Kell Brook was "gutted" after being stopped by Terence Crawford in the fourth round of a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand.

Brook warned Crawford he would make the unbeaten American quit on his stool in the Las Vegas bubble on Saturday.

Three-division world champion Crawford let his fists do the talking, catching Brook with a big right hand to send him staggering across the ring and into the ropes.

Brook was allowed to continue, but referee Tony Weeks soon stopped the fight after Crawford pounced on the stunned former world champion with a barrage of left and right shots.

While Brook gave credit where it was due to Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), the 34-year-old suggested he should have been allowed to continue.

He said: "I obviously got caught with a shot I didn't see and the referee waved it off.

"I always said if I'm in a fight I want to go out on my shield but the referee thought I couldn't continue.

"Never in my career, nobody has ever done that to me in sparring or anything.

"I got caught with a shot I didn't see. I'm gutted because nobody could've got me in better condition. I was bang on the limit.

"Maybe I could've been a bit more relaxed and loose and let the shots go."

Terence Crawford said he was looking for a fight against Manny Pacquiao after defending his WBO welterweight title on Saturday.

In action for the first time in almost a year, Crawford improved to 37-0 and retained his WBO crown with a fourth-round knockout of Kell Brook at the MGM Grand.

The American said he was eyeing a bout with WBA holder Pacquiao, 41, next.

"I'm looking to secure a Pacquiao fight," Crawford told ESPN.

"We were close to securing a Pacquiao fight prior to this fight, but being that COVID was getting out of hand, the fans couldn't attend the fight so we had to put a halt to it.

"That's when we decided to go with Kell Brook, he was the next known welterweight that was available to fight so now we're going to go back to the drawing board and try to revisit that fight with Manny Pacquiao."

Unbeaten and holding the WBC and IBF welterweight titles, Errol Spence Jr. was touted as Crawford's potential next opponent.

Spence will defend his titles against Danny Garcia in Texas on December 5.

Crawford's promoter Bob Arum believes Spence (26-0) is trying to avoid Crawford.

"Errol Spence will try to avoid Terence Crawford as long as he can because he knows he can't beat Terence Crawford," he said.

"You saw the performance tonight. He'll take out Errol Spence in about the same number of rounds like he took out Kell Brook."

Terence Crawford defended his WBO welterweight title with a stunning fourth-round knockout of Kell Brook on Saturday.

The American improved his impeccable record to 37-0 with a flurry of power in the fourth round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Crawford left Brook staggering with a big right and followed it up to end the fight and keep his WBO welterweight crown.

Brook (39-3) had shown good early signs back at welterweight in what may end up being his last professional fight, but Crawford's power proved too much.

Defending for the fourth time but fighting for the first time in almost a year, Crawford made a slow start.

Brook, a former champion back at welterweight for the first time since 2017, dictated with his jab early, and landed a nice uppercut in the second round as he troubled Crawford.

Crawford, though, found his rhythm late in the third, landing a big right hand in what was a sign of things to come.

And the bout did not last much longer.

A huge right from Crawford sent Brook stumbling into the ropes, and he followed it up with a left-right combination to end the fight.

Kell Brook knows he could be entering the last chance saloon when he faces Terence Crawford on Saturday but is confident he will pull off a shock in Las Vegas.

Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) is a huge favourite to retain his WBO welterweight title behind closed doors in the MGM Grand bubble.

Brook, a former world champion at the 147-pound limit, declared he is the shape of his life at the age of 34 and is ready to prove he belongs at the highest level.

The Brit said there will be no thoughts that it is win or bust for him on the big stage when he steps into the ring with an undefeated three-division world champion, yet realises he will have a decision to make on his future if he suffers a third defeat of his career.

Brook told Stats Perform News: "I don't really think about it, but of course if I did lose this fight I'd have to sit down with my family and think about what I'd be doing next, really and truthfully.

"But we honestly believe, and I certainly believe - I know there are people that believe in me, journalists that believe in me - but I'm on about my family and myself.

"I know what I've put myself through in training and where I am at this stage of my career. We believe we're going to win."

Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) feels a blockbuster showdown with Crawford has come at just the right time for him.

The Sheffield native said: "Just because of where I am in my life and I believe that it's come at the perfect time where I'm professional, I'm not cutting corners anymore because there's no room for error.

"It's just come at the perfect stage where I'm disciplined and I know what it takes to be the very best in the world."

Brook decided during lockdown he was going to throw everything at returning to the peak of his powers.

He added: "I think the first lockdown did us all in, didn't it? It did us all in. The first, initial lockdown.

"I just realised that I love competing and I've got much more to give still. So, I wanted to give myself the best opportunity. I've always said, 'we'll start next week, I'll start tightening up next week'.

"But I knew for this one I needed to be from the get-go as tight as possible with everything that I do and I feel amazing now for doing that."

Kell Brook is hopeful a "huge, huge fight" against Terence Crawford can be made, having given up on the possibility of facing Amir Khan.

The undefeated Crawford is the reigning WBO welterweight champion but Brook - a former title holder at 147 pounds - is ready to take on the challenge of ending the American's perfect record.

While his last outing, a stoppage win over Mark DeLuca in February, was at super-welterweight, the Brit is ready to drop down a division to secure a bout against someone he describes as "one of the best pound-for-pound fighters out there".

The coronavirus pandemic has forced promoters to put plans on hold, yet Bob Arum - who works with Crawford - talked about the possible showdown in a recent interview with Boxing Scene, revealing how it could even be staged in the United Kingdom. 

"The signals we are getting from Crawford's team are that they want it, that it's there to be made," Brook said while appearing on an Instagram Live with his promoter Eddie Hearn.

