By Scott Gilfoid: Amir Khan says he met with Eddie Hearn, the promoter for IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, in his offices to discuss a big money fight between them in 2016. Khan made it perfectly clear that he sees a fight against Brook as a big enough fight to stage at Wembley Stadium in 2016.
Before Khan will give Hearn the green light to make the fight happen with the soon to be 30-year-old Brook, he wants to see Brook start to face some actual live bodies instead of the soft fighters that Hearn has been matching him against – Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin, and Matthew Hatton, Vyacheslav Senchenko – since he took over the helm as Brook’s promoter.
Hearn has played it safe with Brook by matching him against 2nd tier fighters since he started promoting him. The exception was Brook’s fight against IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter.
“Eddie sent me a text and I invited him to Bolton,” Khan told TheNational.ae. “We had a meeting at my office and we discussed everything for a potential fight against Kell Brook in 2016. I have made it clear to Eddie that I want this fight to be a big fight worldwide, not just in the UK. I told him Kell needs to fight a couple of big names and beat them, obviously. That will make our fight even bigger.”
I really hope Khan isn’t holding his breath in waiting on Hearn to match Brook against good fighters, because it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. If Khan’s requirements are for Brook to fight two good fighters before he agrees to fight him in 2016, then Khan will need to downsize his requirements for Brook, because the best I can see Brook fighting is 40-year-old Leonard Bundu, who he’s rumored to be fighting next. If Khan is going to require that Brook beat one of the following names then their fight is not going to happen: Shawn Porter in a rematch, Marcos Maidana, Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Tim Bradley.
I don’t see Hearn matching Brook against any of those fighters. It’s just not going to happen. Hearn has mentioned some of their names, but he’s not been make the fights unfortunately. My guess is we’ll see Brook fight Bundu next to finish off 2015, and then maybe Chris Van Heerden, another name that has been mentioned as a Brook opponent, and then possibly someone like Diego Chaves and Jesus Soto Karass in 2016.
If Khan is willing to face Brook after he fights those guys – or fighters of that caliber – then we’ll seen a Khan-Brook fight in 2016. If Khan doesn’t recognize those fighters as quality guys, then there won’t be a Khan vs. Brook fight. But I think Khan is kidding himself if he thinks that Hearn is going to follow his directions and start matching Brook against the best fighters, because coming events casts their shadows before.
Hearn will continue to do what he’s done in the past for Brook in terms of match-making, because it just looks like he’s got the guy milking his title against safe opposition while looking to get a big homerun fight for a ton of money where Brook makes big money even if he loses the fight. As such, I don’t think we’re going to see Brook fight the likes of Maidana, Spence, Thurman, Bradley or Danny Garcia. I see it as being a continuation of the status quo for Brook and Hearn.
“He [Brook] refused the fight with Brandon Rios because there was an issue with a rematch clause in the contract,” Khan said. “Why does there need to be a rematch clause? Because he is not confident of beating Rios. I have never in my career demanded for a rematch clause. I will fight anyone they put in front of me and that’s what I’ve been doing my entire career.”
I hate to say it but I totally agree with Khan about Brook not being confident about beating Rios. I mean, if Brook was really confident about beating Rios, then why in the heck was he pushing so hard for a rematch clause in the contract? The fact that Brook was willing to walk away from negotiations for a fight against Rios over a rematch clause, suggests that Brook and his promoter Hearn weren’t confident enough that they could win the fight for them to take it without a rematch clause.
I don’t even know why Brook would need the rematch clause. That just seemed like a boneheaded move on their part because it’s not as if they wouldn’t get the rematch anyway. There would have been a ton of money to lure Rios back into fighting Brook again, so the rematch would have happened. But to walk away from the negotiations because of a rematch clause, it just looks like Brook and Hearn don’t have faith that they can beat a fighter like Rios. The thing is I don’t know that Brook can beat Rios without clinching him 10+ times per round like Brook did to beat Porter. Rios knows how to fight guys that hold nonstop, and believe me he would batter Brook if he tried that trick with him. That means that the only way Brook could actually beat Rios is by fighting him rather than holding him, and I don’t think Brook has the talent to beat Rios. Brook is too slow, too mechanical and too upright to do the job against Rios.