Brook V Senchenko – The Special One Out To Get Revenge For The Hitman
By Peter Wells
Less than 12 months ago Vyacheslav Senchenko was public enemy #1. Senchenko was encircled by anticipation for the legendary Ricky Hatton’s comeback fight. The Ukrainian was just a pawn on the board, the chosen one; it was Senchenko who was meant to hit the canvas wincing from a perfectly placed body shot. Instead it was Ricky who took up that roll. The script had been re-written and the rolls had been reversed.
So the 36 year old will be adept at his role on Saturday night (26th October) when he faces Sheffield’s own Kell Brook who lies on the cusp of a world title shot. Brook 30-0(20) has grown considerably since winning the British Welterweight title in 2008, but the last 12 months have been far from ideal.
Following a stoppage win over the very limited Hector Saldivia, Brook was scheduled to challenge the extremely skilled IBF champion Devon Alexander. But several cancellations later and the fight was officially off. Alexander beat down Lee Purdy while Brook was left on the sidelines until July. The 27 year old stopped old foe Carson Jones in 8 rounds, the first encounter was far from an ideal night for Brook, and the contest highlighted a few vulnerabilities in Brook’s armour.
Senchenko 34-1(23) will be by far his biggest challenge to date, the former Hatton conqueror was WBA ‘world’ Welterweight champion for 2 years before Paulie Malignaggi struck gold last April, stopping Senchenko in his homeland on cuts in the 9th round. Vyacheslav rebounded with 2 stoppage wins, one over Hatton the other in 4 against Carlos Adan Jerez.
Senchenko’s exposure to the big time was far from ideal, Malignaggi boxed wonderfully, prompting some to refer to it has a career best performance, while others questioned Senchenko’s ability. And many will now point to the fact that Ricky Hatton was ahead on the scorecards at the end of the 8th round in their November 2012 contest, albeit narrowly. Hatton was far from his best, yet he still managed to catch the Ukrainian with several solid shots throughout the contest. By the time of the stoppage though the tide was turning and Senchenko was on top, Senchenko had worn Hatton down and finished the fight with a pin-point left hook downstairs.
Kell can take advantage if Senchenko starts slow but the Englishman must evade wasting energy in the opening stanzas like he did in the first encounter with Jones. Senchenko will improve as the fight wears on, which is when Brook can move that little more, using his speed to full effect, not allowing for Senchenko to plant his feet and keep Brook at the end of his jab.
So while this is indeed a step up in class for Brook I expect him to pass the test with flying colours. He can take the first 4 rounds with work rate alone, before Senchenko begins to find a rhythm. Senchenko will pull himself back into the fight before Brook can make the necessary adjustments to fly over the finish line, taking a clear unanimous decision.
On the undercard Brian Rose 24-1-1(7) will have his hands full with Javier Francisco Maciel 27-2(20), but can come through to win a close decision. While Callum Smith 8-0(6) can remain unbeaten by becoming the 3rd man to stop Ruben Eduardo Acosta 27-8-5(10). Other fights on the card include Adam Etches 12-0(10) taking on fellow unbeaten Alexandre Mendes 10-0(9), while Anthony Joshua 1-0(1), Sam O’Maison 7-0(2), Khalid Yafai 8-0(6), Scott Jenkins 9-0(4) and Jordan Gill 7-0 all feature on the card.
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