Brook outclasses Jackiewicz, targets Berto, Khan

By Leo Ashworth: I haven't written for ESB for some time due to commitments with my partner Lesley and our new family - our first child, a beautiful daughter named Caitlin, was born in April and we moved home just yesterday. Having endured two of life's most stressful, and rewarding, experiences I settled down in our new living room to watch fellow Deedar Bleeder (ask somebody from Sheffield) and rising star of British boxing, Kell Brook, tackle Poland's tough, unstopped in fact, Rafal Jackiewicz in a final eliminator for a shot at the WBA Welterweight title.

It occurred to me as the fighters made their entrances that my last fight report for ESB was Brooks' 2nd round demolition of Kevin Elwell back in 2009 so I decided to make some notes as I watched the action and share my views on the fight with you, the ESB readership. So, to the action...

Having entered the ring to rapturous applause from a large home crowd at Sheffield's Ponds Forge International Arena, Brook wasted little time in taking centre ring straight from the opening bell. The first couple of minutes passed largely without incident, to be expected in view of the fight's status as a WBA final eliminator. Brook however, looked extremely focused using a sharp jab to control the distance whilst appearing poised to capitalize on any mistake from the pole. Jackiewicz for his part appeared happy to stand just out of range with a compact high guard intent on countering his opponent though seemingly a little unsettled by the speed and movement of Brook. When the pole finally did throw a couple of shots late in the round it was he who was countered. Kell Brook 1 – 0 Rafal Jackiewicz.

As the fighters came out for round two the Pole showed little more than he had in the first as he was clearly struggling with the somewhat unorthodox style of Brook who also appeared to have a clear edge in speed of hand, foot and thought. Brook, realising that nothing was coming back from the Pole, started to put a couple of punches together in this round, clearly warming to the task at hand and realising this may not be the war of attrition he'd no doubt prepared for.

The third round rolled by in what was now clearly the pattern the whole bout would take. A pattern that I noted reminded me of one of those football training sessions of attack vs defence. While Jackiewicz continued to follow the more agile Brook around with little conviction it was clear he was quite bemused as to how he could pressure the Sheffield man. Late in the round Brook uncorked his first uppercut and Jackiewicz must have been extremely grateful as it whistled by his left temple with perhaps a scuffing connection on it's way by. The round again fizzled out.

Jackiewicz was clearly out of his depth and as the bell sounded to start the fourth the talented Yorkshireman was putting on a virtuoso performance and ready to take this chance to show his hometown crowd and the Sky cameras some of his arsenal. The man christened Ezekiel appeared intent on bringing some Fireworks of his own in fact. Very visibly he stepped up the pace from the start of the round as if he realised he could stop the Pole with little risk if he started to batter those defences a little more heavily. He'd still have to work hard or stand to be frustrated by the man with the granite chin and seemingly legs to match! This is perhaps what impressed most in Brooks performance. For someone said to possess little experience due to what some perceive as “soft” match-making on the part of Brook's handlers, Brook was extremely professional and found just the right balance of patience, guile and aggression against a man who's only aim at this point was to hear the final bell. Where lesser fighters would have rushed in and smothered their own work thus allowing Jackiewicz the chance of getting back into things via some inside rough-housing and tiring themselves unnecessarily, Brook was focused and calculating in his use of a meaty body shot early in round 4, a punch that clearly registered with the Pole though he still looked like he would be going nowhere in a hurry.

With around a minute to go in the fourth Brook mounted his heaviest attack yet. Driving forward with a flurry of shots, some of which found their target, whilst his opponent again seemed dazzled and unable to avoid, block or counter the shots. I'd made a note just seconds before that the ref might look to stop this at the first sustained and unanswered attack by Brook as his opponent was clearly unable, or disinclined, to make an argument of it. Not this time although this was practically over as a competition before it even really got started. You can never completely dismiss the “one lucky punch” scenario in this crazy sport of ours and this was now Jackiewicz's only chance (a slim one). Unfortunately the Pole seemed not to know that you need to buy a ticket before you can win the lottery and therefore failed to throw anything likely to change the fight.

Round 5 saw Brook continue to showcase his moves and impressive they were. Hurting Jackiewicz with a solid looking right hand 40 secs into the round Brook remained patient. Next up he released a bunch of wicked looking uppercuts that had the Sheffield crowd out of their seats. Jackiewicz, just about tucking up and bracing himself for the onslaught, was caught by at least one and staggered for the first time in the night, but only slightly. Brook again remained patient and refused to charge in, instead flicking out a couple more jabs before quickly doubling up on the jab and unloading the right hand with some bad intentions only to fall just short.

The pattern of hunter and hunted continued to be played out in round 6, a meaty body shot early on seemed to indicate that Brook perhaps felt he would have to sap this tough guys strength for a stoppage. Jackiewicz continued to try and stay just out of range with his guard high while Brook stalked the Pole flicking out jabs and feinting occasionally before connecting with a heavy right hand midway through the round. Seconds later when Jackiewicz appeared ragged and tired in trying, and failing, to block or avoid a left-right-left combination, referee Howard Foster took the opportunity to step in and save the Pole any further, unnecessary punishment.

In the post-fight interview Brook said he would be happy to carry on knocking out whoever new promoter Eddie Hearn puts in front of him. Hearn then went on to confirm that he has been in talks with Lou DiBella regarding a possible showdown with IBF Welterweight King Andre Berto , that Brook would likely be out again on the undercard of Carl Froch's Super Six final clash with Andre Ward on December 17th in Atlantic City. Hearn also called out Amir Khan for next year... A fight we'd all love to see, especially if Brook can claim a title of his own in the meantime.

Article posted on 09.10.2011

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