Hearn says Khan and Brook owe it to fans to fight
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn is starting to sound frustrated at the slow progress of the negotiations between British fighters Amir Khan and Kell Brook, and he’s now saying that they owe it to the boxing public that the two of them face each other. In case the Khan-Brook fight fails to take place, Hearn says he’s had minor talks with Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter about a fight against Khan. WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford is also interested, says Hearn.
Hearn doggedly determined to make Khan-Brook fight
Hearn doesn’t say whether Khan is interested in fighting Crawford. That would be a tough fight for Khan, but without a lot of money to be made. That wouldn’t be as bad as Khan’s 2016 fight against Saul Canelo Alvarez, which ended badly for Amir in getting knocked cold in the 6th round. It’s debatable whether Hearn is serious in talking about Crawford, Garcia and Porter being backup options for Khan. It’s possible that Hearn is mentioning their names in order to get Brook to agree to the 10 lb rehydration clause that Khan is asking for to make the fight happen.
“There have been some sort of minor discussions between myself and Amir about Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter. Terence Crawford would like a fight with Amir Khan as well,” Hearn said to skysports.com.
Khan, 31, obviously has options that Brook doesn’t have due to him needing to drain so much weight in order to melt down from 154 to 147. Since it’s clear that Brook has absolutely zero interest in fighting any of the talented fighters in the junior middleweight division, he cannot afford to drain himself down to 147 and take on one of the talented welterweights like Danny Garcia, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, Terence Crawford or Shawn Porter. If Brook is drained and fighting at only 80% capacity, he’ll likely lose to those fighters at 147. Taking another loss wouldn’t be a big deal for Brook, but he wants the cash out fight against Khan, which means he’s got to take the safe fights only against the likes of Michael Zerafa and Sergey Rabchenko.
Khan and Brook can’t afford to lose anymore
Khan can’t afford to lose as well, but he’ll walk away from the Brook fight just the same if he doesn’t agree to the 10 lb rehydration clause that he wants in the contract. Khan isn’t going to put himself in the same position he was in with the Canelo fight in 2016 in facing a guy that outweighs him potentially by 15 to 25 lbs. That’s not only a losing proposition for Khan, but it’s also dangerous to his health. That’s why Khan will walk away from the Brook fight if he doesn’t agree to the 10lb rehydration clause. Brook would be limited to gaining back only 10 lbs on the morning of the fight for the secondary weigh-in. He could still fully rehydrate after the morning weigh-in on the day of the fight, but it would make it trickier for him, as he would need to withold fluids somewhat until after he weighs on the Saturday of the fight. However, it’s not as if Brook hasn’t done this before. He held the International Boxing Federation welterweight title from 2014 to 2017, so he knows what it’s like to have to weigh-in for a second time on the morning of the fights.
Brook wants no part of 10-lb rehydration clause
The IBF has secondary weigh-ins on the day of the fights in which their fighters must gain back no more than 10 lbs. Brook was able to keep his weight within the 10 lbs during his three years as the IBF 147 lb champion. He should be able to do the same thing against Khan. There’s a heck of a lot more money at stake for Brook fighting Khan then there was during his three-year run as the IBF welterweight title. There’s also very little risk for Brook, given that Khan isn’t a big puncher.
Hearn dragging his feet at matching Khan against Garcia, Porter, or Crawford
Hearn doesn’t want to match Khan against Garcia, Porter or Crawford. Those are not the fights that he wants to put together. Hearn wants the Khan-Brook fight, since that one make the most money from the UK. The rest of the world don’t give a fig about the Khan vs. Brook fight, but the UK still wants it because those are well known British fighters. The rest of the world would rather see Khan fight relevant guys like Crawford, Errol Spence Jr., Porter, Thurman or Danny Garcia. That’s not a knock on Brook, but the reality is he’s lost two out of his last three fights to Gennady Golovkin and Spence by knockout. The only win Brook has on his resume in the last two years came against fringe contender Rabchenko. Even when Brook held the IBF welterweight title, he was a shaky fighter, who arguably didn’t deserve to be the champion in the first place after beating Porter by a clinch-filled fight in 2014. The referee let Brook hold all night without being disqualified or penalized. As the IBF champion, Brook was a huge disappointment, defending the belt against the likes of Kevin Bizier, Jo Jo Dan and Frankie Gavin before finally facing Spence in 2017. Bizier, Dan and Gavin were absolutely horrible title defenses by Brook, who clearly was milking his IBF title for all it’s worth.
