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Hearn wants Brook vs. Khan in 2018

Amir Khan Kell Brook

By Scott Gilfoid: Promoter Eddie Hearn hasn’t given up on the idea of putting together a fight between former world champions Kell Brook and Amir Khan. Hearn is counting on making the Brook-Khan fight in 2018 after both of them have taken tune-up fights to get ready.

”I believe it’s my time to shine again,” said Khan this week on ITV.

Khan said recently he’d be back inside the ring by December. It’s now looking like he won’t be back in the ring until 2018 for his tune-up bout against an opponent still to be determined. Hopefully, Khan doesn’t keep putting off his comeback, since he’s already been out of the ring for almost 2 years.

There are not too many fighters that are able to return to boxing and do well after they’ve been out of the ring for that long of a period. Some guys can do it, but most of them fail miserably. It’s surprising that Khan isn’t taking advantage of what little time he has left in his career. I think he’ll be sorry for it later when it becomes clear that his physical skills have eroded from the combination of inactivity and age.

Brook, 31, says he’s ready to make the Khan right away. He just needs to trim off some pounds to get down to the 147 lb. weight limit. He says he’s been feeling sorry for himself since losing his IBF strap to Errol Spence Jr. in their fight on May 27 at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, UK. Spence wore Brook down with hard body shots, and eventually he quit on one knee in the 11th. Brook was skewered by a number of fighters, who felt that he should have gone out like a warrior by going out on his shield in the traditional way. Brook wasn’t into risking it, saying afterwards that he had double vision out of his injured left eye. After the fight, it was discovered that Brook suffered a broken eye socket at some point in the fight with Spence.

Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) has been out of the ring since his loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez last year. Khan says he plans on returning to action soon. Khan is open to a fight against Brook (36-2, 25 KOs), but he’s leaving it up to his manager Al Haymon.

“Both the guys need an interim fight,” said Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn to Fighthype.com. “Amir wanted an interim fight anyway, so it might work out well for him. I’d still like to see Brook and Khan, and hopefully we can make it,” said Hearn.

Well, if Brook takes an interim fight at 154, it might go badly for him. Hearn needs to re-think the idea of urging Brook to compete in the junior middleweight division, because it’s painfully obvious that he doesn’t have the size to compete against the 170+ pound fighters in that division. Yeah, Brook walks around in the 170s and 180s in between fights, but he’s a puffy and flabby at that weight. He’s not a solid 170+ like the top talents in the junior middleweight division. I hate to say it, but if Brook moves up to 154, he’s going to done as a fighter straightaway. Even some of the contenders like Liam Smith would likely be too big and strong for Brook. I saw video of sparring between Brook and Smith, and it wasn’t pretty. Brook was giving Smith all he had, and the shots did nothing to Smith. The next thing you know it, Smith lands a fight hand that sounded like a cannon going off, hitting Brook right on the button. Brook took the shot, but he didn’t look like he would take too many more of those types of shots without dropping to a knee. At 154, Brook would be maneuvering around a minefield of huge punchers with a heck of a lot more size than him. I’m just surprised that a wily promoter like Hearn couldn’t see the pitfalls of Brook moving up in weight for him. If I was promoting Brook, I wouldn’t let him anywhere near the 154lb. division. He’d be looking to try and keep him at 147 or better yet, I’d have him boil down to 140 so he could use his size to dominate that division. Brook could get another 5 years out of his career if he could move down to 140. With Terence Crawford moving up to 147, it’s going to leave a huge hole in his absence that needs to be filled.

“Pick up the phone and speak to Al Haymon,” said Khan to Fighthype in talking about Hearn needing his manager Al Haymon to setup a fight against Brook. “He manages my career. Don’t bother speaking to me. I’ll say yes to anything. If it makes sense to me financially and it’s done properly, speak to my guy, Al. Al will make the fight happen. Eddie Hearn is going to the media, talking to the media. You have to speak to Al. He’s the one you need to speak to,” said Khan.

The way Khan is talking, it sounds like he’s passing the buck to Haymon to be the one that lets Hearn know that they’re not interested in the Brook fight. Normally, when Khan is interested in fighting someone in the worst way, he’s yapping 24/7 about how he wants to fight that person. Khan has to be held back literally when he wants to share the ring with a fighter. Who can forget how much campaigning Khan did to get a fight against Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. In contrast, Khan is telling Hearn to call his manager Al Haymon if he wants to setup a fight against Brook. It’s like night and day when you compare the way Khan is acting toward the Brook fight and how he was chomping at the bit to get a fight against Pacquiao and Mayweather. Brook obviously isn’t Mayweather or Pacquiao, but still, Khan seems less than excited at making that fight.

Hearn is talking about one tune-up for Khan and Brook. As much time as Khan has been out of the ring, I think he needs a lot more than 1 tune-up to make up for the lost time. You have to figure that Khan has missed at least 3 fights during his 1 ½ year layoff since his 6th round knockout loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez on May 7 of last year. Khan also fought only once in 2013 and 2015. Khan has pretty much been a part-time fighter for the last 4 years of his career. That’s bad news for Khan’s career. If Khan is just going to come back for a cash out fight with Brook, then fine. It doesn’t matter that he’s ring rusty and likely never to regain the form he once had. But if Khan is seriously interested in wanting to win a world title at 147, I doubt that he’s going to be able to accomplish that. Khan has missed too much time in his career in the last 4 years.

Khan would do well in an event type of fight like the one we saw Mayweather involved in recently in fighting novice Conor McGregor from the UFC. If Khan picks out someone that has never laced up a pair of gloves before, he can do well just like Mayweather. But as far as Khan beating a world champion like Keith Thurman or Errol Spence, I don’t think that is an attainable goal. Khan should be thinking more in terms of making as much money as possible in what remains of his career rather than going for a world title straightaway. The Brook fight is a no-brainer for Khan. He needs to take that fight before it’s too late.

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