Kell Brook won his second defense of the IBF welterweight belt to stay undefeated, while fellow British boxer Anthony Joshua enhanced his burgeoning reputation in the heavyweight division with a second-round stoppage of experienced American Kevin Johnson.
Brook extended his record to 35 wins by outclassing Frankie Gavin in a one-sided, all-British fight, stopped late in the sixth round. Floyd Mayweather holds the other belts in the high-profile welterweight division.
In other world title fights at London’s O2 Arena, Jorge Linares of Venezuela retained the WBC lightweight belt by stopping Kevin Mitchell in the 10th round and Lee Selby of Britain took the IBF featherweight belt off Russia’s Evgeny Gradovich after an eighth-round technical decision.
Joshua — a gold medalist at the London Olympics in 2012 — stopped Johnson 83 seconds into round two for his 13th straight professional victory.
The 35-year-old Johnson had previously never been stopped in his 36-fight career — including a world title fight against Vitali Klitschko — but was battered by Joshua, who has not been taken beyond three rounds as a professional. Johnson was knocked down in the first round.
“Tonight, I played the beast,” Joshua said.
In the top-of-the-bill fight, Gavin did not have the power to worry Brook, who won the belt from Shawn Porter in August last year and successfully defended it by beating Jo Jo Dan in March.
In between those fights, Brook was attacked on holiday in Tenerife, stabbed in the thigh with a machete by an assailant yet to be caught, and needed 60 stitches.
Brook was unable to secure a fight against Amir Khan after stopping Dan so had to settle for Gavin, who could not handle the step-up in class.
“It was about being patient for a few rounds,” Brook said. “It was only a matter of time.” Brook said he “can’t wait to be fighting a big name next.”
Asked about fighting Mayweather, Brook said: “I’m ready to take on the world. I’m ready for the best out there now.”
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