Brook vs Zerafa result: Kell Brook labours past Australian in tame points victory in Sheffield
KELL BROOK took his Amir Khan rage out on Michael Zerafa but he needed 12 long rounds to beat the brave Australian in an underwhelming showing.
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The Brit thought the Sheffield Arena fight would be a tune-up for a summer showdown with long-time rival Khan.
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But the Bolton ace is set to axe their grudge match for a £4million world title shot against WBO boss Terence Crawford in March, leaving his nemesis high and dry.
He said: “I am coming for the big boys at welterweight. It is not my fault the fight is not happening – it is that p**** boy Khan.
That snub clearly put Brook in a bad mood and, even though he arrived in a Father Christmas outfit of red shorts with white fur trim, he was still mean enough to leave Zerafa looking like Rudolph for the points win.
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A huge right hand from Brook, a couple of thudding rights and a brutal uppercut left Zerafa’s nose smashed to pieces inside the first two rounds.
But ex-IBF champ Brook looked complacent as the fight went on and was getting hit more than he would have liked, allowing bloodied Zerafa a confidence boost.
A scything left hook right on the bell sent what appeared to be a chunk of Zerafa’s mouth flying across the ring but it was not enough to drop him.
Another right landed flush on Zerafa and his previously fresh face was a mess of blood and desperation.
The fourth was another one for Brook to bank with a succession of heavy shots and Zerafa’s once dashing face now looked a lot more like the other reindeer.
The Sheffield hero, 32, split from trainer Dominic Ingle in October and turned to three-time amateur rival and friend John Fewkes.
Special K was a serial winner under Ingle, son of British boxing great and first trainer Brendan, so the new partnership with Fewkes was under the microscope.
Zerafa battled his way into the contest toward the midway point and dragged the hometown favourite into a needless slugfest.
Brook – the 1-25 favourite before the bell – upped his game in the seventh and landed a series of spiteful blows but Zerafa had only been stopped once in his previous 27 fights.
Zerafa even dared to start round eight with a combination of his own that had Brook on the back foot but he was unable to maintain the pressure.
Brook never looked in danger but as the rounds dragged on his crowd was silenced and became aware that this was not the sort of performance to get their man back on the world title stage.
And hearts were in mouths in the eight when a huge right hand rocked Brook and sent him back into the ropes but it was only a scare.
Zerafa returned to his corner at the end of round 10 looking in a terrible state – while Brook was still fresh faced.
But the warrior dog from Down Under was relentless in his efforts and dragged it to the judges who said 118-110, 119-109 and 117-111.
After the fight, Brook called out Khan and admitted he was rusty in the ring.
He said: “It was a hard night. I am a bit rusty. My future opponents might grow a pair now and think he can take care of me.
“It’s the best training camp I ever had, we did brilliant things in training but I was flat tonight.
“I was like Klitschko tonight, I did not let my right hand go.
“I will go back to the drawing board and polish up.
“I have the buzz again, I am reborn, I will be back in the gym on Monday.”
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