Khan wants Broner or Jessie Vargas for next fight in summer
By Scott Gilfoid: Amir Khan says he wants a good step up fight against Adrien Broner or Jessie Vargas in the summer to get him ready for an eventual showdown against Kell Brook, which could take place in November or December. That’s when their promoter Eddie Hearn is interested in making the Khan-Brook fight. A lot of fans want to see that fight take place next in the summer rather than watching them beat up on more dreadful fodder opposition.
Khan is coming off a successful comeback win over Phil Lo Greco on April 21 in Liverpool, England. Khan knocked the hapless Lo Greco out in 2 rounds in sending him to the canvas twice before the referee Victor Loughlin quickly halted the fight. The match could have gone on a little longer, but it was clear that Lo Greco had no chance of making it out of the 1st round.
Lo Greco looked absolutely terrible. He was so bad that it’s hard to get a proper gauge of whether Khan has anything left after being out of the ring for 2 years. The only way to really know if Khan is still a world class fighter is to put him in with a good opponent, and that didn’t happen.
Khan needs to fight someone that is relevant in the welterweight division. Lo Greco is not a gate keeper, as Hearn said he was. He’s more of a journeyman, and arguably a low level one at that.
Khan, 31, is willing to fight on the same card as Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) this summer with him fighting on the undercard possibly. Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) sees himself as the main event. If Hearn can get Khan a fight against Broner or Vargas, then there’s no question that he would belong in the main event.
The only way Brook would take the top billing is if Hearn found someone like Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd or Jermell Charlo for his fight. That’s not going to happen though. Hearn isn’t going to risk the Khan-Brook fight by matching Brook against a good fighter that would have an excellent chance of stopping him the way that Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. both did.
“I’m the bigger name, and I sell more than what Kell would do. I think I’m No 1 anyway, so let’s see,” Khan said to skysports.com. “I want a bigger step-up…I would like to fight Broner next if I could. Broner would be good, Vargas would be good. I would school him. He’s not at my level. I would destroy him. Broner is a big name, to bring him to the UK would be massive,” Khan said.
It’s doubtful that Hearn will be able to get Broner to take the fight in the UK. He’s not someone that would likely want to put himself at a disadvantage by fighting in Khan’s home country. If a fight between Khan and Broner was to take place, it would probably need to happen in the U.S.
Broner, 28, hasn’t been looking good lately. He fought to a 12 round draw against Jessie Vargas last month on April 21 in New York. A lot of boxing fans thought Broner lost that fight. Before that, Broner was beaten by Mikey Garcia by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision in July 2017. So, we’re basically talking about Broner being 0-2 in his last two fights. He’s not much of a step up from Khan’s last opponent Phil Lo Greco.
Broner is a light welterweight, so it’s not a good step up fight for Khan. He needs to be fighting opposition from the 147 lb. weight division, as Broner has shown in the last five years that he does NOT do well when matched against welterweights. Since 2013, Broner has lost to Shawn Porter and Marcos Maidana at welterweight, and dodged defeats against Adrian Granados and Jessie Vargas.
Broner appeared to lose to both of those fighters. As such, it’s easy to say that Broner’s true record in the last five years should be 5-5. That’s journeyman level. Khan isn’t going to be able to show much fighting a guy with a record like that. Broner started his career at super featherweight, and he was at his best in that weight class. He moved up to welterweight in 2013, and he’s never been the same fighter since he made that move. The paydays have been better for Broner at 147, but he’s not had the same kind of success as he did when he was fighting at 130.
Hearn thinks that the Brook vs. Khan fight needs to be built up more by having them fight on the same card. After all this time, it’s probably a waste of time to try and build the fight more. The British boxing public doesn’t need to see Khan and Brook fighting other opposition to be interested in a fight between them. I mean, Hearn could make the Khan-Brook fight bigger if he went about it the right way, but the only way it becomes bigger is if he matches them against good opposition, not against so-called gatekeeper fighters like Phil Lo Greco.
The boxing public saw the Khan-Lo Greco fight for what it was – a mismatch. It was a showcase fight to make Khan look better than he is. If Hearn wants to make the Khan vs. Brook fight into a huge fight, then he needs to put them in with very good opposition in the summer. That means Khan should be matched against the likes of Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter.
It must be one of those guys that Khan fights for it to make the Khan-Brook fight into a much bigger affair. Jeff Horn would even be a decent option, if he doesn’t get beaten too badly by Crawford in their upcoming fight. Brook would need to fight – and beat – someone like Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo, Erislandy Lara or Erickson Lubin to get the boxing fans excited about him fighting Khan. I don’t think Brook can beat those kinds of fighters. Maybe he could beat Lubin if he gets to his chin early the way Jermell Charlo did in knocking him out in the 1st round.
Brook is coming off of a 2nd round knockout over the capable Sergey Rabchenko on March 3. That was Brook’s first win in two years since his 2nd round knockout victory over Kevin Bizier in March 2016. Brook had lost twice in a row before the Rabchenko fight to Spence Jr. and Gennady Golovkin.