A STAR was born on Saturday night as Sheffield’s Kell Brook easily shrugged off his last domestic rival Matthew Hatton and sent out a message to the boxing world.
Brook dismantled Matthew, younger brother of former World Champion Ricky Hatton, with relative ease, putting his name firmly in lights and among the Welterweight division’s elite.
Brook, who trains at the famous Ingle gym in Wincobank, Sheffield, the same gym that former legend Prince Naseem Hamed called home, has been exciting boxing enthusiasts and pundits alike for some time now.
But having potential is one thing, stepping up to the mark and putting it to use is another - and the Special One certainly put on a show at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena in the WBA/IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight Championship bout.
Hatton recently troubled highly-rated Mexican prospect Saul Canelo Alvarez, leading to people wondering if he could topple the next best thing in British boxing.
But Brook blew his man away. On several occasions he looked likely to stop his experienced and brave opponent.
Brook has been talked about as the next big name for a while now, but it is since he signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom that he has started his sharp ascent up the boxing ranks.
The self-proclaimed Special One is the real deal - and he proved this on Saturday.
Hatton, who usually fights on the front foot, putting his opponent under immense pressure, was restricted to raiding tactics, only coming forward on rare occasions.
Brook showed a solid chin as he had to absorb the odd decent shot from Hatton, something all good champions have to possess.
Naz said after the fight: “Kell Brook is world class and he will bring the world title back to Sheffield.
“This was just a stepping stone. He made Matthew Hatton look so ordinary, a novice. I didn’t have Hatton winning a round.”
So where now for Brook? There is nowhere else to go in the domestic rungs.
A British super fight against Amir Khan is being talked about, but that is a long way off, especially if Khan loses his rematch with Lamont Peterson.
Hearn is more likely to look to the likes of Shane Mosley, Paulie Malignaggi or Marcos Maidana for another sell-out scrap in Brook’s native Sheffield.
Hatton rated Brook better than the highly-rated Alvarez - and while it is hard to judge the two at the moment, they seem to be the next big names in the Welterweight division, replacing the ageing Floyd Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquaio.
Brook is certainly looking the real deal - next stop a World title shot.