Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook penciled in for early March
By Tim Royner: Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook has been tentatively penciled in for March of next year, according to Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn, but he’s still not certain the fight will take place. Khan is saying he wants the Brook fight to take place in a stadium in the UK.
It’s unknown whether there’s enough interest from the British boxing public for it to be worth it for Hearn to book a large stadium for fans to see these two faded stars. While there’s still some interest from the UK boxing public, there’s obviously not as much as there was in the past. Khan and Brook are past their prime, and can no longer be counted on to beat the best in their respective weight classes.
If Hearn sticks his neck out by booking a large stadium in the UK for the Khan-Brook fight, it might end up being only partially filled on the night. All the money that Hearn will have put in leasing the stadium will have been wasted.
There’s the matter of the 10 lb rehydration clause that Khan (33-3, 20 KOs) wants Brook to agree to before he’ll fight him, and he still hasn’t said yes to that.
Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) has a fight scheduled for next month against junior middleweight fighter Michael Zerafa (25-2, 14 KOs) on December 8 on Sky Sports at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. Khan wants to make sure that Brook, 32, wins that fight against Zerafa, and looks good in doing so.
“I think early March is the date that is sort of penciled at the moment,” Hearn said to skysports.com. I’ve seen the footage where apparently Amir shook his hand and said ‘Trust me, it’s happening’. Hopefully it is. It’s just whether it goes early March, or late May.”
Brook, 32, should win his fight against Zerafa without too many problems on December 8. This is another one of Brook’s warm-up fights to help get his skills back after suffering two bad eye injuries in his fights against former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in 2016 and Errol Spence Jr. in 2017. Those eye injuries occured consecutive fights for Brook, which makes some boxing fans wonder whether he has a weakness with his eye sockets. The injuries occurred to his left and right eye sockets. One would think that if a fighter suffered a broken eye socket, he would be more prone to suffer another injury to the same eye. That wasn’t the case with Brook. He suffered a broken eye socket in his 5th round knockout loss to Golovkin in 2016. In Brook’s 11th round stoppage loss to Errol Spence Jr. in May 2017, he suffered a broken left eye socket. The fact that Brook has suffered broken eye sockets to both eyes seems to indicate that he’s got a weakness with the bones of his eyes.
The Khan-Brook fight still hinges on the rehydration clause that Amir is insisting on that Brook agree to. Brook has complained vehemently that he feels it’s unfair of Khan, 31, to ask him to agree to the 10-lb rehydration clause that he wants, but he appears to be unyielding. Khan is firm about wanting Brook to agree to the rehydration clause before he’ll sign for the fight. Hearn seems to be backing Khan in saying that Brook is going to need to agree to the weight clause if he wants the fight. Brook has already agreed to the 147 lb weigh-in limit that Khan wants for the fight. That’s going to be hard enough for Brook. He’s a guy that rehyrates to the 170s. Brook is basically as big as former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin after he rehydrates for his fights, but he doesn’t posses the same power or the ruggedness of the Kazakhstan fighter. Brook won’t likely need to be rugged for him to beat Khan. He’s got more than enough punching power and toughness to defeat Khan even with the 10-lb weight class and the 147 lb weigh-in agreement.
Hearn is hopeful that he’ll be able to get the Khan-Brook fight signed for March. This is what it’s all about with Hearn. He wants to make the Khan vs. Brook fight above all, as he’s been trying to get the two of them to face each other for a decade now without luck. When Hearn signed Khan last year, he thought it would be an easy thing to setup a mega-fight between him and Brook for the UK consumption. Little did Hearn know that Khan would insist on the fight taking place at 147 and involve a 10-lb rehydration clause. Although Brook has been successful at keeping his weight within 10 lbs of the 147 lb weigh-in limit in the past, he’s no longer excited at doing that ever since his loss to Errol Spence Jr. in 2017.
”It’s got to be a stadium fight. I want to do it in March,” Khan said to skysports.com. ” I want Kell to get through this (Dec. 8) fight – and in good style – so it makes our fight even bigger. I hope he doesn’t get beat. If he does our fight’s off,” Khan said.
There’s still interest from boxing fans in the UK in seeing Brook and Khan fight each other, but the fight has already been hurt badly due the two fighters no longer taking on world class opposition. Since Khan’s 6th round knockout loss to Saul Canelo Alvarez in May 2016, he’s beaten Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas. Lo Greco is a journeyman fighter, and Vargas a fringe contender. Khan was shockingly knocked down in the 2nd round of the fight by Vargas. You can argue that Khan was saved by the bell. Had the knockdown occurred earlier in the round, Vargas would have likely finished Khan off.
There’s not much chance of Brook losing to the 26-year-old Zerafa on December 8. Zerafa isn’t a world class fighter. The only time Zerafa was put in with a talented fighter, he was knocked out in five rounds by rounds by former World Boxing Organization middleweight champion Peter Quillin on September 12, 2015. Quillin was nailing Zerafa with every punch he threw. It was so one-sided that the fight could have been halted much earlier and no one would have complained about it. Zerafa was also beaten by Arif Magomedov by a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision in October 2014 by the scores 100-91, 100-91 and 99-91. Magomedov is the same fighter that middleweight Luis Arias knocked out in the 5th round in June of 2017. Zerafa losing to Magomedov and Quillin shows that kind of fighter he is. Zerafa is not going to be a threat to Brook as long as his eye sockets hold up to his power shots in the fight.