Can you be ducking someone when you fight someone else who’s better for less money? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty certain Amir Khan isn’t scared of Kell Brook – the guy won an Olympic silver medal as a 17 year old, turned pro aged 18, jumped two weight divisions to meet pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez and is now facing another of boxing’s very best, Terence Crawford.
Lets be honest, after their most recent performances both Khan and Brook look finished at the top level. A showdown between the bitter rivals would never fail to entertain – before and during the actual fist-throwing part – but public interest is at an all-time low. From a business perspective, this dust-up won’t generate any less money in 12 months time.
The economics especially make sense for ‘King’ Khan’. Whatever happens in the Crawford contest, the scrap with Brook will still be there, but the same is not true the other way around.
In a 37-fight career with four defeats, Khan has never been out-skilled. The Bolton boxer was roughly equal on rounds and connects with Canelo and Danny Garcia when he was stopped, Breidis Prescott iced Khan in the very first minute, and the points loss to Lamont Peterson was a robbery.
Brook doesn’t have a bout scheduled yet but the most likely options appear to be unified super welterweight champ Jarrett Hurd, former light welter and welterweight boss Jessie Vargas, or one of the leading British contenders.
It seems as though Brook will miss out on the championship contest, so the best thing for him to do is beat somebody with a name Stateside on one of Matchroom USA’s cards – America’s Vargas seems to fit the bill.
WILL IT HAPPEN?
I’m not Mystic Meg, but I think the Khan-Brook scrap will happen. Khan has mentioned that he’ll probably have just one more fight after Crawford – although boxers have proven to be less than reliable when musing about retirement.
Khan is an 11/2 outsider to beat the Nebraskan. If he loses a close contest there’s a slim chance he gets another shot at a big name, but the Brook clash will probably pay more. If Khan gets battered then his domestic rival will be the biggest pay day available by far.
From Brook’s perspective, he’ll likely win his next bout and then he’ll be looking for a title shot at 147lb or 154lbs. If ‘Special K’ wins a belt, Khan will bite his hand off for the fight, and if Brook loses he’ll appeal more to Khan because of his poor form.
For Khan, he’s not ducking Brook, he’s getting his “ducks in a row” – one more shot at boxing greatness, and then bow out with a big domestic grudge match.
It’s the British version of the Mayweather-Pacquiao saga – way past its due date, but these guys aren’t walking away with millions left on the table.