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Khan targeting Pacquiao for next fight; Brook plan-B option

Alexander Povetkin Amir Khan Kell Brook Manny Pacquiao

By Tim Royner: Amir Khan is already looking passed his next fight against Neeraj Goyat towards a hoped for clash against WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao in Saudi Arabia, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. He says Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) wants to fight Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) in his next fight after he takes care of Goyat (11-3-2, 2 KOs) on July 12 at the King Abdullah Sports City, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Hearn is still very interested in putting together the Khan vs. Kell Brook fight. Eddie says Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) will be fighting Khan next if the Pacquiao-Khan fight fails to take materialize. Hearn doesn’t want to give up on the Khan vs. Brook fight after talking about that match-up for years. There was a time in the distant past where boxing fans in the UK wanted to see Khan and Brook fight each other, but that was many years ago.

Nowadays, Brook and Khan are seen by many fans as two over-the-hill fighters, looking scrape together payday fights against world champions. We’ve seen Khan beaten twice in recent years in losses to former WBC middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. For his part, Brook has been trying to get a fight with Crawford, and he’s also been chasing Khan for a match. Brook hasn’t hasn’t been able to overcome his basic inertia to get his career back in line. He’s wasted too much time chasing the Khan for an illusive bout. It’s safe to say that Brook’s career would be in far better shape now if he’d never heard of Khan before.

Fan interest in Khan vs. Brook is low

Hearn doesn’t quite understand that the British boxing public no longer has any interest in seeing Khan and Brook fight each other. Both fighter’s careers have tanked badly in the last three years, and it’s not interesting for the fans in seeing them fight each at this point. Brook, 33, has hurt his own career by simply not fighting often enough after suffering losses to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. 2016 and 2017. With Khan, he’s been stopped twice in the last three years in loses to Saul Canelo Alvarez and Terence Crawford. Like Brook, Khan has beaten lesser guys in record padding fights recently in defeating Phil LoGreco and Samuel Vargas.

Hearn talks Khan vs. Pacquiao or Brook

“Povetkin’s on that card,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Alexander Povetkin fighting on the undercard of Khan vs. Goyat on July 12. “I know they [Team Khan] have their ideas of the Pacquiao fight potentially in Saudi Arabia, but I still want to make the Brook-Khan fight. I just think if he [Khan] doesn’t fight Pacquiao, he’ll fight Kell Brook. That is what I believe,” said Hearn.

Most boxing fans believe that Brook will knockout Khan when/if they face each other. Brook didn’t perform at a high level in his last fight against Michael Zerafa last December, but Hearn blames it on him not being properly motivated for the fight. He states that Brook only can compete at a high level when he’s facing the elite fighters. Brook didn’t fight well for long against Golovkin in 2016 in quitting in the fifth round after suffering an eye injury. In his next fight, Brook was stopped by Spence in May 2017. He quit in that fight as well after suffering an eye injury.

Pacquiao vs. Khan = pointless fight

It’s hard to imagine Pacquiao, 40, turning his sights to Khan if he beats Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in their fight next month on July 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao would have far better options in front of him than Khan if he gets passed Thurman. For Pacquiao-Khan to be a doable fight, it would need to be sold on pay-per-view in the United States, and the American boxing fans aren’t going to want to pay to see that farce. It’s too soon for them to be facing each other after Khan’s loss to WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford last April. A lot of boxing fans think Khan quit in that fight after being hit with a low blow by Crawford.

Povetkin coming back from loss to Joshua

Former WBA heavyweight champion Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) will be fighting an opponent still to determined in Saudi Arabia. The 40-year-old Povetkin hasn’t fought since losing to former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua by a seventh round knockout last September at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Povetkin put in a game effort in staggering Joshua in the second round. However, the much shorter 6’2″ Povetkin wasn’t able to take advantage of the situation, and Joshua came back to drop him twice in round seven to score the knockout. Povetkin was throwing too many single shots, and not letting his hands go to throw sustained combinations the way that Andy Ruiz Jr. did in stopping AJ earlier this month on June 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York. Povetkin is getting kind of old now, and it’s hard to imagine him ever winning another world title.

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