Brook and Russell get decisive TKO wins; Charlo edges Martirosyan

Impressive performances by Kell Brook and Gary Russell Jr. put them in line for headline fights with big name opponents in the near future.

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Kell Brook (right) enjoyed his homecoming with a TKO victory over Jo Jo Dan in Sheffield, England. Courtesy Showtime
Kell Brook (right) enjoyed his homecoming with a TKO victory over Jo Jo Dan in Sheffield, England. Courtesy Showtime

SAN DIEGO, March 28, 2015 – Kell “Special K” Brook put on a special show for his hometown fans Saturday and proved his win over Shawn Porter was no fluke with a TKO victory over Jo Jo Dan of Canada via Romania (34-3, 18 KOs). Brook remains undefeated at 34-0-0 and 23 KOs to retain his IBF welterweight title. Talk immediately turned to a potential All-Brit super fight between Brook and Amir Khan in June.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Brook didn’t just beat Dan, he beat him down. Brook put Dan on the canvas four times, twice in the second round, and twice in the fourth round, including a solid left hook that dropped Dan precisely at the sound of the bell. Dan’s corner wisely agreed their boxer would not come out for the fifth round.

It was a miracle Dan lasted as long as he did. Brook connected with authority, accuracy and power. He showed no ill effects of injuries to his left leg from a stabbing incident in September. With the leg tested and Brook on solid footing, he’s ready to step up against an opponent more his equal. The fans in Sheffield and many others want fellow Brit Amir Khan. Promoter Eddie Hearn said after the fight it should happen on June 13 at Wembley Stadium, a date Khan has reserved.

But there’s nothing wrong with a little anticipation. Juan Manuel Marquez wants to win a belt in his fifth division before he retires, and the clock is ticking for him at age 41. No denying that a fight with Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios would be a barnburner. But whoever wins the Mayweather Pacquiao bout will have three belts; Brook has the fourth.

Gary Russell Jr. (left) won a decisive TKO victory over Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico Saturday. Photo: Courtesy Showtime
Gary Russell Jr. (left) won a decisive TKO victory over Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico Saturday. Photo: Courtesy Showtime

Gary Russell Jr. won in exactly the manner he needed to with an equally impressive TKO victory over Mexican veteran Jhonny Gonzalez (57-9, 48 KOs). Russell (26-1, 15 KOs) punched with tremendous speed, and Gonzalez simply could not keep up. Once Russell started making significant contact with Gonzalez, he stayed close and started putting leather on Gonzalez in a serious way. He had Gonzalez down twice in the last minute of the third. Referee Tony Weeks might have stopped things right there had the bell not sounded. Russell finished Gonzalez off with 37 seconds more in Round 4 to become the new WBC featherweight champion.

After the bout, Russell credited his father, who is also his trainer, saying that he was the only the canvas, and Russell Sr. the painter. Russell added, “To the young fighters: Never come to the ring questioning or doubting. Put the work in the gym,” saying he would be back in the gym on Monday.

Who should Russell prepare for? There are a lot of possibilities at 126 pounds. Perhaps the winner between Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz, or even Nicholas Walters. There isn’t a bad choice. This version of Gary Russell Jr. is someone fans want to see again soon.

Jermell Charlo (right) got the better of Vanes Martirosyan in a tight decision victory Saturday in Las Vegas. Photo: Courtesy Showtime
Jermell Charlo (right) got the better of Vanes Martirosyan in a tight decision victory Saturday in Las Vegas. Photo: Courtesy Showtime

In the co-main event, junior middleweight Jermell Charlo (26-0, 11 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs). It was a bout both fighters felt they had to win to put them in position to challenge a belt holder. Judges Lisa Giampa and Dave Moretti had it 96-93, a reasonable score; Adelaide Byrd had it 97-93.

CompuBox stats showed Charlo by far the busiest of the fighters, landed 92 of 310 punches including 39 power punches to Martirosyan’s 79 of 355 punches, but with more power punches, 48. The connect rate was 30 percent to 22 percent. Martirosyan suffered damage to his left eye due to a head butt in the 8th round. After the fight, Martirosyan said his vision was blurry, but “We’re warriors, we fight. I can’t take an accident and quit like that.” Charlo should now get a decent name opponent.

Earlier in the day in the Philippines, 2012 Fighter of the Year Nonito Donaire started on his comeback attempt with a second round TKO victory over William Prado. Donaire is now fighting at 122 pounds. Donaire is a class act, but at 31 years old the clock is ticking for him. He needs a good showing in the U.S., and soon.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is president/owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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