Kell Brook dominated Amir Khan and then stopped him in the sixth round in their grudge match that was nearly two decades in the making.
The Special One showed his superior power and timing to have Khan in trouble from the first round onwards, with the Bolton man showing great heart to make it even to the sixth.
The referee stepped in with Khan still on his feet, but there was clearly no way back for the Olympic medallist, with the Sheffield star dominant.
King Khan’s chin is often criticised but he actually stood up to a number of heavy shots from Brook, while it was his legs that were unsteady beneath him.
There will be no questioning Khan’s heart after the contest but there could be no doubt who was the superior fighter, with Brook dominant and there will be no calls for a rematch after the one-sided beating.
Khan vs Brook – How it happened
Before the fight even got underway there was drama as the ring walks were delayed due to a dispute over gloves going on in Brook’s dressing room.
It was not clear what the issue was, but Brook made the walk and then changed his gloves and had them laced up in the ring, in remarkable scenes.
Round One: After the pair reluctantly touched gloves the bout got underway and Khan’s famed hand speed was quickly on display. It was Brook that landed the meaningful blows of the round though and Khan looked rocked and wobbly on his legs after a stiff jab. Brook was going for the earliest of kills but couldn’t find it as the referee dragged them apart at the bell, but the round was undoubtedly Kell’s.
Round Two: Khan recovered impressively by the second and was aggressive throughout, almost certainly taking the round. Brook landed a stiff right in the dying seconds, but Khan took it well, certainly better than he took the shots in the first.
Round Three: Things started to take a more measured pace in the third after a chaotic first six minutes. The catastrophe of the first round was forgotten by now for Khan with steady legs again and landing combinations while Brook looked a bit plodding. That turned again in the final 30 seconds of the round though as Brook landed a heavy right, rocking Khan again and showing that he is only ever one punch away from disaster. Khan was on his knees by the bell but was shoved there and no knockdown was called. The Bolton man won most of the round, but Brook spectacularly took the end of it – that one could be judged either way.
Round Four: There was little between the pair in the fourth. Brook landing a notable body shot, Khan finding success with a couple of jabs but it was Brook again who finished the stronger with Khan against the ropes and that probably convinced the judges to his side.
Round Five: Khan looked in serious peril once again with Brook landing heavy combinations and patiently pressuring for the finish. Khan was covering up and on the back foot but showing great determination and resilience to survive. Survival was all it was, though, with Brook taking the round comfortably.
Round Six: Brook landed a heavy blow immediately as the round started and then poured on the punishment with Khan refusing to wilt, but the referee stopping in with the King against the ropes and unable to repsond.
The pre-fight predictions: Who got it right?
Conor Benn – welterweight rival
‘I think Khan, I really do, I know his chin and punch resistance are gone but I think he will outwork Brook.
‘I always thought Kell but now I think Khan, we will see who has what left.’
Shawn Porter – former Brook opponent
“They are both not what they used to be.
‘After fighting Brook I would have said Brook to win but now I think it is an evenly matched fight.’
Ricky Hatton – former world champion
‘I’ve changed my mind a little bit and I’m sure I will again before the opening bell on Saturday but I think Kell has looked a little bit fitter, a little bit sharper based on the footage we have seen.
‘It is such a 50-50 fight, but Kell is looking pretty quick himself and we know he has got the punching power.
‘He is certainly capable of knocking Amir out. At the moment, I’m drifting ever so slightly to Brook.’
Chris Eubank Jr – middleweight contender
‘I would like to teach him [Brook] a lesson for sure and, if that means hoping he wins his next fight, then so be it.’
Carl Froch – former world champion
‘I’d rather be Kell Brook going into this because I think the speed and the reflexes that Amir Khan holds and the fast hands, he can probably only do that for three, four, five rounds.
‘If this fight goes past five or six round I’d rather be Kell Brook with the natural ability, the timing, the footwork and the elegance in that ring. He’s a fantastic talent.
‘If I’m totally honest I want Kell Brook to win. I think at this stage, the way that this fight is happening, it’s happened a couple of years later than we’d have liked it to… I’d have made Amir Khan the favourite four or five years ago.
‘Now I’m making Kell Brook the favourite, but only slightly and that’s because he can punch. He’s got a nice, powerful, tasty punch, especially at this weight.’