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Khan wants Brook; predicts Joshua beating Klitschko

Amir Khan Anthony Joshua Kell Brook Wladimir Klitschko

By Jeff Aranow: Amir “King” Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) has had a change of mind, and he now is very interested in facing IBF welterweight champion Kell “Special K” Brook (36-1, 25 KOs), and get this, he doesn’t care if he has his title or not. Khan just wants the Brook fight. Some boxing would see this sudden burst of interest from the 30-year-old Khan as a sign that he knows that his days of getting nice paydays for his fights could be grinding to a halt very soon.

It’s difficult to argue with that belief, because Khan hasn’t been a world champion for 6 years since losing to Lamont Peterson in 2011. With the welterweight division well represented by Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao as champions, it’s unlikely that Khan will be able to win any of the titles at this point.

Khan-Brook won’t be as big a fight if Brook loses his title defense next month to unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) on May 27 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. Khan says the Brook will be a big one even if he doesn’t have his IBF title, but what he doesn’t say is the interest from the British boxing public for the Khan-Brook fight could evaporate overnight if Brook gets knocked out by Spence.

It would be Brook’s second straight defeat, and it would be a clear sign that his days as a top welterweight are numbered. Few boxing fans expect Brook to stick it out at 147 if he loses the fight to Spence, because he’s outgrown the division. It’s going to be hard enough for Brook to make the weight for the Spence fight, especially after he moved up to middleweight last September to take on champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin on September 10 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Brook looked bigger than Golovkin inside the ring that night.

“Kell Brook is coming off a loss to Triple G [Golovkin] where he went up a weight and I did that too against Canelo [Saul Alvarez],” said Khan to “So I think it makes sense for us to fight now. He’s got Errol Spence next and if he wins that then it’s a title fight but I think it’s a big fight without a title, I think it’s one that fight fans want to see.”

It made sense for Khan to fight Brook last year, but he instead fought Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for a big payday last May on HBO PPV. Khan was knocked out by Canelo. Khan then took the remainder of 2016 off from boxing so that he could have hand surgery and recover from his knockout. Khan was going to fight tune-up in April, but that idea went out the window. Khan is now talking about staying out of the ring until September or later to take on a big name.

Khan mentioned wanting to fight WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman recently. It’s not likely that Khan will get that fight in 2017, because Thurman has rematches that he’s interested in fighting against Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter in his next 2 fights. If Khan wants a big fight, he’ll need to look at the winner of the Brook-Spence match, or possibly against WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao if he wins his July 2 title defense against #2 WBO challenger Jeff Horn in their fight at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said that he would explore the idea of a fight between Khan and Pacquiao later this year after his next fight against Horn. Just how serious Arum is in making a fight between Pacquiao and Khan remains to be seen.

“I’ve got my money on Anthony Joshua and I think he has the edge,”he told Sky Sports News HQ. “He’ll have to dig deep. There are going to be times he gets hurt and we’ve never seen him go the full distance.”

The easy prediction for Khan to make is to select Joshua as the winner over Wladimir Klitschko for their fight this Saturday night at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The 27-year-old Joshua is the younger fighter than the 41-year-old Klitschko, and he’s at the top of his game. Joshua going 12 rounds against Wladimir is unlikely to happen. Khan is wrong there. Most boxing fans believe that the Joshua-Klitschko fight will end in a knockout with one of them getting blasted out. Joshua is at the heaviest weight of his career at 250.1 pounds. He’s counting on knocking Wladimir out well inside the distance. If the fight goes to the second half, it could be sorry news for Joshua. He needs an early knockout, and he is clearly banking on it by being as heavy as he is.

It’s debatable how much Khan has left of his once impressive boxing skills. Khan stopped fighting on a regular basis 5 years ago in 2012. Khan has been essentially a part-time fighter for the last 5 years in the same way that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has. As inactive as Khan has been since 2012, it’s highly improbable that he would ever be able to beat Thurman, Pacquiao, Spence or Brook. However, Khan could still get a big payday if he fought Brook right now.

The boxing fans in the UK would like to see that fight without a doubt, as long as the two of them fight each other as soon as possible. The worst thing that could happen to Khan is for Spence to knockout Brook on May 27. If Brook goes the distance and loses a close decision to Spence, it won’t be as bad. Another injury for Brook would salvage his reputation. However, if Spence knocks Brook out, then it could hurt the interest in a Brook-Khan fight later this year in 2017. I think fewer boxing fans would have the interest in seeing Khan and Brook fight at that point, because they would be seen as yesterday’s news.

Khan made the mistake of not fighting Brook last year when the interest was high in that fight. Khan fought Canelo and was badly knocked out. Brook then decided to move up middleweight to fight Golovkin in a decision that he probably regrets now. Brook and Khan could have fought each other instead of taking risky fights against bigger opponents.

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