Hearn says Kell Brook to go down to 147 for Khan or Pacquiao fights
By Tim Royner: Eddie Hearn says Kell Brook is going to be going back down to the welterweight division to hopefully secure a big fight against either Amir Khan or Manny Pacquiao. Hearn wonders whether Brook could take the Pacquiao fight that Khan wants so badly.
It’s possible, but Khan might be flexible enough to sacrifice money for the sake of glory in facing Pacquiao and getting the chance to win the WBA secondary welterweight title from him. Khan certainly wouldn’t like the idea of Brook jumping in the front of the line to take the fight he wants against Pacquiao.
Brook wants either of those fights, but he’s going to sacrifice weight to make the 147 pound limit. Hearn say Brook will need to go back down to 147 for him to face either Khan or Brook. The last time Brook made 147, he looked physically sick in his loss to Errol Spence Jr. in 2017. Brook faded after the first half of the contest, and was easy pickings for Spence in rounds 6 through 11. Brook quit in the 11th. Taking the water weight off had taken it’s toll on Brook’s body, leaving him a shell.
Brook did fight well in the first six rounds against Spence, but unfortunately for him, he had nothing left in the second half of the fight. If Brook wants the fight against Khan or Pacquiao, he’s going to need to drop down to 147, because they’re not going to accommodate him by fighting him at a catch-weigh of 150 pounds or at the full weight for the junior middleweight division at 154. Brook would be better at 154 for the Pacquiao or Khan fights, but he lacks the A-side pull to get them to come up in weight.
Khan wants the Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) fight in December, but making the financials workout could be an issue. Hearn wants Khan to make the decision whether he wants to fight Brook next or not. Hearn says Khan has two weeks to make the decision on the Brook fight. It seems patently obvious that Khan doesn’t want the Brook fight in 2018. The only one who seems to realize that is Hearn, who isn’t letting go of his desire to have Khan and Brook fight each other this year. Hearn recently signed Khan to his Matchroom promotional stable, and ever since then, he’s been banging the drum for him to fight Brook. Khan wants the fight with Brook in good time, but just not now. Hearn is still pushing hard for Khan to take the fight this year rather than facing someone else.
”Khan has a decision to make, if he beats Vargas, probably within two weeks, do you want Brook?” Hearn said to skysports.com. “I met with Pacquiao’s people last week as well, and if Khan is too expensive for Pacquiao, because Pacquiao is very expensive, Pacquiao could fight Brook.”
According to Hearn, Pacquiao’s negotiators will take a fight against Brook if Khan wants too much money for the fight. Brook would then get the fight that Khan wants by facing Pacquiao. Ideally, it could work out better for Khan if Brook faces Pacquiao in December, and then he faces the winner of that fight. But in the meantime, Khan would need to setup a fight against someone else while he waits for the smoke to clear from the Pacquiao vs. Brook fight.
Hearn would prefer that Khan agree to fight Brook in December in what would be an in house Matchroom Boxing promotion in the UK, but it doesn’t look like Amir fancies that fight just yet. He wants a world title shot against Pacquiao, who holds the World Boxing Association 147 pound title or one of the other champions at welterweight. Brook, 32, no longer holds a world title after losing his IBF welterweight strap last year in getting stopped in the 11th round by Errol Spence in May 2017 in Sheffield, UK. A tired and hurt Brook took a knee in the 11th round and was counted out. Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) recently moved up to 154 and wiped out Sergey Rabchenko in 2 rounds last March. Brook will likely continue to fight at junior middleweight in the future, but for now he wants a mega-fight against Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) or Pacquiao.
Hearn isn’t saying it but he seems to be more interested in Khan fighting Brook than he is in a Khan-Pacquiao fight. Hearn says there’s more money in a fight between Khan and Brook. It also doesn’t hurt that Hearn promotes both fighters.
Khan has a stay busy fight against fringe contender Samuel Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) this Ssturday night on September 8 at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, UK. Khan must win that fight for a fight between him and Pacquiao or Brook to be realistic.
Brook would be arguably a lesser fight for the 39-year-old Pacquiao to take than a fight with Khan. However, if Pacquiao is able to get the money that he wants for a fight with Brook, then it’s possible that he’ll choose to face him rather than a match against Khan. The UK boxing public will be chomping at the bit at seeing either Khan or Brook face Pacquiao in December. Pacquiao-Brook would likely do almost as good pay-per-view numbers on Sky Box Office than Pacquiao-Khan. There would be more drama in a fight involving Khan and Pacquiao for obvious reasons.
Khan’s history of being hurt in fights would make it very interesting to watch him against Pacquiao. As far as worldwide interest, Khan vs. Pacquiao would likely attract more interest than a Brook-Pacquiao fight. Pacquiao’s purse requirement might make the decision for him in choosing between Brook and Khan for his December fight. If Khan wants too much money for the fight, it’s going to be Brook that gets it, as long as Pacquiao is on board with facing him in a slightly lesser fight. Brook, 5’9”, would be a tough fight for Pacquiao due to the weight involved. Brook is a HUGE welterweight, who balloons up in weight after he rehydrates for his fights.
Pacquiao might find himself outweighed by as much as 15 to 20 pounds on the night of the fight against Brook. Pacquiao tends to fight in the neighborhood of 150 or even less than that after he rehydrates. For Brook’s part, he packs on the pounds after he rehydrates and he’s in the 160s. If Brook rehydrates to the low 170s, Pacquiao is going to be fighting what is essentially a light heavyweight on the night. Unless Pacquiao can negotiate a rehydration clause that limits how much weight Brook puts back on, the fight doesn’t make sense for him. Pacquiao was greatly out-sized in his fight against Antonio Margarito in 2010, and that turned out to be a difficult fight for him despite winning the contest by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Although Brook isn’t as tall as the 5’11” Margarito, he’s as heavy as him.
Brook could help his popularity if he fought someone talented from the 154 pound division like IBF/WBA champion Jarrett Hurd, WBC champ Jermell Charlo or WBO champion Jaime Munguia. If Brook beats one or more of those guys, he wouldn’t need Pacquiao or Khan for him to have massive boxing fans clamoring to see him fight. The problem is Brook likely couldn’t beat those guys due to his eye problems. Those fighters hit hard, and there’s a good chance that Brook would physically break down if he fought any of them.