Two British fighters and stern adversaries, are once again (and for what seems the umpteenth time) being talked up as possible opponents. Current IBF world welterweight champion, Kell ‘Special K’ Brook, and fellow countryman Amir ‘King’ Khan, are once more the lips of UK fight fans.
Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KO) has publicly chased the proposed bout against Khan for a number of years without a semblance of his rival giving the Sheffield based man any kind of food for thought. Amir ‘King’ Khan (31-3, 19 KO) has looked to avoid any legitimate threat to his suspect chin ever since his stoppage loss to Danny Garcia back in 2012. Khan looked very shaky at times against Julio Diaz, and even more so against the very skilled, but ultimately light punching Chris Algieri.
Matchroom Sports owner, Barry Hearn, has recently come out to give his thoughts on Amir Khan avoiding Kell Brook, by opting to base himself in America, thus avoiding facing Kell Brook. “I know Pacquiao well and Bob Arum is a friend of mine,” Matchroom founder Hearn said to Sky Sports. “I asked Arum what percentage of a chance does Khan have of fighting Pacquiao?’ Arum said ‘less than one per cent’. He had no chance.”
Barry Hearn continued, “I’m very disappointed because Khan has been almost impossible. He doesn’t seem to want to fight anybody. Being in America is an excuse. I’m getting more optimistic because one-by-one, all of Khan’s alternatives are disappearing. At the moment for Khan to fight someone in the States, unless it’s Bradley or a top fighter, he’s only going to get a million or a million-and-a-half dollars. For him to fight Brook he’ll make three or four times more so it comes down to risk and reward. He doesn’t want to fight Brook. He was gambling that he’d get a bigger payday but he’ll get a lot of money for fighting Brook — but he may get beaten, and I think he probably will.”
Promoters often come out with such tactics to belittle an opposing fighter, to try and embarrass said fighter and goad the opponent into the ring. In this case, I find that the statement Barry Hearn has made to be nothing but the truth. If Amir Khan faces a threatening puncher, prior to what the Bolton native has been holding out for (or making it look like that) he may well get knocked out, then the whole charade of hoping to get this big payday against either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao would likely never come to fruition.
The knock on effect of this whole scenario would be Khan having to go with his tail between his legs to get the long awaited match up against Kell Brook. If Khan did somehow manage to land the bout against Mayweather or Pacquiao and was decisively beaten, there is no shame in that and the Brook fight would always be there. If Khan was knocked out against a lesser name prior to facing Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, ‘King’ Khan’s stock would plummet at breakneck speed.
With all this said and done, I am not saying Amir Khan is a coward, but it does seem to me he is afraid to lose the revenue. But then again, all the shenanigans Khan appears to be pulling, are just making the man look very foolish. Amir Khan, in the time he has been waiting around for a big name fight in America, could have taken three or four lesser names and still made some decent money from those fights. It’s a baffling situation for most, albeit a very intriguing one.