Hearn says Khan-Brook easier to make than Pacquiao-Khan
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn has spoken to Manny Pacquiao’s team about putting together a fight against Amir Khan, but he feels that it’ll be much easier to negotiate a fight against Kell Brook for Amir, says Michael Benson of Talk Sport. This comes to no surprise to many boxing fans, as Hearn promotes Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) and he’s been talking about wanting to match him against Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) for many years, even before he signed with his Matchroom Boxing stable.
Last Saturday night, Hearn made it clear that if Khan doesn’t face Brook next, then the fight will never get made. If that’s not a huge hint that the only fight that Hearn wants to make is the Khan vs. Brook fight then I don’t know what is. If Hearn isn’t going to try hard to make the Khan-Pacquiao fight, which is what some boxing fans believe to be the case, then that leaves only one option in the Brook fight.
“It’ll be two weeks off then we will sit round the table. Kell wants the fight and I know Amir will fight him,” Hearn said to skysports.com. “It has to happen next or it will never happen, so it’s up to these guys.”
Hearn doesn’t say why the Khan vs. Brook fight has to happen now. Is Brook about to retire if he doesn’t get the Khan fight? If so, then why did he make a big production about moving up to junior middleweight? Brook might as well have stayed at 147.
Khan is going to need to be assertive if he wants the Pacquiao fight because it seems painfully obvious that the only fight that Hearn wants to put together is one that involves him and Brook. If Khan bends to Hearn’s wishes and fights Brook, then he’ll likely be knocked out by the junior middleweight sized fighter in a match that would hardly be a fair one due to the size differences.
Brook came to Khan’s fight last Saturday night against Samuel Vargas (29-4, 14 KOs) at the Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, UK. You can bet that if Khan would have expressed interest in letting Brook into the ring for a face off, Hearn would have aggreed to it in a second. This wouldn’t have been a situation where WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was at ringside for one of Anthony Joshua’s fights, but wasn’t going to be allowed to enter the ring afterwards for some reason. Brook would likely have been given the green light to get inside the ring with Khan afterwards to start selling a fight between them. Khan, 31, didn’t look good in beating Vargas (39-4-2, 13 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision. It was a one-sided victory for Khan, but he was hurt in rounds 2 and 10 by Vargas, who isn’t known for being a big puncher. On top of that, Khan was given credit for a bogus knockdown in round three in which he clearly hammered Vargas with a punch to the back of the head. Referee Terry O’Connor arguably bungled the call by ruling it a legitimate knockdown.
Throughout the fight, Khan would look at O’Connor when Vargas would be working him over on the inside, and this would lead to the inside fighting being broken up. Vargas throwing punches on the inside, so O’Connor had to no reason to pull him away. It looked like Khan needed help inside the ring against Vargas, which isn’t a good thing when you consider that he wants to fight the top guys at 147 in Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr. Brook wasn’t impressed with what he saw from Khan, and stated afterwards that he would have knocked him out. As bad as Khan looked, almost any top welterweight would have beaten him last Saturday night. I mean, if a bottom fringe contender like Vargas could come close to beating Khan then it means that he would have been in trouble if he had fought a lot of the contenders in the division.
“It’s down to those guys, I think Khan has made it clear he wants Pacquiao or Brook,” Hearn said.
Khan vs. Adrien Broner would be a good fight if Hearn can’t make the Pacquiao bout for Amir. It seems to me that Hearn should be matching Brook against guys his own size at 154 rather than putting him in against a welterweight with a shaky chin like Khan. Junior middleweight champions Jermell Charlo and Jarrett Hurd have both called Brook out and are willing to give him a world title shots, and yet he’s being matched against lower level fighters like Sergey Rabchenko by Hearn. At 32, Brook should be fighting the best rather than fighting fringe contenders. Brook is rated #2 WBA and #3 WBC at 154. He should be fighting for world titles in that division, and if not that, then he should be facing the likes of Erislandy Lara, Julian Williams or Erickson Lubin. Hearn recently had Brook scheduled to face Brandon Cook last July, Brook pulled out of the fight with an injury. But the fact that Hearn was matching him against a vulnerable fighter like Cook, who was recently knocked out by Kanat Islam, suggests that he’s not going to be taking any chances with him.