

Overall, however, Brook probably shaded the affair - and deserved the narrow victory the judges awarded him. He was the busier fighter throughout, but also the cleaner - throwing 616 punches to Jones' 528, and landing 193 to his opponent's 149.

The experience of Jones - the younger man, but with nearly twice as many professional fights to his name - was obvious at times, however, and Brook admitted afterwards that he learned a lot from the test.

Brook's promoter, Eddie Hearn, later confirmed that Brook would side-step a possible rematch and look to arrange a world title fight - but if that proves impossible will take a mandatory eliminator contest with Argentina's Hector Saldivia.

"There are things that need to be addressed. I'll come back stronger," Brook promised. "I think I've proved that I've got the heart - I stood my ground and did what I needed to do to get the fight."

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