For many years there has been talk of a colossal, all-British clash between Kell Brook and Amir Khan. Yet, year after year it remains in the pipeline. The pair, now in their 30’s, have both suffered shattering losses in recent times and could look to each other, now more than ever, to reignite their boxing careers. Khan, who has been absent from the ring since his knock-out defeat against Canelo Alvarez back in May 2016 due to surgery on his hand, has repeatedly stated he would love the encounter with the Sheffield man. Brook, who relinquished his IBF title last time out whilst suffering an injury for second successive fight and retiring towards the end of the bout, has displayed his interest numerous times in fighting the Bolton based boxer.
Despite the pair predominantly competing at welterweight throughout their careers, and both successfully accomplishing the challenge of becoming a world champion within the welterweight bracket, Kell Brook suffered his first defeat whilst challenging for Gennady Golovkin’s middleweight titles and Khan experienced a crushing loss whilst attempting to dethrone middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
When a potential fight between GGG and Chris Eubank Jr collapsed, it appeared as though nobody wanted to get in the ring with the big punching Ukrainian. Until Brook, IBF welterweight champion with an unbeaten record of 36 wins at the time stepped up in an audacious bid to capture the IBF, WBC and IBO middleweight titles. Although Brook provided a good account of him-self at an unfamiliar weight class, Golovkin and his punches proved to be too strong and ended the bout in the fifth round, with Brook subsequently needing surgery on a fractured eye socket. Following the triple G defeat and the rise up in weight, Brook opted to put him-self through another gruelling camp to the make the welterweight limit of 147lbs, in order to defend his IBF title against a talented American in Errol Spence Jr. Not only did Special K fail to successfully defend his world title, he bizarrely suffered a repeat occurrence of the same injury which ended the Golovkin fight, a fractured eye socket but in the other eye. Fans, fellow fighters and pundits alike criticised Brook for ‘giving up’ in the eleventh round.
Similarly to what Kell Brook did; Khan gambled and accepted the challenge of moving up to middleweight to encounter an elite fighter in Canelo Alvarez, all the way over in fabulous Las Vegas. Again, similarly to brook he began the fight excellently and showcased his premier boxing skills. Optimistic fans were seeing his display and genuinely considering him causing an upset and out-boxing Canelo for 12 rounds, to secure the WBC, The Ring and the lineal middleweight titles and take them back to Bolton along with his huge pay cheque. But, in the sixth round it all went wrong for Khan, Alvarez caught him a devastating over-hand right which left Khan on the canvas.
If they were to share a ring it would be a tough one to call. Khan has lightning fast speed and incredible boxing ability, but has always lacked that ferocious power, and is often ridiculed for having a ‘glass chin’. Whereas, Brook is big and strong for the weight and possesses speed, timing and superb technical skills, but will the two fractured eye sockets haunt him every time he steps between the ropes?
So, what will determine whether this highly anticipated fight between two of the best welterweights Britain has seen in the last decade happens, or doesn’t happen?
Well, weight will definitely be a crucial factor. Both of them are nearing the end of their careers and have recently been up at 160lbs, which may make it incredibly difficult for them to deplete themselves to 147lbs. Although still possible, it would make sense if this fight was arranged to be a super-welterweight contest (154lbs). Another contributing factor may well be the money. Negotiating terms with two big stars who both believe they deserve to be the ‘A side’ of the draw will no doubt make it problematic. Then there is the venue to deliberate on, with the fight being talked about year after year combined with the hype, only a huge venue which could accommodate the masses would suffice.
Undoubtedly, these two talented boxers need a boost at this stage of their careers. With recent injuries resulting in surgery and defeats resulting in further dents to their records, surely the fight that has been in the pipeline for such an excessive amount of time will materialise. Being near the conclusion of their careers, the pair would certainly generate massive revenue from a fight like this; however one of them would also receive the bragging rights from a rivalry which has been ever-present for so many years. After all, it’s the entertainment business; give the fans what they want to see.