BOXING

Amir Khan vs Kell Brook fight close to deal

In 2022, British boxing may finally see the fight that everyone has been waiting to see for nearly a decade. Is it too little, too late for this clash?

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Amir Khan vs Kell Brook fight close to deal

It seems as if the fight that all of Britain wanted to see, Bolton’s Amir Khan taking on Sheffield’s Kell Brook, may be on the cusp of taking place in Manchester on February 19. The question is have they waited too long?

Boxing fans will be only too painfully aware of the long, arduous road to get this fight on. Back when they were both welterweights, and easily the hottest prospects in British boxing, negotiations broke down and instead, they both decided to step up for bigger money fights at middleweight.

Amir Khan (39-3, 27 KOs) had a blistering start to his career, taking the WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles and successfully defending them against some tough competition. He showed weakness when he lost a one-sided decision to Anthony Peterson, a loss that was later deemed illegitimate by the WBA who reinstated Khan’s belt. There would be no debate in his knockout loss to Danny García and Amir would go on to stop Carlos Molina for the WBC Silver title. In stepping up a weight to face Canelo Álvarez, he was clearly outmatched by the naturally bigger fighter and wisely returned to welterweight.

Kell Brook (34-5, 21 KOs) showed the same promise as Khan, coming up through the amateur ranks under the tutelage of Brendan Ingle. He rose through the professional ranks to take the British, WBA Inter-Continental, and IBF International titles against some stiff opposition. He saw off Carson Jones and Vyacheslav Senchenko, and his complete dismantling of Shawn Porter led to howls of protest from the American boxing public. Stepping up two weights to face GGG, at a time when there were no takers to the Kazakhstani’s domination, earned him perhaps grudging respect on this side of the pond when, although hopelessly outmatched, he put up five rounds of spirited trading until a broken hand and broken eye socket forced his trainer Dominic Ingle to throw in the towel. He dropped back down to welterweight to defend his IBF title against Errol Spence, but the punishment was just too much for Brook in an 11th round stoppage.

Both Khan and Brook have suffered losses of late, and at 34 and 35 years old respectively, the question is wether this fight is coming along too late.

"Everyone says it should have happened three or four years ago but people said that about Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao and it still broke records," said promoter and BOXXER CEO Ben Shalom.

"Brook only fought for a world title last year, and it's still a huge fight. They are both coming off world title fights, they are both younger than Mayweather and Pacquiao were when they fought each other, and hopefully it will be the biggest fight in the U.K. outside of the heavyweights.

"It's going to help the sport grow. The U.K. needs this fight. The two of them hate each other and it's been painful dealing with it, but we are very close.”

When asked about details of the deal, Shalom replied, "Where ever this fights ends up, this is going to be a monster of a fight. We are aiming for early next year, there are a few details still to confirm and it's not been easy.”

An announcement by BOXXER is expected Monday.