Kell Brook underlined his world title credentials as he produced a dazzling display to claim a unanimous points win over Matthew Hatton.
Sheffield star dazzles on way to unanimous points decision win
Kell Brook underlined his world title credentials as he produced a dazzling display to claim a unanimous points decision over welterweight rival Matthew Hatton on Saturday night.
Billed as the 'War of the Roses', Hatton had been expected to provide Brook with a real test, but the Sheffield fighter turned on the style in front of his home fans at the Motorpoint Arena to emerge an emphatic victor.
Brook - who now has a perfect 27-0 professional record - dominated from the first bell with Hatton unable to make the kind of busy, aggressive start many had predicted.
Confident and clinical from the off, Brook picked his shots with consummate ease, changing the point of attack at will and drawing blood from Hatton's nose by the end of the first.
That set the tone for a one-side affair with Hatton unable to find any answer to his opponent's slick, snappy punches.
By the fourth Hatton was beginning to look increasingly ragged as Brook teed off with ever more stinging shots.
The Mancunian finally managed to make some impact at the start of the fifth as he connected with a couple of meaningful rights, but that served only to spur Brook on and by the end of the round he had Hatton in even greater trouble.
A series of upper-cuts from Brook continued the softening up process and he looked on course to finish the job inside the distance as he put his man on the canvas with a sharp left counter at the start of the ninth.
But Hatton did well to weather the storm and see out the round, although Brook's celebration at the bell demonstrated that he knew just how far ahead he was.
Hatton's final hurrah came in the tenth when he landed a with a solid left and attempted to follow it with a couple of swinging hooks, but Brook absorbed the attacks and was soon on the front foot once again.
Indeed, Hatton was left desperately holding on in both the 11th and 12th as he went into survival mode with Brook looking for a big finish right up until the final bell.
That he couldn't find it mattered little and Brook was predictably pronounced an emphatic victor on the cards, winning 118-109, 119-108 and 119-107.
The 25-year-old admitted afterwards he was now looking to make the move up to world level, telling Sky Sports
: "I enjoyed it. It was a spectacular night, now we're going to go on to bigger and better things as there's no-one to touch me in Britain."