Kell "Special K" Brook (30-0, 20 KO) is rated fourth in the world amongst welterweights by Ring Magazine, but most casual fans probably don't know him. The man from Yorkshire, Sheffield will get a chance to earn some respect on Saturday when he faces Vyacheslav Senchenko (34-1, 23 KO) in an IBF title-eliminator bout.
Senchenko has won two straight fights since losing his WBA welterweight title to Paulie Malignaggi in April 2012. Most notably, he stopped Ricky Hatton in the ninth round of their November 2012 bout and sent him back into retirement.
Both men stand to gain a lot from winning this bout. Here’s how you can watch the battle.
When: Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
TV: Sky Sports 2
Live Stream: Sky Go (Regional Restrictions Apply)
Home-Field Advantage Could Be Ticket to Finally Making Brook vs. Devon Alexander
One of the reasons Brook has failed to garner notoriety abroad is because he rarely fights outside of the United Kingdom. In fact, just one of his 30 professional fights has taken place away from his home country.
It’ll be the same situation on Saturday when the fans at Motorpoint Arena turn out in droves to cheer on the hometown hero. Three of Brook’s last four fights have taken place at the 13,500-seat arena in his backyard. He’s comfortable there, and it may be difficult for Senchenko to come away with a win by decision.
Even though any win over the tough Ukrainian would be impressive, Brook needs to broaden his horizons if he wants to expand his appeal.
He is listed as the No. 1 contender by the IBF. With the bout set as an IBF eliminator, we may finally get closer to seeing Brook challenge IBF champion Devon Alexander. This matchup has been made and called off on numerous occasions, per Dan Rafael of ESPN. A win by Brook just might ensure it finally happens.
Senchenko Is Not to Be Taken Lightly
Senchenko is no pushover. If you don’t believe it, just ask Hatton. Per Matchroom Boxing, Hatton has warned Brook against the dangers of overlooking the 36-year-old veteran.
Senchenko keeps himself in great shape, and he’s hungry to take advantage of this opportunity.
He proved in his bouts with Malignaggi and Hatton that he can compete with talented welterweights. Brook is a step above those opponents, but Senchenko should at the very least be able to make Special K work hard for a win.
Brook is a solid boxer-puncher who uses a hard, snapping jab to set up power combinations. When he’s at his best, he doesn’t take a step backward. He plants his left foot and tries to walk through his opponent.
If Senchenko is to have success in this fight, he has to make Brook respect his power. The best way he can do that is by going to the body. Senchenko has shown the ability to do good work downstairs. He stopped Hatton with a body shot in their bout.
If he can slow Brook’s assault early, he’ll have a good chance to make this bout interesting. Brook doesn’t have the type of quickness to outclass Senchenko, so this fight will likely be more competitive than some expect. Per Oddschecker, Brook is a 6-1 favorite.
Ultimately, this fight will come down to punching power, and Brook is the more dangerous puncher. Senchenko has an excellent chin and heart, but he’s been known to bleed easily. The bout with Malignaggi was stopped because of a cut.
Brook’s power and accurate punching will do a number on Senchenko’s face, and the Brit will wind up stopping the Ukrainian late. Look for a ninth-round TKO win for Brook.
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