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Hearn: Khan and Brook want Pacquiao fight

Amir Khan Kell Brook Manny Pacquiao Khan vs. Vargas Samuel Vargas

By Scott Gilfoid: Amir Khan and Kell Brook both want to fight WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. However, putting the fight together might prove to be difficult, says Hearn, unless one of them is willing to dip into his own pocketbook to give Pacquiao the money that he would want to entertain a fight against them.

Hearn prefers to make the Khan vs. Brook fight now because he feels that it’ll make them more money than they would get fighting the 39-year-old Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs).

Hearn says Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) will be back inside the ring in September. Brook, who suffered an ankle injury, pulled out of his fight against junior middleweight contender Brandon Cook for this Saturday night on the Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker card on Sky Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Hearn says he wants to have the 32-year-old Brook fight on the undercard of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s next title defense against Alexander Povetkin on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

That fight will be televised on Sky Box Office in the UK and streamed live on DAZN in the United States. It’s important that Hearn load up the Joshua-Povetkin card with as many names as possible to bring in the pay-per-view buys on Sky Box Office, sell tickets for the 90,000 seat Wembley Stadium, and entice American boxing fans to pay $10.00 to subscribe to the DAZN streaming service in the States. It’s a juggling act for Hearn, as the casual American boxing fans are not familiar with any of those fighters. Even Joshua isn’t a household name in the U.S. The casual fans have no idea who Joshua, Povetkin or Brook are, and they’re not likely going to want to pay $10.00 to subscribe to DAZN to see them fight. Hearn is going to need to do A LOT better than Joshua-Povetkin & Brook-TBA to get American boxing fans to subscribe to DAZN.

“We’re looking to get Kell out in September, possibly on the (Anthony) Joshua (vs. Alexander Povetkin) card,” Hearn said to Fighthype. ”The aim for both of those guys (Brook and Khan) is to fight in September, and then hopefully move on to that fight (Khan-Brook in December). You’ve got Pacquiao around. I spoke to their guys today. Kell Brook likes the Pacquiao fight. Amir Khan likes the Pacquiao fight,” Hearn said.

Hearn sounds like he’s totally obsessed with making the Khan vs. Brook fight. He talks about that fight all the time. One gets the sense that the only fight that Hearn wants to make for Khan and Brook, besides putting them in with soft touches, is for them to face each other. Hearn is like a dog that doesn’t want to let go of an old bone. Hearn badly wants to make the Khan-Brook fight in December. Hopefully, Hearn isn’t making plans for that fight without checking it out with Khan first, because could be getting his hopes up for nothing. Hearn needs to make Khan happy, as he wants to be able to fight Pacquiao in a legacy fight. I hate to say it but Hearn isn’t going to be able to cram the Brook fight down Khan’s throat no matter how much he wants the fight.

Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) has a fight scheduled against fringe contender Samuel Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) on September 8 at Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, UK. This is the second tune-up fight for Khan after he blew out Phil Lo Greco in a 1st round knockout last April in his comeback fight after being out of the ring for two years. Hearn wants to give Khan some rounds before he matches him against Brook, if that’s the fight that he’ll be taking in December. It seems to me that Vargas is such a poor opponent that Khan will hardly get the rust out in beating him.

If the idea is to match Khan against Brook in December, Hearn should at least put Khan in with one live body before he throws him to the wolves for that fight. If I’m Khan, I would tell Hearn that I’m not interested in fighting Brook in December. I would want to get at least two fights against TRUE contenders, not fringe contenders, before taking that fight. Samuel Vargas, 29, is little more than a speed bump for Khan. The Canadian based Vargas was stopped in the 7th round by Danny Garcia in a non-title fight on November 12, 2016 and stopped in the 4th round by Errol Spence Jr. on April 11, 2015.

”Ultimately, I’d still like to make the fight of them two together,” Hearn said about his preference to match Khan and Brook together rather than having them face Pacquiao or other fighters. ”We’ll see. Kell has got to get back in the ring, and Amir has to past Sammy Vasquez, so I think the negotiations for that fight (Khan vs. Brook) will start immediately after.”

