Special K Special: Kell Brook Upsets Shawn Porter

By Robert Ecksel on August 16, 2014
Special K Special: Kell Brook Upsets Shawn Porter
Porter’s aggression was no match for the eloquent accuracy of Kell Brook. (Naoki Fukuda)

Kell Brook, the poised boxer-puncher from Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, upset IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter by majority decision…

Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Kell Brook (33-0, 22 KOs), the poised boxer-puncher from Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, upset Shawn Porter (24-1, 15 KOs), from Akron, Ohio, to win the IBF welterweight title. The final scores after 12 rounds of fighting were 117-111, 116-112, and 114-114.

It’s always satisfying when the underdog wins. It’s even more satisfying when the judges, who have suffered their fair share of lambast in recent years, manage to get it right.

Shawn Porter, the favorite, fighting out of the blue corner in red, white and blue trunks, brought the fight and his reputation as a rugged competitor to the ring. His intensity knows no equal, but his skills, which are integral to boxing, leave something to be desired.

Kell Brook on the other hand, fighting out of the red corner in red trunks with gold and blue trim, was as composed as a fighter can be. No matter what Porter threw at him, and he threw plenty, Brook kept his cool, relying on his jab and ring IQ to outsmart, outbox, and ultimately outfight the former champ from America’s heartland.

To the untrained eye, Porter was the busier fighter. One might not like his swarming come-forward style but it’s impossible to ignore. It’s exciting. It’s menacing. It’s as much a part of the fight game as a lead right followed by a left hook. But rather than get sucked into Porter’s invitation to brawl, Kell stuck to his gameplan, counterpunched the aggression out of Porter, at which time he began to lead.

It’s easy to forget that boxing’s not a strength sport, it’s a skill sport, and skill has never been held in such low regard. But the object of boxing is to hit and not be hit, and that’s as true today as it was in Regency England.

Porter may be able to overpower the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, but Kell Brook is no Paulie Malignaggi. Both he and Paulie can box and box beautifully, but Kell can punch with power and deadly accuracy. Had Brook succumbed to temptation, had he fallen into the trap to make it a dogfight, the decision wouldn’t have gone in his favor. But he fought smart, he fought within himself, and round after round, only three of which Porter won on our scorecard, he busted up the champion and eventually broke him down.

It was a brilliant performance.

After the fight, Kell was as cool, calm and collected as he had been for the previous 48 minutes.

“You can tell from my fans how much this means,” he said. “Twenty years mean a lot. Nine years old, dreaming of being world champion… I’m the champion of the world. To be honest with you, I looked a bit scrappy. But I did what I had to do with him because he dips at the knees, he’s scrappy. I didn’t come across slick. I’m a slick fighter. I was scrappy at times, but I’m the champion. I kept calm, listened to my corner, did what I needed to do. Twenty-eight years. I’ve traveled, come here, and I took care of him in his backyard. I was born to do this. I always find a way. I always deliver. The better the opposition, the better I am. You’re going to see me in some mega fights. I’m not showing anybody up, but Keith Thurman and Floyd Mayweather, all the top fighters are probably watching this fight now and I welcome their fights. I think Amir Khan can get in the queue now. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s working now.”

Our brothers in Great Britain must be celebrating Kell’s victory. But there are fight fans on this side of the pond celebrating as well.

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Kell Brook vs. Shawn Porter


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  1. Leigh 11:48pm, 08/17/2014

    Spot on Robert another great article.To be honest I thought porter was surprised by brooks speed as well as strength,it’s hard to look good against porter he was very loose with his head on the inside and on the way in ,after round five he looked clueless and I was surprised they never had a plan b.He underestimated brook I definitely thought kell had done enough but I never for one moment thought he would get the nod. I think Marquez would be a good fight for kell style wise, I think timing is everything and I don’t think the timing could be much better for beating a legend like Marquez

  2. Darrell 09:25pm, 08/17/2014

    Well, after watching the fight I thought the result was fair, though a bit closer than the write up would suggest.  Brook landed cleaner punches & Porter wilted physically at various stages.  Looked a smart strategy from Brook to smother the punching room of Porter too.

    A 116-112 or even 115-113 would’ve been about right.

  3. The Tache 10:27am, 08/17/2014

    Get in there, Kell.

  4. Pete The Sneak 08:20am, 08/17/2014

    Porter was eating Brook’s jab all night long. Brook appeared bigger and stronger than Porter and though Porter would come in with his aggressive mauling style, Brook would have none of it, get Porter off of him, and score with some good hard jabs and right hands. Well deserved victory for Kell, though like Irish Frankie, I too was perplexed by that 114-114 Score by’ Judge’ Parris…When I heard that, I said, oh boy. they are going to ‘Job’ Brook and even Kell, if you looked at him in the corner while hearing the scores, was expecting to get screwed as well…Thankfully for the most part, the other 2 Judges got it right…Peace.

  5. Eduardo gomez 08:06am, 08/17/2014

    Porter is a dirty fighter hit more than 40 times behind the neck to kell not even receive a warning from referee same happen to devon alexander last fight but kell was smart and outboxed the champion

  6. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:04am, 08/17/2014

    Kudos to Keith Thurman….his main squeeze is an off the charts huggable and cuddly little kitty cat!

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:47am, 08/17/2014

    This article was spot on….but just one more observation…..Porter was shocked as shit when he found out that Brook was physically stronger than he was….and it showed clearly in his eyes and Daddy’s too whose best advice to Shawn all night was to “rough him up inside”.

  8. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:27am, 08/17/2014

    Not a peep here about Sakio Bika….here’s a bone to chew on…..gotta love it when Bika’s corner is imploring Sakio to do things that he’s not capable of doing….like chewing gum and walking at the same time!

  9. nicolas 02:44am, 08/17/2014

    I wanted Brook to win, but I was surprised by the scoring. I felt watching it on YT, and a Polish telecast no less, without my knowledge of who had won, felt that Porter won 116-112, though I could see it a draw. I would like to know how the Showtime commentators felt. Brook had his moments, even moments where I thought he was going to catch Porter and put him down. While Brook was the more skilled boxer, he had no answer for me for Porter’s aggression. Interesting thought that it was Brook’s corner who raised him up, and not Porter’s, also the telecast seemed to want tho show the good punches that Brook landed. Watchilng this fight though, I would suggest that neither Mayweather or Pacquiao have anything to worry about.

  10. Clarence George 02:15am, 08/17/2014

    I knew it’d be close, but I thought it would go exactly the other way—Porter by majority (or split) decision.  Well, now I know how Pauline Kael felt when she said she couldn’t understand how McGovern lost as no one she knew voted for Nixon.

  11. Darrell 09:40pm, 08/16/2014

    Though I had Porter for this one it’s not a huge surprise that Kell Brook has taken this fight out…...he’s a pretty good fighter.  Not at all surprised at the mention of his punch accuracy at all.

    Video please…..ha!!

  12. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:27pm, 08/16/2014

    Dave Parris I’ve got your 114-114 right here…..what the fuk is the matter with you…..they’re not going to invite you back anytime soon any damn way….so….take that good guest posture and jam it up your posterior! Brook did indeed channel Randy Turpin and deserved no less than 117-111 as Porter was doing Sakio Bika proud!

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