Spence says he’s interested in Khan fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) would be interested in giving a title shot against Amir ‘King’ Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) if his management came to him and asked him if he’d like to defend his IBF welterweight title against the British fighter.
Khan, 31, is making a comeback to the sport after 2 years out of the ring, and he’s included Spence’s name to his 3-fighter list of the top guys he’d be interested in facing. The others on the list are Kell Brook and Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman. Brook (36-2, 25 KOs) is the fighter that Khan’s new promoter Eddie Hearn wants him to face at the end of 2018, as he promotes him as well, and it’s a fight that would bring in the most amount of money.
Khan obviously wouldn’t deserve a world title shot in his second fight of his comeback. Khan is expected to take a tune-up fight against a weak opponent in April. After that, Khan will be looking for a world title shot against Spence or WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman. If Khan gets a title shot against either of those champions, he’ll be vaulted ahead of the many contenders that has been working hard for the past 2 years to try and get a title shot. In terms of fairness, it’ll look bad if Khan is given a title shot straightaway instead of earning the shot like other fighters, but that’s how boxing goes.
“He’s a big name too, so if my manager came to me with that, I would consider it and talk with my coaches about it. I don’t see why not, why it can’t take place,” said Spence to skysports.com about him fighting Khan if the fight was offered to him by his manager. “Amir Khan has been around longer than Kell, fought more big names than Kell,” said Spence.
Khan has a 3-fight contract with Matchroom Sport that he plans on using up in 2018. It’s up to Khan and his trainer Virgil Hunter to select the guys he wants to face, but one of those names will likely be Kell Brook. He’s expected to be the last name. Khan says he wants to fight for a world title, so that means his second fight for his 3-fight contract will likely be against Spence or WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.
What makes Spence the likely pick is he’s not booked up the way Thurman is with him wanting to fight rematches against Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia in 2018. Thurman’s first fight of this year is expected to be against Jessie Vargas on April 16. After that, Thurman will fight the rematches against Porter and Garcia. Khan likely won’t fight the winner of the April 21 fight between WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn and Terence Crawford. Those are Top Rank fighters, so they’re not likely to be on Khan’s target list.
Spence vs. Khan would be a similar fight to his January 20th match against Lamont Peterson. There’s not much difference. The 33-year-old Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) has seen his best days already at 140, and he doesn’t have the power to be a major player at welterweight. I wouldn’t say that Peterson is in decline as badly as Khan, but he’s close to that. Peterson isn’t a puncher, and he’s not in the right division for him to excel.
Khan is in the wrong division as well. Both of those guys should be fighting at 140. With Terence Crawford moved up to 147, Khan and Peterson would have a good chance of winning world titles at light welterweight. I’m not sure if they would, but they would have a decent chance down in that weight class than they will at 147. Unfortunately, there’s no money at 140, so we’re seeing guys like Khan, Crawford, Peterson and Danny Garcia fighting at 147 now.
Brook obviously isn’t the best fighter on Khan’s 3-fighter list. Brook quit on a knee in the 11th round in his last fight against Spence on May 27 last year. Before that, Brook quit throwing punches in the 5th round of his September 10th fight against middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin in 2016, and the fight had to be stopped at that point. Brook seemingly had the fight beaten out of him by Golovkin and Spence. Never the less, Brook was stopped in both contests. It doesn’t matter though. The boxing fans in the UK would still happily pay to see Brook and Khan fight on Sky Box Office PPV.
The Khan-Brook fight that is way overcooked, as it should have taken place 2 to 3 years ago. It’s a fight that is stale, because both fighters are now on the steep decline in their careers. Brook has moved out of the welterweight division and is fighting at 154, where his chances of success are minimal at best. The odds of Khan ever winning a world title at 147 are virtually nonexistent. Khan and Brook are both in the same position in their respective divisions. Brook has a better chance of potentially winning a world title at 154 than Khan does at 147, because there’s a soft target in WBO junior middleweight champion Sadam Ali that he could potentially face if Hearn is able to get him that fight before Liam Smith gets to him.
It might be wiser for Khan to take the fight with Kell Brook in his second fight of his 3-fight contract with Hearn’s promotional company. If Khan fights Spence or Thurman in his second fight of his comeback, he’ll probably lose to one of them. If Khan loses that fight, then the interest in his PPV match against Brook will tank. I’m sure Khan isn’t really all that motivated to fight Brook just yet, but he might have to if he wants to maximize the amount of money he can make for that fight.