Amir Khan and Kell Brook were guests on the Sky Sports Ringside boxing talk show on Thursday, and gave a memorable and lively two-way interview filled with trash talking, disagreements over past sparring sessions, an appearance by Audley Harrison where they managed to stun him into silence, and lots of talk about Ricky Hatton and a possible triangle of big British welterweight fights in 2013.
Here's a transcript of the interview. You can watch part of it at the Sky site.
Johnny Nelson, Sky Sports: "Boys, there's clearly no love lost between you two. You'll hopefully eventually collide. What do you think of the way Kell's come through the ranks?"
Amir Khan: "I think he's a great fighter. Good fighter. He's beaten whoever they put in front of him. That's the job he's in, he has to perform well, and he has been performing well. These are tough fights, and I think he himself knows that he has to move up to the next, world class level, where he's gonna be fighting the world class fighters. The likes of the Manny Pacquiaos, the Tim Bradleys, the Maidanas, the Devon Alexanders, and that's the time he can prove he is the best."
Kell Brook: "I'm No. 1 in Britain, so there's big fights out there, isn't there, for me, (Ricky) Hatton, and Khan. It's gonna be a mega showdown."
Nelson: "What makes great fights is great competition. We had Eubanks, we had Benn, we had Collins, now we have you three in the mix. This could be a good little Bermuda Triangle, shall I say."
Khan: "It could be a good mix, yeah, definitely. You've got three great fighters in Britain. I mean, I'm still at 140 pounds. I am thinking of moving up to 147, but I want to clean up this division first. There's a few things I want to do at the moment at 140. If I had won the last fight, then I would have moved up to the next weight category. But at the moment I'm still at 140. But in the future, definitely, I think there will be fights between us all."
Adam Smith, Sky Sports: "Amir, you say three great fighters. What's great about Kell?"
Khan: "He's a good fighter. He has good eye. I'll let him explain by himself how good he is. End of the day, look, I always respect every fighter out there. I would never have a bad thing to say, because it takes a lot of bottle to get in the boxing ring and fight."
Nelson: "So as a fighter, what does he do wrong?"
Khan: "Well, you know, I mean -- I've not seen much of him. The things what I've seen or heard of him fighting, is sometimes towards the latter rounds, I think a bit of fitness can -- he can improve a bit of fitness. And maybe pushing up on that world class level, fighting maybe tough opposition, which I'm sure he'd agree with as well."
Smith: "You sparred before, haven't you?"
Brook: "Yeah, we sparred before."
Khan: "And Kell will tell you about the sparring sessions. We had a great sparring--"
Brook: "And what happened?"
Khan: "You know what happened. Come on, Kell."
Brook: "What happened?"
Khan: "I used to box Kell all around the ring. And I'm not going to lie to you, that's the honest truth. I was at England camps--"
Brook: "You got schooled."
Khan: "I never got schooled. Listen, I was training for the Olympic games at that time and Kell was at the juniors. And I used to school Kell in the ring--"
Brook: "I've never been schooled, ever."
Khan: "Oh, come on, Kell. Come on, Kell."
Brook: "Have you schooled, now? Have you? I haven't heard that."
Khan: "End of the day, look, it's one of them things, that was the amateur days, and now we're in the professional days."
Smith: "It's very different, years later."
Khan: "100 percent it is different now."
Nelson: "And a long time ago."
Khan: "And it was a long time ago, exactly. Now we're both in the pro ranks and it's a different story. Kell's come on a lot, and so have I."
Smith: "I know you were offered the chance at fighting Timothy Bradley for the world title. Why didn't you take that, Kell?"
Brook: "With that fight, obviously, Eddie Hearn, the promoter, from day one, we've had a plan, to go the IBF route. There's this fight now, and there's the world title, with no ties, no -- they wanted options with Bradley, and the money wasn't great. Obviously I'm training for this fight now, and we know where we want to go. We went for the IBF route."
Smith: "Do you think he's right to do that, Amir?"
Khan: "Well, you know, that's a fight I wanted, against Tim Bradley, he wouldn't fight me at 140. There was two titles on the line. And I did offer him a 50-50 split down the middle. Financially he was making a lot of money, and he didn't take the fight against me. And I begged him again to take the fight. Again, he didn't take it. But I think Kell would have been a good test for him, he would have been a good fight for him. If he had got past Tim Bradley after a great win against Manny Pacquiao, that would have definitely put him right at the top."
Smith: "If Ricky Hatton wins, and he's with a new trainer in Bob Shannon, it's all happening. If he comes through against Senchenko on the 24th, and we're looking at the three of you for next year, who do you see as a harder fight: Hatton or Brook?"
