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Khan vs Brook: Better late than never for a clash between true rivals

Amir Khan and Kell Brook are not meeting at peak, but the fight still has plenty of sizzle.

Khan vs Brook isn’t coming at peak, but should still have plenty of heat
Khan vs Brook isn’t coming at peak, but should still have plenty of heat
Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

“Actions speak louder than words,” Kell Brook told iFLTV this week at the announcement of his long-awaited fight with Amir Khan on February 19. “And finally we’re going to get an answer after all these years.”

Now, ages 34 and 35, respectively, Amir Khan (34-5, 21 KO) and Kell Brook (39-3, 27 KO) have finally decided to sign on the dotted line of one of Britain’s most debated grudge matches.

We all know that this fight is long overdue. That happens in boxing. And this isn’t even a case of over marination until the taste was just right. Khan vs Brook has been left at the back of the fridge for the best part of a decade, as both men sought greatness down different avenues across a multitude of weight classes.

Both men have had extremely successful careers, but opted to attempt climbing to dizzying heights instead of settling their domestic grievance when the time was just right.

These dizzying heights came in the forms of Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin in 2016, as the pair of Britons were handed destructive losses at the hands of the pound-for-pound stars.

Neither Khan’s nor Brook’s careers have been the same since being handed these brave, nose-bleed middleweight losses, collectively besting only Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, Billy Dib, Sergey Rabchenko, Michael Zerafa and Mark DeLuca since.

Their rivalry appeared to be fading — but in stepped Boxxer and Sky Sports.

“For a long time, boxing has been seen for the business side of things, a bit murky, and we’re passionate about changing that,” Ben Shalom of Boxxer told the BBC.

Shalom, the 27-year-old new kid on the boxing promotions block, is delighted to have got this fight over the line at long last, claiming that this meeting of bitter rivals is better late than never. And it’s hard to disagree.

Boxing is at its very best when two fighters are evenly matched. It’s not rocket science. Albeit several years down the line from Amir Khan and Kell Brook’s career peaks, their slow declines over the last five years has been fairly consistent with one another.

You could easily argue that this is the closest we’ve been to a true 50/50 fight between the pair — especially considering the agreed catch-weight of 149 lbs — if not at a championship level with gold trinkets and future opportunities on the line.

Whether legacies will be decided inside Manchester’s AO Arena will likely be debated after the contest, with differing stances taken from each fighter dependant on the result. It’s futile trying to tap into hindsight and predict a winner between these two in their peaks — instead, February 19. can be treated solely as a dust-up, a ding-dong, a car park scrap, a slug-fest between two guys that never have, and never will get on.

It doesn’t always have to be about rankings or alphabet titles. We are way beyond that point when it comes to Khan vs Brook. Instead, it’s two British greats looking to settle an old score whilst cashing out on two fantastic careers.

I can dig that.

Lewis Watson is a sports writer from London, UK, and a member of the BWAA. Follow or contact him on Twitter @lewroyscribbles