“You know where I sit with it. They’re all great fights, there’s only one fight for me, and that’s the Kell Brook fight and I think as British fight fans, as the general public, I think they almost owe it to us, to give us that fight,” Hearn said.
Hearn says if he gets his way, he’ll make the big announcement for the Khan-Brook fight after Brook defeats Michael Zerafa (25-2, 14 KOs) on December 8 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, UK. It’s considered a given that Brook, 32, will beat Zerafa, who most boxing fans have never heard of. Zerafa is a guy that has been facing largely journeyman level opposition his entire career. He stepped it up against Peter Quillin and Arif Magomedov, and was beaten by both. Zerafa has since won his last eight fights against woeful opposition in record-padding fights.
“In an ideal world, I would have liked to announce it after the Kell Brook fight, if he can beat Michael Zerafa,” said Hearn.
Hearn might get his way with the Khan vs. Brook fight being announced immediately after the Zerafa fight on December 8. But as far as the UK boxing public not forgiving them if the Khan-Brook fight never getting mailed, it’s doubtful that they’ll take any notice at this point. It’s already academic that the interest in the Khan vs. Brook fight has dropped off dramatically to where it was eight years ago. With both fighters over-the-hill for the most part, the fans see no point in the two of them facing each other. Brook and Khan’s respective careers have been a disappointment. Neither of them were able to become lasting champions, and beat the best. Khan’s best career win is against Paulie Malignaggi. The best win on Brook’s resume is his controversial 12 round majority decision win over Porter. Again, that was a fight that Brook should have lost if the referee had done his job correctly and taken points away for his use of the punch and grab technique. Brook was clinching 10 to 15 times per round, and not allowing any gaps in which Porter could throw punches. Brook gamed the system that night, and the referee stood back and watched rather than taking points away.
Brook has options if he doesn’t focus only on money
If the focus wasn’t entirely on the money that still can be made from the boxing fan for the Khan vs. Brook fight, it would be far better for the two of them to go their separate ways and look to fight the best in their divisions. That means instead of Brook looking to pan for gold at 147 in a fight against a shot Khan, he should face the best at 154 by taking on Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd, Jaime Munguia, Erislandy Lara and Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams. Those five fighters should be the main focus for Brook if he’s looking to become the best at junior middleweight. When Brook moved up in wight to 154, he spoke of wanting to be the best in the division. Unfortunately, his actions haven’t matched his words, being that he’s been targeting only weak opposition in Zerafa and Rabchenko. Those are not talented fighters at 154. The hardcore boxing fans know of those two guys, and they’re not well thought of. It’s obvious that Brook is just taking easy fights in order to get the cash out payday against Khan. Brook says he won’t be retiring after he faces Khan, and perhaps he’s right. But the fact that kell Brook was willing to give up an entire year of his career in taking nothing but tune-up level fights against Zerafa and Rabchenko instead of facing quality opposition at 154, it looks like his main focus is going after the money fight against Khan.
Brook will be clear favorite over Khan
There’s not much mystery about who will win the Khan-Brook fight. Brook is seen as the clear favorite to win that fight, and the main reason for that is his huge weight and punching power advantage. With Brook rehydrating to over 170 lbs for his fights at welterweight, he’s going to be much too big for Khan on the night. If Brook were to fight guys that rehydrated to 185 lbs like Callum Smith, he would be in the same boat Khan is in. Brook might have some minor success against a guy like Smith in the first couple of rounds, but once he starts getting hit by the 6’3” super middleweight, it would be game over. Brook is too big for Khan, which is the main reason why Amir is insisting on a 10 lb rehydration clause. It would be Brook’s best interest to give Khan what he wants so that he doesn’t waste all of 2019 taking more tune-up level opposition, waiting and hoping that the cash out contest with Amir will happen. Brook already gave all of 2018 fighting weak opposition. If he does the same thing in 2019, his career will be nowhere.