Kell Brook made an impressive start to his super-welterweight journey, scoring a second-round knockout victory over Sergey Rabchenko at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield.
Brook made his return to the ring on the back of consecutive defeats to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence, respectively.
Rabchenko entered the contest having won his last two outings, his most recent defeat coming at the hands of Tony Harrison in an IBF middleweight eliminator in 2016.
In the opening round, Brook was very accurate, landing clean, venomous punches. Rabchenko, on the other hand, seemed reluctant to engage, bar the odd jab or wild, swinging hook.
Early in the second round, Brook was able to land a big right hand, followed by a vicious uppercut, wobbling Rabchenko. Brook, sensing Rabchenko was hurt, quickly followed up with another big right, sending Rabchenko to the canvas. Rabchenko struggled to beat the count, rising, on shaky legs at the ten count as the referee waved the contest off.
In a post-fight interview with Sky Sports, Brook spoke about his the mental struggles that plagued him after his defeat to Spence and sent out a warning to the 154lb division.
“You thought you got rid of me,” Brook said. “I’m putting everyone on notice. I’m the ‘Terminator’, and I’ll be back. I’m back now. Another win, I’m putting everyone on notice. I’m here to stay. I love the sport.
“I was in a dark place at Christmas time. To see all these people turn out, get myself in shape, my life could not be any better now, and I’ve not hurt my hand or anything, so I’ll get back in the gym.
“It was all about getting my timing right tonight. I just needed to settle down, and I was timing these shots I know that buckled him. The temple shot done him. It’s all about timing.”