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Brook will face 147 elite if Khan doesn’t want fight

Amir Khan Kell Brook

By Trevor McIntyre: Kell Brook says he’s going to go in another direction if Amir Khan rejects a fight against him in 2019. #2 WBA Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) says he wants to go after the elite in the welterweight division. Khan is on the verge of signing for a world title fight against WBO 147 lb champion Terence Crawford for March 23 on ESPN PPV. However, Brook & Khan’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants the Khan-Brook fight, not the Khan-Crawford match.

If Hearn gets his way, Khan will face Brook in early 2019 and not Crawford. Hearn signed Khan thinking that he would be able to make the fight against Brook, but now it seems like the two of them are at an impasse over the rehydration clause that Amir wants.

Brook, 32, is fighting #8 WBA Michael Zerafa (25-2, 14 KOs) this Saturday night in a World Boxing Association junior middleweight title eliminator on December 8 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England. The WBA is sanctioning the Brook-Zerafa fight an eliminator, but it appears that it’s going to be a wasted effort on their part, as Brook says he wants welterweights like Amir Khan.

Brook is currently NOT targeting any of the fighters from 154. It’s possible the WBA isn’t aware of that otherwise they wouldn’t bother sanctioning Brook’s fight against the 26-year-old Zerafa a junior middleweight title eliminator. The only way it makes sense for Brook to fight for a world title at 154 is if he faces WBA ‘regular’ champion Brian Carlos Castano. He’s someone that Brook could possibly beat, but not WBA Super World 154 lb champion Jarrett Hurd. He would likely be too young, too big and too strong for Brook.

“I’m doing everything I can for the fans, he’s [Khan] turned his back on them. Everyone knows it’s him that’s running off,” Brook said about Khan. “I’ve got that buzz again. I want the top guys, Shawn Porter with the WBC title if he wants a rematch or I’d love to bring Errol Spence Jr back in the summer and get the win.”

It’s hard to know what the issue is that’s keeping the Khan vs. Brook fight from taking place. We do know that Brook wants no part of the 10 lb rehydration clause that Khan wants him to agree to before he’ll fight him. Brook says he’ll come down to 147 to make weight for the fight, but since he’s failing to agree to the rehydration clause, it’s causing Khan to move away from the fight towards a $5 million match against WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Khan doesn’t want to be outweighed by 15 lbs against Brook, who will likely rehydrate into the 170s for a fight against him.

At best, Khan might be 155 lbs on the night. It’s understandable that he doesn’t want to be fighting what would be in effect a small light heavyweight in Brook. If Brook could agree to the rehydration clause, he could tell the boxing public that he’s agreed to it, and that in turn would create pressure on Khan. But right now, it looks like the problem that is keeping the Khan-Brook fight from going ahead is Brook. He’s not agreeing to the rehydration clause. He thinks it’s enough that he’s coming down to 147 for the fight, but not realizing that Khan wants to fight a welterweight on the night, not a guy that is going to rehydrate to the 170s and use his size advantage to knock him out.

“I feel very fresh, 12 months ago I gave myself a year before I would hang them up. Now I feel reborn, a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I’m so happy,” Brook said.

One reason why Brook might be feeling good right now is he’s not been facing any of the talented fighters at 147 or 154 in 2018. Brook has only had one fight this year, beating Sergey Rabchenko. That was a showcase/tune-up fight for Brook. It helped Brook end his 2-fight losing streak to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. In both of those fights, Brook suffered broken eye sockets. If Brook starts facing the elite at 147 or 154, he might find that he’s lost that “happy” feeling that he’s talking about. He could find that things are just as bad as they were before.

Zerafa isn’t a threat to Brook, so it’s not going to be a problem for him to win that fight. Where Brook is going to have problems is when he faces guys that have talent. That’s when we’ll see if Brook can hang with the elite in the welterweight division. But as far Brook fighting the elite at 154, it’s not happening. He doesn’t want any part of fighting any of the junior middleweights, which makes it even stranger that the WBA is sanctioning a fight between Brook and Zerafa as a world title eliminator at 154.

It’s possible that Hearn wants Brook to have a backup option if he fails to get the fights against the elite welterweights. Having Brook in position to fight Castano for the WBA ‘regular’ 154 lb title puts him in a winnable fight. Castano is a beatable guy. It wouldn’t be an easy fight for Brook, but it would be a winnable one as long as his eye sockets can hold up under the strain of taking big shots from Castano. The fight that Brook obviously wants is against Khan, but he’s not making it easier on himself to get that fight by failing to agree to the rehydration clause that he’s asking for.

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