Naseem Hamed v Kell Brook: Who won the Pay Per View TV ‘contest’ between this illustrious Sheffield boxing pair?

Sergey Rabchenka is knocked down in Round 2 in Kell Brook's last fight.
Sergey Rabchenka is knocked down in Round 2 in Kell Brook's last fight.

Kell Brook's time in the TV spotlight didn't allow him to eclipse the Pay Per View popularity of one-time Sheffield stable-mate Naseem Hamed.

That's according to figures relating to PPV shows on Sky Sports and Primetime over more than 20 years.

Hamed attracted some 650,000 viewers (344,000 of them in the UK, The Star understands) when he boxed highly-respected American veteran Tom 'Boom Boom' Johnson in February 1997, in London.

It was when 'The Prince' was in his pomp, his 25th fight and 11th defence of the WBO Featherweight title.

The build-up to the £6m show had been an interesting one: Johnson had won the war of words by saying: "No one likes a man who is rude. I'll go to Naseem's house, knock on the front door, move his living room table out of the way and meet him there."

Hamed stopped the man from Detroit in round eight to take his International Boxing Federation strap, in front of 12,500 fans.

Naseem Hamed  in 2002

Naseem Hamed in 2002

Hard-hitting Naz, who was 22 at the time and fighting under Frank Warren's promotional banner, had earlier entered the ring amid flames and a descending platform.

It was boxing Hollywood.

He fought four more times that year, finishing it off with a sensational win over Kevin Kelley at Madison Square Garden, New York.

Brook's PPV figures, according to the World Boxing News website, were at their highest when he was stopped – and suffered his first eye socket fracture - against pound-for-pound warrior Gennady Golovkin in September, 2016.

That attracted 500,000 paying viewers to watch the O2 Arena middleweight event.

A year, later, in May 2017 Brook v Errol Spence Jr at Bramall Lane tempted 275,000 armchair fans to fork out.

This time, Brook was KO'd in the 11th round.

WBN claims Brook, now 32, "hasn't been able to establish himself in his appearances without a huge name in the opposite corner."

In September 2010 his win over Michael Jennings at the LG Arena, Birmingham lured 15,000 TV punters.

But another all British affair in May 2015, a win over Frankie Gavin at the O2 saw 139,000 watch the spectacle.

There have long been hopes of an Amir Khan v Brook PPV fight and while that could still happen, it might not, either.

Bolton's Khan has prevaricated in the past and if he does agree to a contest, he’d would want to fight at a weight that might not be healthy anymore for the Sheffielder.

Additionally, Brook's profile has been lower since his last fight in March than previously - little, if anything, has been done promotionally to keep him in the public eye.

Khan's top figure on Sky, says WBN, was 200,000 in April 2011 against Paul McCloskey from Northern Ireland.

*Hamed is rumoured to have 310,000 PPV fans when HBO sold his defeat to Marco Antonio Barrera in April 2001.