Kell Brook silenced many of his doubters on Saturday night, outboxing Shawn Porter to take a majority decision and the IBF Welterweight Championship at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Scores were 117-111 and 116-112 for Brook and 114-114 a draw.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 116-112 for Brook.
Brook (33-0, 22 KO) wasn’t intimidated by the biggest challenge of his career. He boxed effectively from distance, using a stiff left jab and straight right to catch Porter on his way inside.
Those punches were the difference, and Porter wasn’t able to adjust to keep Brook from landing them at will.
When the fight got to close quarters, Brook tied up, forcing Porter to flail wildly without much return on his investment.
Porter (24-1-1, 15 KO) was highly aggressive—as is his style—but not very effective. Brook effectively smothered his attack and landed the cleaner, crisper shots from the outside to earn a decision and his first world title.
In the co-featured bout of the evening, Anthony Dirrell became the second cancer survivor in consecutive weeks to capture a world championship, unanimously outpointing Sakio Bika to win the WBC Super Middleweight Championship.
Scores were 114-113, 116-111 and 117-110 for Dirrell.
Bleacher Report scored the contest 117-110 for Dirrell.
Dirrell (27-0-1, 22 KO) and Bika (32-6-3, 21 KO) fought to a tough draw last December at the Barclays Center, and their rematch was a rough, tough, foul-filled affair.
Referee Jack Reiss, known for his proactive style, was forced to admonish both fighters in the opening seconds, and he stole the show. Dirrell landed the harder, cleaner scoring punches throughout the fight, limiting Bika’s ability to get inside and get working.
It was ugly, but Dirrell clearly got the better of the action and left little doubt on the scorecards this time around.
In the opening contest, Omar “Panterita” Figueroa successfully defended his WBC Lightweight Championship with a spectacular ninth-round knockout of a game Daniel Estrada.
Figueroa (24-0-1, 18 KO) didn’t deviate far from the script that he’s written throughout his professional career, coming out of the corner with offense on his mind and defense way on the back burner.
At close quarters, the champion was dominant, but he also did well at distance, using his jab to neutralize one of the challenger’s strengths.
A nasty headbutt in Round 8 left Figueroa with an ugly gash above his left eye and some urgency in his game.
Figueroa came out in Round 9 and dropped Estrada with a vicious counter right. The challenger rose to his feet, but he couldn’t survive the onslaught that followed, prompting referee Raul Caiz Sr. to intercede and stop the bout.