Khan: "Styles make fights. I've sparred with Kell, I've never sparred with Ricky, but I think a tough fight would be Ricky, because Ricky's been in there with the world class opponents. He's been in there, he's shown that he's a class fighter at that level. You know, being in the ring with Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, that's no joke, you get me? So he's proven himself."
Nelson: "Same to you, Kell."
Brook: "I think Ricky. Obviously, like you said, with the experience, he's an all-around fighter, he can take a shot, he can keep coming, and he's got a good engine. He's an all-action fighter."
Nelson: "How do you think Amir will fare at 147?"
Brook: "Well, if he's in with me, it's not gonna be good."
Khan: "I think I'll be a better fighter at 147. Naturally, making the weight a lot easier. Being physically a lot stronger as well. I think I do kill myself making 140, but that's because I have big ambition at that weight division. But I think I'll be a better and stronger fighter at 147."
Smith: "Do you think your speed will be the difference at 147, if you were to fight Kell, or do you think your power would be too much?"
Khan: "Speed and power, you know, end of the day, look, I have both, and I know I'll be such a stronger fighter. When I'm sparring at 148, 149, the heaviest I've ever been is 152, and I think when I'm at that weight, I knock sparring partners out, and I knock them down. But when I'm at 140, that's when the power just gets sapped a little bit."
Nelson: "Kell, you're big at the weight. Do you think he'll be able to handle it?"
Brook: "No, I don't. I don't believe so. I think accuracy beats speed--"
Khan: "Come on. I've faced bigger guys and tougher guys than Kell at sparring--"
Brook: "And we know that he can't take a shot too well--"
Khan: "End of the day, he can say what he wants, I've been with better opposition. So he has no room to say that I will not be able to -- lucky that ring (on the studio set) isn't big enough, or we could have gone in there and put on the gloves and had a little fight--"
Brook: "Any time. Any time. Accuracy beats speed, and it's just a matter of time before I land one, and then he's gone."
Smith: "I tell you what, the British public would love to see you two. And put Hatton in the mix, as well. You could fight, you could have rematches, bring back the glory days."
Khan: "Definitely, you know, end of the day, look, I'm not a fighter to say no to it--"
Nelson: "So it could happen."
Khan: "It could happen, definitely. But Hatton is one fighter who I have a lot of respect for. I take my hat off to him, because he has proven himself numerous times, and fought the best. Has Kell done that?"
(break, after which Audley Harrison joins the set)
Nelson: "Kell, do you think your paths are going to eventually cross, you and Amir's?"
Brook: "Yeah, I hope so, for the fans."
Khan: "Definitely it's a fight that the fans want to see. It's a fight the fans want to see and I'm happy to take it. We need it on Sky Box Office. I think it would be massive. Let's get it on, man."
Brook: "Let's get it on. Let's get it on."
Khan: "I'm going to move up to 147 hopefully very soon, and then I'll be in the mix."
Smith: "We remember the days, don't we, of Benn, Eubank, Collins, and the rematches which were great, and they all fought each other. (Michael) Watson, as well."
Audley Harrison: "Yeah, great rivalries. If these two fight each other, add Ricky Hatton to the mix, that'll sell out any football stadium, and the whole country will be talking about it, so I'm really looking forward to those fights if they happen."
Smith: "Twitter's going absolutely crazy."
Nelson: "There's a massive demand for these two to get this fight on. We're hearing it from the horse's mouth, he's saying he got the best part of sparring, he's saying he did--"
Brook: "Being around years, everyone's -- 'What about Amir Khan?' For years. I've always wanted it. People saying this, that. So we need to get it on."
Khan: "Definitely. You know, I still think I'm a league above, but if I have to step back a league, and have to go down and knock him out, then I'm going to have to do that."
Smith: "Does this go back to the sparring?"
Khan: "I think so. I think he's going to be bitter about how I treated him in sparring. Maybe that's why he's still bitter and wants to do it. Like I said, I'm still 140. When I move to 147, I will move up, and I will knock Kell Brook out. Now I've said it in front of everyone."
Brook: "He gets knocked out every time. I'll knock him out. See that dance again. I'll take him apart."
Khan: "He has his opinion, I have my opinion."
Nelson: "What are his weaknesses, Kell?"
Brook: "He likes to have a fight. It's not about changing trainers to smarten his defense. When he gets into it--"
Khan: "Have you been in with anyone decent? Have you been in with anyone decent? You turned down Bradley, you turned down Maidana--"
Brook: "I'll fight Bradley, I'll do a unification fight with Bradley when I win my world title."
Khan: "Listen, OK, if he beats Bradley, I'll fight the winner of Bradley and Kell Brook."
Brook: "You're always saying stuff. You said that about Matthew Hatton, you said fight Matthew Hatton, then fight me."
Khan: "No, I didn't. I did not say that. But listen, if I fought you, I would knock you out."