As you can see, all Hearn seems to be interested in talking about is the Khan-Brook fight. As such, you have to wonder how much effort Hearn is going to put in to try and match those two against Pacquiao. I mean, if Hearn doesn’t want to make a fight for them against the aging Filipino star, then he can certainly drag his feet when it comes to the negotiations in order not to make the fight happen. All it’ll take is Hearn giving Pacquiao a flat fee offer and he’ll walk away in disgust. We saw that with Hearn’s negotiations for the mega-fight between Anthony Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Instead of Hearn offering Wilder a percentage deal for the revenue for the fight, he offered him a $15 million flat fee.

This is a fight that could potentially make $100 million+, and Hearn offered Wilder a flat fee. The offer from Hearn to Wilder was so meager that it comes across like he really doesn’t want to make the Joshua-Wilder fight. If Hearn does the same thing for Pacquiao-Khan or Pacquiao-Brook, then those fights won’t happen and they’ll likely end up facing each other in December. Since that’s the fight that Hearn wants, it would be him getting his wish. It might not make Khan happy if he doesn’t get the Pacquiao fight, but oh well. For Khan to increase his chances of getting the Pacquiao fight, he needs to be in on the negotiations for the fight. It’s no good if Hearn is the one negotiating without Khan taking an active role to make sure that all avenues are being exhausted in order to try and make the Pacquiao fight.

”After his September fight, Kell has to be in a career defining fight,” Hearn said. ”He’s not running out of time in the game. He wants to be in a big fight. To motivate Kell Brook, you’ve got to put him in those big fights. That’s what the aim is to do,” Hearn said.

Well, if Hearn wants to put Brook in a career-defining fight, then stick him in with WBC junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo, IBF/WBA champion Jarrett Hurd, Erislandy Lara or WBO champion Jaime Munguia. Those guys will definitely keep the 32-year-old Brook on his toes, because if he’s not motivated for those guys, he could get blasted to smithereens. I would pick all four of those guys to beat Brook and beat him in a similar fashion as Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence did. I don’t want to drizzle on Hearn’s parade, but Brook has ALREADY been involved in career defining fights against Spence and Golovkin, and he failed miserably.

Brook was found wanting in those matches. Brook was eager for them, the talent just wasn’t there. The mind was willing but the flesh was weak for Brook, as he suffered broken eye sockets in the GGG and Spence fights. With Brook pulling out of his fight against Brandon Cook for this Saturday, it looks like his body is still failing him even now. I don’t know. I think Hearn needs to forget about putting Brook in a career defining fight in September, and focus on finding another soft job for him to pad his record with. It might help if Hearn makes gentle suggestion to Brook to have him forget about training hard during his training camps, and instead have him do shadow boxing. At least that way Brook can make it to his fights without suffering an injury in training camp and needing to pull out of the matches.

”I can’t make it any more clear; I want Khan against Brook is what I want,” Hearn said in continuing to drone on about how badly he wants to make the Khan-Brook fight. ”It’s the biggest fight out there financially for both. I spoke to Manny Pacquiao’s guys today. Amir Khan likes the fight. It’s almost like a bidding war with Manny. Pay the money and he will come. But again, there’s a lot more money for Amir Khan in the Kell Brook fight than there is in the Manny Pacquiao fight, because Manny Pacquiao wants a lot of money, which might not be there. It’s got to come from somewhere. That might have to come from Amir Khan’s pocket, which he won’t like either. So the Pacquiao fight is interesting. He’s a free agent right now,” Hearn said.

It would be nice if Hearn gives it a real try to match Khan against Pacquiao instead of him just giving lip service about the fight. Khan vs. Pacquiao is the only logical choice, as Brook isn’t popular enough and he fights at 154. Pacquiao isn’t going to want to fight Brook at junior middleweight, and he risk would be too high to make the fight due to his injury problems. The last thing Pacquiao needs is Brook winding up pulling out of the match due to another busted eye socket.

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