Michael Rosenthal

Weekend Review: Brook impressive

MOST IMPRESSIVE

Kell Brook: The undefeated welterweight contender from England made a big statement on Saturday in his hometown of Sheffield, dominating tough Pole Rafal Jackiewicz en route to a sixth-round knockout. Brook (25-0, 17 KOs) appears to be a complete package. He has the skills, the athleticism, the punching power and an abundance of confidence that comes with winning consistently. His handlers say the 25-year-old is ready to take the next step, mentioning the likes of Andre Berto, fellow Briton Amir Khan and Vyacheslav Senchenkoas possible opponents. Eddie Hearn, his manager, loves the idea of an All-England Khan-Brook fight next year. The guess here is that he would give all of the above trouble. But we shouldn’t get carried away. Brook must take down one or two more big-name opponents before we can anoint him the next great boxer from the UK. He seems to be on his way, though.

STRANGEST KNOCKOUT

Bogere-Contreras: The only thing conclusive about Sharif Bogere’s knockout of Francisco Contreras on Friday night was that Contreras didn’t get up. Even repeated replays couldn’t determine exactly what ended the fight. Bogere, the undefeated lightweight prospect from Uganda, landed a right to the head, Contreras turned sideways and Bogere connected with a punch that appeared to deflect off Contreras’ shoulder and land on the back of his head, although it’s still not clear how solid the impact was. The fact Contreras laid face down holding the back of his head is an indication that he felt it there. The Dominican was later removed from the ring on a stretcher. The fight was ugly, as much a wrestling match as a boxing match. I don’t think it proved much. Bogere is a good prospect but I don’t think he proved much on Friday.

WORST MATCHUP

Klitschko-Mormeck: The pickings are slim when it comes to potential opponents for the Klitschko brothers. But Mormeck? The Frenchman, who will face Wladimir Klitschko on Dec. 10, is a former cruiserweight titleholder who took a two-year hiatus from boxing before re-emerging as a heavyweight in 2009. He was stopped in two of his last four 200-pound fights, by O’Neil Bell (who he outpointed in a rematch) and David Haye. He’s listed at only 5-11½ (181cm), a good seven inches shorter than Klitschkko. And he’s 39. That doesn’t sound like a guy who could give a Klitschko problems. Mormeck was a good cruiserweight and has some power. He also is 3-0 as a heavyweight, having narrowly outpointed Vinny Maddalone, Fres Oquendo and Timur Ibragimov. The Klitschkos are an entirely different proposition, though. Seventy-six percent of those who took part in a RingTV.com poll said that Klitschko-Mormeck is a weak (27.2) to very weak (48.8) matchup. They know.

EASIEST DECISION

Hearns to the Hall: I opened the envelope containing my International Boxing Hall of Fame ballot for 2012, grabbed a pen and immediately put a check next to the name of Thomas Hearns. No thought process needed. That’s how great I believe the “Hit Man” was. Hearns (61-5-1, 48 KOS) was the first five-division titleholder, with victories over the likes of Pipino Cuevas, Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, Virgil Hill and Juan Domingo Roldan. He was 13-5-1 (8 KOs) against titleholders or Hall of Famers, according to the good folks at the Hall. That’s only part of his story, though. You had to see Hearns fight to fully understand how great he was. The tall, lankly – and oh-so intimidating — product of the Kronk Gym in Detroit could end any fight in an instant with one of the best right hands in history, as he proved in his second-round KO of the great Duran. That power sometimes obscured the fact that he was a superb, quick-handed boxer. And, perhaps most important, he was one of the most-exciting fighters ever. He didn’t always win – as failed ventures against Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler demonstrated – but he always had us on the edge of our seats.

Weekend review continued…    

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