Khan doubts Brook will face Errol Spence

By Boxing News - 04/19/2016 - Comments

khan778By Scott Gilfoid: Amir Khan says he thinks IBF welterweight champion Kell “Special K” Brook is wasting his career by failing to take on the big names in the sport, and he thinks the soon to be 30-year-old Brook needs to step it up and start facing the best. However, Khan suspects that Brook will vacate his IBF 147lb title rather than facing unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs), who is one step away from becoming Brook’s new IBF mandatory challenger.

Khan calls Brook “Mr. Mandatory” due to him having already fought two mandatory challengers in his two years as the IBF welterweight champion. But Khan thinks that Brook will choose not to fight his next mandatory if it winds up being the 26-year-old Spence.

For Spence to become Brook’s mandatory, he’ll need to defeat unbeaten #3 IBF Konstantin Ponomarev (30-0, 13 KOs) in a final eliminator for the No.1 mandatory spot. It’s unclear if the IBF believes this will be a hard fight for Spence, but if you’ve seen Ponomarev fight before, it’s clear that he’s going to have next to no chance of winning this fight due to his lack of punching power and hand speed. Ponomarev is like another Chris Algieri but without his power, mobility and experience.

“Good fighter, man. I think he’s legit, definitely,” said Khan about Errol Spence via “He proved himself in a good fight. He boxed really, really well, and put punches together really well. I think he’s got a career ahead of him. I’m a big fan. I like the way he fights. I think with Algieri losing to myself and Pacquiao, coming off two back to back losses, those losses took a lot out of him. He had one win [Erick Bone] against that guy and then fought [Spence]. He’s had a tough career. I take my hat off to him because he’s had a hard career. He’s not been given any easy fights. For him to take that fight [against Spence], yeah, man, respect. He took it an obviously got knocked out,” said Khan.

Algieri hasn’t really had that tough of a career. I mean, he’s only been in the ring with four difficult opponents in Spence, Manny Pacquiao, Khan and Ruslan Provodnikov. You can’t call that a difficult career when you’ve only faced four good opponents. To have a difficult career, you’ve got have faced at least 10 tough opponents in my view, and we haven’t seen that from Algieri. Khan has had a tougher career than Algieri, but Khan took a four-year break from fighting really difficult fighters after his back to back losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia.

“My advice to Kell Brook is for him to take those hard fights, take those big fights you’ve got to take. You’re upsetting all the fans and you’re upsetting all the people. He needs to get in there with some really big names. He’s just ruining his own career by not facing [quality opponents]. I mean, Kell Brook was offered a fight against Miguel Cotto. Is that true? Who turned it down? Kell? If it was me, I’d take the Cotto fight. That would be a good fight,” said Khan.

Asking Brook to take difficult fights isn’t going to help things. It’s Brook’s promoters that have been matching him against soft opposition. I don’t think this pattern is going to change. They match him against fighters they feel that he can beat. Obviously, the guys that they don’t match him up against, fighters like Tim Bradley, Spence, and Keith Thurman, are likely fighters they don’t feel he can beat. If they did think he could beat them, don’t you think Brook would have been matched against them a long time ago?

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In speaking about Errol Spence potentially winding up as Brook’s IBF mandatory before the end of the year, Khan said “I think that would be the first mandatory he doesn’t take. If he’s Mr. mandatory, he should take that fight. I wish him all the best. He’s taking his route; I’m taking my route. That fight may never happen. The fight between me and him has gone past it. I don’t think it will ever happen,” said Khan about a fight between him and Brook in the future.

I happen to agree with Khan. I think Spence will be the one mandatory that we don’t see Brook taking. I see him vacating his IBF title as soon as Spence becomes his official IBF mandatory after he beats Ponomarev.