When it became apparent that welterweight contender Amir Khan (30-3-0, 19ko) would fail in his well publicized attempts to land a dream fight with Floyd Mayweather Jnr – wholly due to the latter’s eventual involvement in the super-fight negotiations with 147-pound rival Manny Pacquiao – there was one match-up that continued to capture the imaginations of those in Britain… one with IBF welterweight world titlist Kell Brook (33-0-0, 22ko).
Khan, though, has continually dismissed Brook.
Khan has far more ‘elite-level’ experience than Kell. After all, this is a fighter who has shared the ring with Marco Antonio Barrera, Andriy Kotelnik and Danny Garcia. And this is a fighter who almost scored a first round body shot knockout over a slugger Mayweather went 24 rounds with in Marcos Maidana. And this is a fighter who has just notched one of his most impressive victories to date in shutting out Devon Alexander.
But this is also a fighter who could sell-out Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford, the 75,000 seater Millennium Stadium or even take us back to Wembley Stadium this summer… all he would need, of course, is the appropriate dance partner with a back-story that would get the British public as interested as the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves.
That opponent is Kell.
It is no wonder Brook and his promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports, their broadcaster Sky Sports and quite possibly a number of renowned football stadiums in Britain are clamoring for the contest. That interest, though, is one-sided.
Despite dividing the UK fans, Khan has great name value across the world. Like him or loathe him, the 28-year-old guarantees excitement. He brings speed, blistering combinations and a questionable punch resistance that means he always has to be on his toes.
Whilst he may have missed out on a Mayweather extravaganza this summer, he could still box in Las Vegas in the same venue, on the same date, as the main support to the main event in a bout that could elevate Khan even further should he triumph.
“No disrespect to [Khan’s trainer] Virgil Hunter, he is a great coach and I got endless love for him, but me and Amir Khan can fight at the end of this month,” said potential opponent Adrien Broner (30-1-0, 22ko) recently. “I haven’t taken any punishment, I’m back in the gym and ready to make a fool out of anybody.”
Broner, who bounced back from a thumping loss to Maidana by defeating Carlos Molina, Emmanuel Taylor and John Molina, has been gunning for Khan on social media – “[Amir and I] should be co-main event on May 2!” – and his bluster has triggered a response from Amir.
“I’m game!” exclaimed Khan, who added: “I’ve already spoken to Al [Haymon, renowned manager].”
With a brace of victories against top Americans like Alexander and, potentially Broner on a historic pay-per-view card, Khan favorably places himself into the shortlist of opponents for the winner of Pac and May.
The Brook fight will always be there regardless of Khan’s win-loss column in 2015, but taking part on the May 2 super-fight with a likely immediate shot at the main event’s victor, won’t.
Brook, meanwhile, could make a superstar of himself this year. In a horrific knife attack last year, Brook was left with his career in jeopardy. However, he has now recovered and should handily deal with Ionut Dan. But after that, Hearn wants Juan Manuel Marquez at the 32,500 capacity Bramall Lane football ground.
If Brook continues to ascend the welterweight division, with IBF belt in tow and notable wins on his ledger, it may not be a case of Khan not needing Brook, but more Amir not needing Kell – yet.