Hearn expects Khan vs. Brook negotiations to be completed by December
By Trevor McIntyre: Eddie Hearn is counting on getting the mouth-watering mega clash negotiated next month in December for the Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook welterweight domestic fight. Hearn wants to get the fight negotiated in December so that he can make the official announcement.
It’s difficult to take Hearn seriously anymore when he talks of being on the verge of putting the Khan vs. Brook fight together. Hearn has spoken of the fight being close for ages, and it’s still never happened. The Khan-Brook mega-clash is so badly passed it’s sell by date that it’s more of an old timer’s type of encounter. It’s a bout between guys that were at one time relevant, but who no longer are in this day and age.
Hearn thinks he can get past the major stumbling block in the negotiations with the 10 lb rehydration clause that Khan is asking for. Hearn has been straddling the fence in taking both sides seemingly at once in discussing Khan’s rehydration clause. Hearn would like Brook to understand that he might not get the fight against Khan if he doesn’t agree to the rehydration clause. But at the same time, Hearn admits that the IBF title won’t be on the line for the Khan-Brook fight, so there’s no point in a 10 pound rehydration clause.
“I believe the fight will happen, and I think it will be done before the end of the year,” Hearn said to skysports.com. “If we are going to get it done for February or March, we must get it done before the end of the year.”
For the Khan-Brook fight to take place in February or March of 2019, Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) needs to win his fight next month against Michael Zerafa (25-2, 14 KOs) on December 8 at the Sheffield, Arena in Sheffield, England. That’s supposed to be a mismatch/tune-up for the 32-year-old Brook, but you never know.
Brook’s recent history of eye problems makes it a potentially risky fight for him. Brook suffered busted eye sockets affecting his left and right eyes in his fights against former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in 2016 and Errol Spence Jr. in 2017. In both of those bouts, Brook was ahead at one point in the fights before suffering the eye injuries. The outcome of the fights likely would have been much different if Brook’s eyes had held up. The one constant in both fights was the punching power of Brook’s opponents. Golovkin and Spence are both huge punchers, and Brook’s eyes couldn’t hold up under the pounding from them.
Zerafa isn’t the biggest puncher in the 154 lb division, but he’s got plenty of pop in his shots. He’s by no means a weakling. If Brook’s eyes have an inherent weakness in them, Zerafa has more than enough punching power to expose those flaws. If Brook gets injured again, it comes down to whether he would be willing to stay in there and try and box from the outside to win a decision.
It would be unthinkable for Brook to quit on his knees like he did against Spence or for him to stop punching entirely like he did against Golovkin. Brook’s trainer won’t be able to sit back and just let him take shots from Zerafa if he decides to stop throwing anything back like he did in the 5th round against GGG. Brook’s trainer at the time Dominic Ingle had no choice but to throw in the towel to save him against Golovkin when he stopped throwing shots. Brook had become food for GGG in the 5th, and the outcome was assured of him being knocked out if Ingle didn’t step in to stop the contest.
Provided that Brook gets passed his tune-up opponent Zerafa next month, he has a good chance of getting the Khan fight negotiated so the two of them can finally meet. It’s doubly important that Khan and Brook face each other in 2019, being that both of them are on the downside of their careers and can’t be counted on to beat the top fighters in their respective division. Neither of them has spoken of wanting to fight the best in their weight classes. Khan wants to fight 39-year-old Manny Pacquiao, but he’s not close to being the best at 147. Brook only wants to fight Khan, and he hasn’t bothered to mention wanting to fight any of the quality junior middleweights. Brook’s last fight was in March against fringe contender Sergey Rabchenko, who he stopped in the 2nd round.
“It’s a brilliant fight and, like I said, it’s the first time both guys have sort of accepted ‘this is the next fight for me,'” Hearn said of the Khan vs. Brook fight.
It’s a bit of a stretch to call the Brook vs. Khan match-up a “brilliant fight,” as Hearn is referring to it. The fight is more of a fun little match-up between guys that are going nowhere in their divisions. It’s club level fight in which two guys from the same promotion, both going nowhere with their careers, meet up and slug it out for the entertainment of the on lookers. It Khan-Brook would have been a brilliant fight if it had been made eight years ago in 2010 when both of them were in the prime of their careers. What hurts the Khan vs. Brook fight, besides it being so late in their careers, is that the winner of the contest won’t be perceived as going anywhere. It’s not like the winner of the fight is going to go on to win a world title at welterweight or junior middleweight. Brook is basically a middleweight, and it’s going to really drain him to make the 147 lb weigh-in limit for the Khan fight. If Khan gets his way, Brook will need to agree to the 10 lb rehydration limit for the fight which will limit him to rehydrating to 157 lbs on the morning of the fight. It’s not a problem for Khan to handle the 10 lb rehydration limit, because that’s about as much weight that he’ll gain back anyway. But for Brook to be limited to only 10 lbs to rehydrate on the morning of the fight, it’s going to be very hard for him. Brook fights in the 170s, so he would need to keep from gaining back all the weight that he normally would.
Brook thinks the rehydration clause that Khan has been asking for is a big joke, but it’s still not helping him get the fight by failing to agree to it. Khan wants the rehyration clause, and if he doesn’t get it, he might not agree to the fight. Khan-Brook likely would have already been made a month ago if Brook had simply said yes to it when Khan inserted that in the contract. The longer Brook prolongs the negotiations by failing to agree to the rehyration clause, the more likely the fight won’t happen.
There are no other fights for Khan and Brook to take right now that will give them a similar payday that they would get in fighting each other. Khan wants to fight WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, but that match probably won’t get made until after the Filipino star faces Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch. Pacquiao is going to likely hold off taking any risky fights until he finds out whether his big money rematch with Mayweather will happen. Khan had a hard time being fringe contender Samuel Vargas last September. Khan was knocked down in the 2nd round, and he had to get off the deck to go on and win a harder than expected 12 round decision. Likewise, Brook has nowhere to go at 154. He’s not even talking about wanting to fight the lions in the junior middleweight division despite the fact that they’ve been calling him out. Brook might as well be deaf as far as Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara are concerned. If Brook ever does fight for a world title at 154, it’ll likely be against WBO champion Jaime Munguia. He’s the weakest link among the current champions are junior middleweight. That would still be a very risky fight for Brook due to the size and punching power of Munguia, who reydrates to 175 lbs for his fights at junior middleweight. Munguia, 5’11”, is taller and heavier than Golovkin, and he hits almost as hard. Khan and Brook aren’t elite fighters, so they tend to come undone when they face the best. With Khan and Brook now getting older, it’s not going to suddenly change for them to start doing well against the elite. For that reason, it’s important that they make as much money as possible while they can fighting each other, and then look to get out of the sport before they get torn apart by the younger lions at 147 and 154.
It’s career over for the loser of the Khan-Brook fight. But even the winner of the fight will be looking at limited options. Brook won’t all of a sudden want to fight Jermell, Hurd or Lara if he beats Khan. You can expect Brook to avoid those fighters at all costs. If Khan beats Brook, he’s not going to want to fight Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford of Shawn Porter.