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Kell Brook says Amir Khan told him their fight “is happening”

Amir Khan Kell Brook

By Tim Royner: Kell Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) says he met up with Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) last Saturday night at the Oleksander Usyk vs. Tony Bellew fight at the Manchester Arena, and he told him that their fight for March of next year “is on.” However, Brook says that Khan didn’t want to discuss the 10 lb rehydration clause that he’s hoping he won’t continue to insist on being part of the contract for the fight.

“I’m ready to go next week,” Brook said to IFL TV about his fight next month against Michael Zerafa on December 8. “He [Zerafa] comes to fight. He’s only lost to the top level. I’m going to go out there and show what I’m all about.”

Brook gassed out halfway though his fights against Errol Spence Jr. and Gennady Golovkin. There’s a good chance that Khan could knockout Brook if he’s able to take him past the 6th round. Having Brook weakened by the combination of the 10 lb rehydration clause and the 147 lb weigh-in limit for the fight will help Khan’s chances of getting the victory on the night.

Brook, 32, is hurting his chances of making the Khan fight a big one by facing a weak opponent in Michael Zerafa next month on December 8. Brook-Zerafa will be shown on Sky Sports at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. Brook was saying nice things about Zerafa (25-2, 14 KOs) during the interview, which can be interpreted that he knows that the boxing public sees the fight as another mismatch like his last fight against Sergey Rabchenko. If Brook were to fight a talented contender from the 154 lb weight division, it would do a lot more to help build the Khan fight, but he doesn’t appear to be interested in taking anymore career risks after being burned in his stoppage losses to Errol Spence Jr. and Gennady Golovkin. In both of those fights, Brook quit suddenly after suffering broken eye sockets. While you can’t blame Brook for quitting due to career-threatening eye problems, it has boxing fans wondering whether he has an inherent weakness with his eye sockets. The way that Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn is now matching him against poor opposition, it looks like he has doubts about his ability to fight top level opposition.

“He saw me and came up to me, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘It’s happening,’” Brook said about meeting with Khan last Saturday night at the Oleksander Usyk vs. Bellew fight at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. ”He didn’t want to listen to that part of it,” Brook said about the 10 lb rehydration clause that Khan wants for him to agree to. ”I said, ‘there’s no world title on the line. What are you playing at, and this what we’ve got to do. Let’s just fight. let’s just fight, battle of Britain.’ I’m the governor, me. I am the man, me,” Brook said.

The part where Brook describes how Khan looked in his eyes seems like a meaningless thing when it comes to predicting whether the two of them will face each other. It almost sounds like Brook is totally in awe of Khan, and has put him on a pedestal of admiration. Brook needs to stay focused and tell the boxing public whether he’s going to agree to the 10 lb rehydration clause or not. Brook droning on about how Khan looked him in the eyes is pointless babble. All the boxing public wants to know is whether Brook is going to agree to the rehydration clause, because that’s what’s holding the fight back from getting made. If Brook doesn’t want to agree to the rehydration clause, then he needs to move on and find out what his fate will be when he’s forced to fight the top junior middleweights instead of weak opponents like Michael Zerafa and Sergey Rabchenko.

Brook’s own promoter Eddie Hearn is saying that he’s going to need to agree to the rehydration clause that Khan wants if he’s going to get the fight. Hearn realizes that Khan isn’t going to change his mind, and he’s got plenty of options for other fights if Brook doesn’t agree to the 10 lb rehydration limit. Brook doesn’t have a lot of options. He just wants the Khan fight. In truth, Brook does have options, but they’re nasty ones involving him facing tough junior middleweights like Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd, Erislandy Lara and Jaime Munguia. Those fighters could end Brook’s career by knocking him out, and possibly hitting him hard enough for him to sustain another eye injury. Brook made the wrong move in moving up to 154, because the division is filled with hard punchers that have more than enough power to knockout Brook and beat him again. Brook should have remained at 147 and tried his chances at fighting the top guys in that division. Brook doesn’t want to do that anymore following his 11th round knockout loss to Errol Spence Jr. last year in Sheffield. For that reason, Brook’s options come down to basically just Khan or the weak no name opposition that Hearn is now continually feeding him. With Brook’s next fight against Zerafa on December 8, he’ll have wasted this entire year fighting poor oppsotion instead of popular world class fighters. It makes you wonder what Hearn is thinking. He’s got Brook on his Matchroom Boxing payroll, and he’s no longer fighting anyone. Has Brook lost his nerve or does Hearn no longer trust him that he can get through a fight against a talented contender or champion without him suffering another bad eye injury?

