Kell Brook’s bid to usurp WBA, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin came to an abrupt end on Saturday as the fight was stopped in the fifth round.
Brook, 30, is the reigning IBF welterweight champion and had jumped two weight divisions to fight the Kazakh boxer but was defeated for the first time in his career of 37 professional fights.
Though Brook made a valiant effort against Golovkin, landing a number of shots and winning the second round with a left uppercut, cheered on by the crowds at the O2 Arena.
Brook held his ground in the fourth, but by the fifth was dominated by Golovkin and the Yorkshireman’s trainer Dominic Ingle ultimately ended proceedings. Brook later revealed he had suffered a broken eye socket in the second round.
“He broke my eye socket in the second round. I was seeing three or four of him,” Brook said.
Nonetheless Brook defended his performance against Golovkin, who has seldom been hurt in his impressive career of 36 professional wins – 22 of which by knock out.
“Believe me, I hurt him,” Brook said. “I saw his legs start to buckle. I was starting to settle in. I would fight him again.”
Speaking after the fight, Golovkin praised his opponent but said his ambitions had been lofty.
Thanks for the tweets I’m out of hospital need op next week but will be fine and I’ll be back. Sorry I couldn’t bring it home tonight
“Kell is a huge fighter, a very good fighter, but he’s not a middleweight,” he said. “I respect him, he is good, but not so strong.
“I respect Kell, he’s a warrior. And his corner, for his career, for his family, was correct. It was game over.”
Golovkin’s next target is a unification fight against WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders.