Kell Brook and Amir Khan’s decade-long feud will finally be settled under rules when the two British fighters meet in a highly-anticipated bout on Saturday.
Brook and Khan are both 35 and have been rivals since their amateur days, with an ill-tempered sparring session sparking antipathy between the pair which has been played out in public ever since. The pair traded homophobic and racist insults at a chaotic press conference on Thursday.
Khan is a former unified super-lightweight champion while Brook is a former welterweight champion. They have recently lost to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin respectively.
Speaking about their relationship, Khan said of Brook: “He hates me because I gave him a beating. That has stuck with him. Now he envies my career and wonders why he couldn’t have done what I did.”
Here is all you need to know about the big fight.
When is the fight?
The fight will take place on Saturday February 19.
Where is Amir Khan fighting Kell Brook?
The fight will take place at the AO Arena in Manchester.
What time Amir Khan vs Kell Brook?
The television coverage begins at 6pm but the ringwalks for the main event are scheduled for around 10pm. Big boxing events have been known to run slightly behind schedule though, especially if fights further down the card go the distance.
How to watch Brook vs Khan on TV
The fight will be shown on Sky Sports Box Office. The fight is available for the cost of £19.95 and Sky customers can book through their remote control. Non-Sky customers can book and watch their fight here.
What are they saying?
By Gareth A Davies
Amir Khan believes training alongside pound-for-pound fighter Terence Crawford – once his nemesis – has given him “greater confidence” ahead of his blockbuster all-British clash with Kell Brook on Feb 19 in Manchester. Khan – record 39 wins, five defeats – insisted he must not overlook a rival who is driven by “jealousy” and “spite”.
“I think his punch resistance has gone. I think he’s doing it for the payday. But it’s like any other fight, I have to be on my A-game. I have to do everything punch perfect, I have to give him a boxing lesson. But I cannot afford to make any mistakes against Brook,” said Khan, who will be in the ring for the first time in three years.
Speaking from the United States, Khan explained: “My power, my punch rate are all on point, I’m sparring hungry young fighters in Omaha and Colorado Springs and it has given me a new lease of life. I’ll be honest, at the age of 35 I wondered if I could train twice six days a week, and run the hills on a Sunday, but I’m outperforming the younger fighters in the gym. I am the better fighter and I want to shut Brook up and prove the point that I am levels above him. The fight has been on and off for years and I agreed on everything they wanted. I’m glad we have got here.”
A month out from their long overdue meeting, Khan’s rival Brook – record 39-3 – spoke from his training camp in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, insisting this is a contest the former world welterweight champion craves “not for money but for bragging rights” and a fight he “has craved for a long, long, time.”
“Better late than never, though. I sacrificed Christmas and the New Year, taking 90 mile bike rides on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and staying away from festivities, my missus and my kids, because it means so much to me. I will have been out here six weeks by the time I get home,” said Brook looking bronzed and lean in the jawline.
“Khan wants this fight for the money; I want this fight for the glory and the legacy it can bring me. I’m seeing this as my biggest fight, as big as any world title fight, even though there is no title on the line. I will use all my experience, and it will mean everything to me to beat Amir Khan on February 19 in Manchester.”
The battle for the championship of each other, although taking place years after it was first discussed, has gathered pace with the Manchester Arena having sold out in record time.
What is our prediction?
Amir Khan and Kell Brook finally meet, six years later than they should have done, with both fighters well past their prime. However, given that they are in similar states of ‘decline’, both aged 35, and that there is genuine animosity, it makes this an intriguing match-up for bragging rights over each other.
The fight will come down to who has the most left, and could be a shoot-out at times. Styles makes fights, and Brook’s patient championship know-how could see him come into the contest after round three.
Khan always starts fast, and will be dangerous early, with his hand speed and desire to come forward. Yet it would not be surprising to see the pair cagey with each other in the opening exchanges.
Khan may just have too much for Brook in the early rounds, yet if the Sheffield fighter finds his rhythm and timing, Brook could catch up with his Bolton foe later on.
But given what is on the line, it could be a night when both go to the well, most likely for the last time. It’s a very difficult fight to call. There could be knockdowns, knockouts or even a decision.
Gareth A Davies’ prediction: Very tough fight to call. Khan TKO round four or Brook KO round six (if he comes through early salvos).