Khan, 31, doesn’t want to be outweighed by 15 to 20 lbs by Brook on the night of their fight, so he’s not surprisingly asking him to agree to a secondary weigh-in on the morning of the fight. Khan wants Brook to gain back no more than 10 lbs for the secondary weigh-in. This is something that is done all the time for fighters competing for the International Boxing Federation belt. There isn’t an IBF title on the line for the Khan vs. Brook fight, but it’s quite logical why Khan would want Kell to agree to the weight class. Brook fights at junior middleweight, and he puts on a lot of weight after he rehydrates. Khan already had a bad experience in getting badly knocked out by Saul Canelo Alvarez in 2016. Khan was outweighed in that fight, and he didn’t have the size to win. Having to deal with that kind of problem a second time would be risky for Khan, so he’s going to be looking to make sure that Brook doesn’t rehydrate into the 170s or 180s and have a big weight advantage over him. Brook would likely do the same thing if he were facing a super middleweight that rehydrates into the 180s or 190s.

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”Timing,” Brook said when asked how he can deal with Khan’s superior hand speed. ”Look at Manny Pacquiao. He had the speed. Look what [Floyd] Mayweather did to him. You find a way to win, and that’s what I do,” Brook said.

Brook can possibly KO Khan with timing like he says, but not if he’s weight drained from the double combination of the 147 lb weigh-in limit and the 10 lb rehydration clause. That’s going to be like a double whammy that Brook will have to deal with. Brook will still be dangerous in the first six rounds, but after that, he’s going to be feeling the effects of having to deal with the late rehydration. It’s tough on fighters that have to wait until the morning of the fight before they can fully rehydrate. It’s not tough if they belong in that weight class, and don’t need to put on more than five or six pounds. But when you’re talking about a fighter like Brook, who will likely rehydrate to 175 lbs by the time he walks into the ring, he’s going to be weakened if he can only gain back 10 lbs for the secondary weigh-in on the morning of the fight. That means that Brook will be limited to weighing just 157 lbs on the morning of the fight. That’s going to be tough for a fighter as big as Brook. It means he’s going to need to sacrifice a lot of muscle weight for the fight, because he won’t be able to lose enough water weight to make the weight.

”That’s a big man, Rocky [Fielding],” Brook said about Fielding, who will be facing Golden Boy Promotions star Saul Canelo Alvarez on December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York. ”He’s got the height and the length [Fielding]. I can see him causing him nightmares, Canelo, because Canelo just got the Golovkin win. I think he’s looking past Rocky Fielding, and those are the ones you slip up on. I love Rocky. He’s like the Rocky story. I want him to go out and show a good account of himself,” Brook said.

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It’s believed that WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding has been selected by Saul Canelo Alvarez due to him being a vulnerable champion in the division. As much as Brook wants Fielding to win, he’s expected to lose big on the night. Fielding has fought only good opponent during his career and that was Callum Smith, who knocked him out in the 1st round in 2015. Since then, Fielding has been facing less than the best. It’s nice that Brook wants Fielding to win, but that doesn’t mean he will. Fielding is considered to be a huge underdog in the fight, and for good reason. He’s totally over-matched.

”Dangerous, Wilder-Fury,” Brook said. ”You don’t know who’s going to come. I wrote him off against [Wladimir] Klitschko,” Brook said about Fury. ”What a talent he is. He moves like a welterweight. He glides. He can get into your head, but WIlder can get hurt and come back to the fight.”

Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) will be challenging World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder next month on December 1. Wilder is viewed as a big favorite in the fight. Brook believes that because Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, it means that he’ll defeat Wilder too. It’s a different situation for Fury. He’s not fighting gun-shy 39-year-old Wladimir on December 1. He’s facing a younger, faster and equally powerful Wilder, who has no qualms about letting his hands go. Wilder won’t need to be begged by his trainer to throw punches on the night. He’s going to be going after Fury from the opening bell, and it’s going to be a situation where it’s going to require a super human effort from Tyson to keep from getting knocked out.

”That’s the fight the fans need to see. That fight is going to have everything in it,” Brook said about the Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora 2 fight next month on December 22. ”It’s going to be another barnstormer. It’s going to be another unbelievable fight. It’s going to be fireworks from the first bell. I’m buzzing,” Brook said.

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