Amir Khan doubts Kell Brook can make 147
By Scott Gilfoid: Amir Khan says he wouldn’t mind facing former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, but the problem is he has serious doubts whether the 32-year-old can even get down to 147 to make weight for a stadium fight against him. Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) has fought just once at 147 in the last two years, and that was against Errol Spence Jr. last year in May 2017.
Brook looked worn out after melting down from the 170s to get to the 147 pound limit. It obviously impacted Brook’s performance inside the ring on the night, as he was fighting on fumes after the 6th and he ended up on quitting on a knee in the 11th. To say that Brook has outgrown the 147 pound division is putting it lightly. The man has looked huge lately, and it’s impossible to imagine him being able to melt down to 147 for a fight against the likes of Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) or anyone in the division.
I don’t think it would be a good move for Brook’s health to try and get back down to 147 for a fight against Khan. Brook wants not only a fight against Khan, but also one against WBA secondary welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. If the Filipino star agrees to fight Brook, he could be taking the same risk that Khan would be with the Sheffield native potentially coming in well over the 147 pound weight limit at the weigh-in. The fights would still obviously take place given the money that would be on the line, but Pacquiao and Khan would be dwarfed by Brook’s size inside the ring. Without some kind of huge weight penalty to keep Brook from missing the weight for the weigh-in, and then gaining back a mountain of weight, the fights don’t make sense for Khan and Pacquiao. To make it fair, one would think that there has to be a rehydration clause in the contract so that Brook wouldn’t gain too much weight back after he weighs in.
Brook was supposed to fight recently against junior middleweight contender Brandon Cook on the Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker card on July 28 on Sky Box Office PPV at the O2 Arena in London, UK. However, Brook pulled out of the fight due to what was said to be an ankle injury. Khan says he heard rumors that the REAL reason Brook pulled out of the card is because he was too heavy and wouldn’t have been able to make even the 154 pound limit.
”The rumors were that he pulled out of that because he couldn’t even make 154lbs, so him making 147lbs is just a line he is using to get the fans back again, or win the fans over,” Khan said to skysports.com.
Oh man, if this is true about Brook, it’s sad, isn’t it? If the man can’t even make 154, then he can forget about his dreams of fighting Khan, since he’s not going to want to sign for a fight against a guy that can’t make the 147 pound limit. I mean, if Khan agrees to fight Brook, then what happens if Kell weighs in well over the 147 pound limit, eh? If Brook comes in well over the 147 pound limit, Khan would be at a huge weight disadvantage against Brook. Moreover, without a rehydration clause in the contract to limit how much weight Brook puts back on, he could be a light heavyweight inside the ring with Khan on the night. Khan is a good fighter, but he’s probably not going to be able to beat a light heavyweight sized Brook, will he?
It seems to me that Khan needs to have some safeguards to make sure that Brook can even make 147 before he signs for a fight with him. It would be in Khan’s best interest to request that Brook fight someone at 147 to show that he can still make the weight at this point in his career, because he’s only had one fight at 147 since 2016. Before Brook’s unsuccessful title defense of his IB 147 pound belt against Errol Spence Jr. in 2017, he fought at middleweight against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in September 2016. Brook ended up quitting in the 5th round in that bout after he started getting worked over by the Kazakhstan fighter. It was bad for Brook in the end of that fight. He looked like a wounded warrior, trapped against the ropes by GGG, unable or unwilling to throw punches back in defense. Golovkin was literally teeing off on a punching bag at the time that Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle threw in the white towel of surrender to stop the contest.
Khan wants a stadium fight against Manny Pacquiao, but it remains to be seen whether that match can get put together. Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been talking about how Kell could steal the Pacquiao fight away from Khan. Hearn wants Khan to hurry and make a quick decision in the next two weeks after his fight this Saturday night against Samuel Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) whether he’ll fight Brook or not. However, Khan might not be willing to put a smile on Hearn’s face by agreeing to fight Brook if he can’t even trust whether he’ll make the 147 pound weight limit for the fight. Khan’s last two fights have been at junior middleweight and middleweight against Phil Lo Greco and Saul Canelo Alvarez, but he’s coming back down to 147 for his fight against Vargas on Saturday night. That’s the weight class that Khan feels he’s at his best, and that’s the one that he wants to fight for a world title at. He doesn’t want to keep fighting at 154, which means that Brook would need to be able to get down to 147 to fight him.
Since there’s no way of knowing whether Brook can still make 147, Khan might be better off ignoring him and focusing on facing welterweights that he can count on making the weigh-in limit. That won’t make Hearn happy if Khan chooses not to fight junior middleweight Brook, but what else can he do? If Brook can’t make weight for the welterweight division, it’s a waste of time for Khan to sign for a fight against him and then have him potentially miss the weight by a mile.
“I do feel sorry for him at times but at the end of the day, I have to look after myself and my own career,” Khan said about Brook. “If the fight happens between us I know it will be big. I just hope he stays strong because the way he seems to me, he couldn’t get a fight out of him.”
Times have been tough for Brook lately with him losing to Spence and Golovkin by knockout, and suffering broken eye sockets in both of those fights. Brook has outgrown the 147 pound weight class, and he’s in a bad place now that he’s campaigning as a junior middleweight. Hearn hasn’t matched Brook against the talents in the 154 pound division in Jermell Charlo and Jarrett Hurd, even though both of those fighters are chomping at the bit to get a chance to beat him. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that it won’t end well for Brook when he does eventually face Charlo and Hurd, which might explain why Hearn hasn’t matched him against either of those talents. Instead of putting Brook in with those guys, Hearn matched him against a fringe contender named Sergey Rabchenko, and then after he beat him, he tried to match him against the light hitting Brandon Cook. You can see with the way that Hearn is matching Brook that he doesn’t want to throw him to the wolves and have him devoured by the talented junior middleweights.
Khan is facing fringe contender Samuel Vargas this Saturday night at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England. This is another mismatch for Khan to help him look good and come back from his brutal 6th round knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez two years ago. Khan-Vargas is a horrible fight, but it’ll serve the purpose of giving Khan a showcase contest to make him look good in front of the casual boxing fans in the UK. That in turn will help Khan get pushed up the rankings at 147 for him to get a title shot. Hearn has the money to get Khan a world title shot against pretty much any of the champions at 147, so it doesn’t matter who he faces.