"That's a huge, huge fight. Crawford is one of the pound-for-pound best fighters out there. I said that before I left this game I wanted to fight the best out there, too."

Hearn admitted that a chance to face Crawford is simply too good to turn down for the former IBF champion.

"I still think you've got world championships in you at 154 pounds," Hearn said to Brook during their chat. 

"For me, I would love to see you go and win a title. But you can't turn down a Crawford fight."

While, Crawford's resume boasts a win over Khan - he triumphed by TKO in their meeting at Madison Square Garden a year ago - Brook has been unable to secure a clash with his long-time domestic rival.

Having pushed hard for several years without any success, he believes the time has come to move on from Khan.

"I've given that angle up, because it's gone past the line now for me," Brook said. "I have done everything that has been asked of me to make it happen."

The coronavirus pandemic could give boxing "a kick up the backside" when it comes to making fights in the future, according to trainer Dominic Ingle, even if the sport has to wait until September at the earliest for a return to action.

With countries on lockdown due to the global health crisis, bouts scheduled for May, June and July have all been postponed - and there is no clear indication when the situation will improve enough for cards to be scheduled again in 2020.

Along with the continued uncertainty over fight dates, boxers are also having to make do with staying busy at home due to social distancing restrictions.

A lack of gym time - denying the opportunity to get in pivotal sparring rounds during a training camp - could lead to further delays, though Ingle believes the enforced break may result in a fresh outlook when it comes to negotiating fights, considering the time already lost this year.

"It's a wait-and-see time," Ingle told Stats Perform.

"Let's say we get to the end of May and the lockdown is lifted, and the fighters have been training anyway, it still gives you about six weeks over boxing's summer break.

"They're probably going to be fit enough, but they want to be in the gyms sparring. For us, six weeks is about right, but others will want to do more rounds sparring and a lot more gym work. Our fighters could be ready in six weeks, because we don't do a lot of sparring anyway.

"Realistically, though, you're looking at the beginning of September."

On matchmaking, he added: "It may give everyone a kick up the backside to get things moving quicker.

"When you've got a job to do, sometimes you think you've got all the time in the world to do it. This [lockdown] will make people realise that time is of the essence, though.

"It has probably made people see that you can't waste time, whether that's in your career or in life in general."

Staging sporting events being behind closed doors has been talked about as a way of restarting sooner, at least allowing the action to be broadcast to an audience watching on from home.

Ingle, however, is not so keen on that idea for boxing.

"That kind of defeats the object," he said. "We need an atmosphere at fights, and you're going to need officials anyway, plus a lot of people in the background to make sure the show still works.

"When it [the lockdown] first happened, I thought we were all taking it lightly. Then the realisation kind of hits home. Going into it, people had a bit of a lackadaisical attitude. I think coming out of it, people will be the same.

"They will think things will get back to normal quickly, that we will just be able to put on shows. That's wishful thinking, for me. Realistically, and logistically, I don't think it's going to work like that."

The famous Ingle gym in Sheffield would normally see Kell Brook, Kid Galahad and Liam Williams among the regular visitors, yet the threat of COVID-19 has forced the trainer to keep track on his stable from afar.

"They've all got workouts to do. We've got them on GPS monitors, so we can see what they are doing and can give them their workouts," Ingle explained. "They do their runs to keep their fitness up, so they will be alright.

"I go 12 to 16 weeks without getting paid, because we get paid at the end of a camp when the fights happen. That's how we've always operated. We have money in reserve, but, for us, this is like another training camp.

"They are always training, obviously, but there is normally a concentrated effort for 10 to 12 weeks [before a bout]. It's almost like we live on lockdown anyway then, as we can't have a social life during that time. You have to be in bed early and get up early, so you are kind of used to this."

Kell Brook reignited his ambitions to become a two-weight world champion with an authoritative seventh-round stoppage of Mark DeLuca.

The 33-year-old former IBF welterweight king was back in action before his adoring Sheffield public for the first time in 14 months and seeking to banish memories of a ragged December 2018 decision win over Australia's Michael Zerafa.

Brook conceded his career at elite level would be finished without impressing against the unheralded DeLuca (24-2) and he cranked through the gears after a cagey opening couple of rounds.

The one-time US Marine was dropped and given an eight count after a crisp Brook uppercut followed precise hooks from both wings. DeLuca's nose was badly bloodied and he was glad to hear the bell at the end of rounds four and five.

Despite belligerently firing back throughout, the sixth was similarly torrid for the visitor before a chopping left lead from his tormentor closed the show in style.

Brook collected the WBO's inter-continental light-middleweight strap and an all-British showdown against the organisation's former champion Liam Smith, who watched from ringside, could be up next.

Brazil's Patrick Teixeira holds the 154lbs WBO title and has a mandatory obligation against Argentina's Brian Castano to negotiate. 

Former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook will fight for the first time in 14 months when he takes on Mark DeLuca on February 8 in Sheffield.

Brook (38-2) has not fought at all in 2019 after bouts against Terence Crawford and domestic rival Amir Khan failed to materialise.

But the 33-year-old, who lost consecutive title fights to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr in 2017, dismissed reports he had retired in June.

And Brook will return to the ring in his hometown with a Sheffield Arena clash against American DeLuca (24-1).

Matchroom Boxing announced the fight on Friday in a statement that said Brook was aiming to "fire his name back into the mix for a world title shot in 2020".

Brook said: "I've had a year out, there has been some dark times, but what I've realised is I love this sport and I know I have some of my biggest years left in the game.

"DeLuca is a strong, gutsy fighter who is always ready for war, but I'm planning on putting on a statement and showing the world that I'm still a force at 154 or 147lbs."

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