• Kell Brook v Hector David Saldivia

Brook rises to the occasion in title eliminator

ESPN staff
October 20, 2012 « Hardy to help St-Pierre prepare for Condit | Chartbeat test »
Kell Brook is heading for a world title fight © PA Photos
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Kell Brook will not be forced to retire in the near future after he defeated Hector Saldivia with ease in Saturday's IBF welterweight title eliminator.

Brook had promised to hang up his gloves if he lost to Saldivia, saying a shock defeat to the Argentinean would prove he does not belong at world level. However, the Brit was far too slick for his opponent in Sheffield, delivering a third-round stoppage.

The winner of Saturday's collision was expected to set up an IBF welterweight championship meeting with the victor from the meeting between Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander. That bout takes places in the US in the early hours of Sunday.

Brook entered the Saldivia contest protecting an undefeated 28-0 record, but 'El Tigre' boasted his own impressive CV, riding an eight-fight unbeaten streak into the ring, with an overall record of 41-2.

Brook started tremendously to instantly get his home support off their seats, landing an explosive right uppercut in round one that Saldivia did not see coming. The Argentine was dropped for a seven-count as Brook threatened to finish it early.

The bell only halted the storm for a matter of seconds as Brook came roaring out again in the second, thudding a right hook into his rival's jaw. The only blemish was a warning from referee Howard Foster for pushing Saldivia's head down, but that did not deter Brook from throwing his man to the ground when they next clinched.

Saldivia ended that second stanza with a flurry of his own, but it proved his last act as he got well-and-truly crumpled 28 seconds into the third. Brook, timing his shots superbly, waited and countered with a left jab that finished the fight for the biggest win of his career.

"I went back to the drawing board and got a nutritionist in and he has done marvellous things with me. It has been a team effort and I have done the hard work," Brook told Sky Sports. "I knew when I went out there I had done absolutely everything I could to get it bang on and look what we did tonight - we got a great result.

"We have had heart monitors on, everything has been with numbers and we have been hitting those numbers so when we go into that world title we are going to carry on where we left off - we are going to turn into a machine.

"Tonight I will be watching Randall Bailey - [Devon] Alexander fight with great interest because I get the winner."

Earlier in the night, Robin Reid's bid to win the vacant British super-middleweight title at the age of 41 fell short as Kenny Anderson delivered a fifth-round stoppage. Reid took a catalogue of heavy shots as Anderson moved in for the kill, and the referee rightly stepped in with the veteran out on his feet.

Anderson, the 2006 Commonwealth gold medallist at light-heavyweight, had been linked throughout the year with a rematch against George Groves, but the bout never materialised. Instead, he sparked the downfall of the former WBC super-middleweight champion with an uppercut that forced Reid to one knee, before keeping up the pressure for victory.

The pair entered into a wrestling match in the early stages, which ended with Reid being tripped to the mat - landing with a significant thud. He stayed competitive over the next two rounds but Anderson began to find his timing and the ending was unruly.

"I'm definitely happy now, definitely smiling," Anderson said on Sky Sports. "I'm absolutely delighted. It's been a long road."

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