Kell Brook returns to the ring with emphatic demolition of Mark DeLuca

Kell Brook made an explosive return to boxing as he knocked out American Mark DeLuca in the seventh round of their super welterweight bout in Sheffield.

In his first fight since defeating Michael Zefara by unanimous decision in an uninspiring performance in December 2018, Brook insisted only a “spectacular” victory would do on his return and he more than proved that he remains in world title contention.

DeLuca was a heavy underdog coming into the contest at Sheffield Arena but had suffered just one defeat in his 25 fights, which came via split decision against Walter Wright in June 2018.

However, the former IBF welterweight world champion showed no signs of ring rust in his first fight in 14 months as he took control of the contest by taking centre ring.

Brook worked his way into the fight with a counter punch in each of the opening two rounds to gain the early advantage before the hometown favourite burst into life in the third.

A three-punch combination got the Sheffield Arena crowd on their feet before a crushing left hook caught DeLuca flush on the nose, which immediately started bleeding.

A huge left uppercut caught the American off guard before another left hand saw DeLuca drop his right knee and force a count by the referee.

Mark DeLuca was knocked out in the seventh round
Mark DeLuca was knocked out in the seventh round (Richard Sellers/PA)

DeLuca ended the round chasing Brook around the ring as the Briton kept his composure, with the pair exchanging words after the bell went for the third round.

The fourth started slowly but Brook’s left hand caused more problems for his former marine opponent before the bell saved DeLuca from further punishment.

Brook fired another combination on the American in the sixth as the one-way traffic continued, with DeLuca battling valiantly to remain in the contest.

Brook’s quality finally shone through, after DeLuca was pushed through the ropes, in the seventh when 33-year-old landed a heavy straight left to send his opponent crashing to the ground.

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