The Kell Brook-Amir Khan drama continues.
Following a listless sort of performance in a win over Michael Zerafa on Saturday in Sheffield, Brook (38-2, 26 KO) says it’s “now or never” for Khan (33-4, 20 KO) to face him, what with Khan having one fight left on his Matchroom Boxing deal, which was supposed to make it easier for them to finally make the fight happen.
“The time for the fight is now. I’m ready to go. It’s now or never. He’s saying that fight’s always going to be there — it’s not always going to be there. I’m trying my best to make it happen for the fans while we’re together under the same umbrella. If he decides to go a different way, it won’t be there again, because I’m going for the big boys who want to come and fight. Then when he comes crawling to me after he gets beat, it won’t happen. I’m telling you now, so the fans know: it has to happen now.”
In fact, the deal was pretty clearly supposed to be two tune-ups for each man in 2018, then a 2019 fight between Brook and Khan. They got their tune-ups in, and then in stepped Top Rank with a reported $5 million for Khan to face welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford. To say it’s thrown a wrench into those plans would be understating things, as it seems most expect Khan to take the fight with Crawford, which would air on pay-per-view, produced by ESPN.
As recently as a few days ago, promoter Eddie Hearn — who is pushing hard for the two to fight — said he thought it was 50-50. After seeing Brook look a bit pedestrian on Saturday, Hearn said, “I think if I was Amir Khan now I’d be on the phone to take this fight.”
Khan will be the one to make the call, it appears. Either he’ll come back to the States and fight Crawford, or he’ll finally deliver the Brook bout. But it seems pretty much out of Brook’s hands, and while Hearn can push all he wants, if the Crawford fight is more attractive to Khan, it just is what it is.