KELL BROOK defended trainer Dominic Ingle’s decision to throw in the towel as it emerged the Brit boxer will require surgery on a broken eye socket.
Brook took a knock to the eye in the second, hit the canvas in the third, recovered, but then conceded things could have got “seriously bad” if the fight had continued after the fifth.
He told Sky Sports: “I came back after the second round and said, ‘I can’t see out of my right eye, Dominic’.
“I was talking to him and he knows me, he saw me growing up as a kid. He’s like a father figure.
“It was the right decision and I can fight another day.”
Brook’s 36-fight unbeaten run ended in dramatic style at the hands of Kazakhstani middleweight king – who said battling Brook was like “training”.
CHEER WE GOCountdown to Xmas by reliving some of the Premier League most memorable moments with SunSport's festive football advent calendar
FLYING VISITMan City starlet Gabriel Jesus to cheer on new team-mates in title showdown with Chelsea on Saturday
road to recoveryStunning skier Lindsey Vonn broke her arm just TWO weeks ago... and she's already doing pull ups
TEAM NEWSStoke vs Burnley team news: Paul Robinson set for another start in goal for Clarets whilst Glenn Whelan could return for home side
BLIND SIDEDDaley Blind fears he could be axed by manager Jose Mourinho after Manchester United struggles
LICENCE TO THRILLFight of the century between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather looms as UFC star gains boxing licence
TEAM NEWSWest Brom vs Watford team news: Saido Berahino doubtful but record-signing Isaac Success could be fit for Hornet
The Brit challenger was released from hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning after a scan revealed the extent of the damage.
Ingle has more than 20 years’ experience in and around the ring with a string of top young fighters under his charge.
Promoter Eddie Hearn backed Brook’s comments, saying Ingle had made the right call.
He said: “Kell traded with him and had a real go but it was absolutely the right decision from Dominic Ingle.
“I know there were a few boos from the crowd, but he knows his fighter more than anyone and that kind of injury can get worse and worse in a fight and ultimately end someone’s career.
“He took many shots and it was only really the first round where he got hurt. For four, maybe five rounds it was an epic fight.”