Kell Brook scored what was surely the most emotionally satisfying win of his career on Saturday, dominating and stopping Amir Khan in the sixth round of their big main event in Manchester.
Khan is now contemplating retirement, and it seems more likely than not we’ve seen him fight for the last time. But at 35, you never know — he’s not so old that he can’t get another fight, and there will be willing parties out there to fight him. With respect to him, it’s something we’ve seen many times over the years: It’s now all about how much Khan is willing to delude himself.
Brook is also 35. There is a great argument to be made that he also should go out on a high note, hang up the gloves on a big win, and not push it.
But Brook noted how refreshed he felt in the fight, and while he said he’ll talk with his family about continuing on, it seems in his case that we’ll probably see him fight again. And there are two willing, name fighters calling him out, both second generation fighters: Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn.
Eubank (32-2, 23 KO) is a middleweight. Benn (20-0, 13 KO) is a welterweight. Brook (40-3, 28 KO) is really neither.
He and Khan had a 149 lb limit for their fight, two over the welterweight limit of 147, and he probably can make the welterweight limit again. He did it to fight and get stopped by Terence Crawford in late 2020, but other than that he hasn’t made 147 since 2017, when he was stopped by Errol Spence Jr.
Benn, 25, has wanted fights with Brook or Khan for a while now, as he and promoter Eddie Hearn pretty rightly have seen those as attractive, major name stepping stones for the UK market. On Saturday, he Tweeted this:
We agreed I’d take care of business for him! @SpecialKBrook @amirkingkhan pic.twitter.com/dXJuy2BGff— Conor Nigel Benn (@ConorNigel) February 20, 2022
Of the two fights, this is at least the better idea for Brook, in part because Benn might even agree to do 149 or 150 for a contract weight with Brook in order to get the fight and try to get what would still be a name win on his record. Kell’s name is as hot as it’s going to get from here, as hot as it’s been in several years.
Eubank, 32, had this Tweet:
Nice win but let’s see if you can fight like that against me @SpecialKBrook— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) February 20, 2022
His latest promoters, the Sauerlands, also threw out a Tweet about the idea, as they would. They don’t have any easy, notable fights to make for Eubank, and neither do Sky Sports.
The Benn challenge is pretty typical. The Eubank challenge is a bit more desperate, though they have talked trash over the years. Eubank has talked about about how he and Brook have “history” and “don’t like each other,” and you could probably sell the fight OK enough on Sky Box Office.
But at his age and stage in his career, you’d really like to see Eubank actually trying to fight top middleweights, someone like Gennadiy Golovkin, Jermall Charlo (which PBC were trying to set up before Eubank signed with the Sauerlands), Jaime Munguia, Demetrius Andrade, or Ryota Murata. He’s fought up at 168, he’s a much bigger man than Brook, who is a natural 147. And there’s probably no middle ground here; Eubank has never fought below 160 in his career, and 32 is probably a bad time to try being effective at 154 or a 156 catchweight or something.
Maybe neither fight happens. Maybe Brook rides off into the sunset on a big win. But probably not. Boxing rarely works out that way, and if BOXXER or Matchroom come to him with a really good money offer, Kell may have a hard time turning down one more big fight.
What do you want to see Brook do? What do you think he will do? Will either of these fights happen?