A rivalry that has spanned nearly two decades will be settled on February 19 in Manchester. Amir Khan and Kell Brook clash for the first time with nothing really at stake aside from pride and one final payday chase.
Many years of bad blood, sparring claims, snide comments, and bold predictions will be of no use to them when they step through the ropes. It will be about which of the Brits want it more and several best online casino sites in the UK will be thrilled to watch how it end up.
It is believed that the fight will likely be the last for both Khan and Brook. There is a rematch clause in place, but they both agree it won’t be needed – confident that one will suffer a beatdown so humiliating they won’t want to do it again. But how did their rivalry get to this level?
The feud began ahead of the Athens Olympics in 2004. Khan and Brook were budding welterweights competing for a spot in the British team for the showpiece. It was the former, however, that made the cut.
Khan would go on to win silver at the Games before a high-profile career that saw him reign as world champion from 2009 until 2012. A decade of rivalry followed.
An infamous encounter on Sky Sports in 2012 brought everything to the surface as the pair were fortuitously placed next to each other on a show called Ringside, with Khan jumping at the opportunity to add insult to injury over their Olympic fortunes, claiming he ‘schooled’ Brook when they sparred at the camps.
Khan said “We had great sparring sessions – you know what happened Kell. I used to box Kell all around the ring. I was training for the Olympic games at the time and Kell was a junior and I used to school Kell in the ring.” “I’ve never been schooled ever,” Kell responded.
In the following years Khan added more claims about that fateful sparring session, saying Brook was ‘padded up like a pillow’ in protective gear
“He used to come in with is dad Terry, bouncing around. And after the first spar he never bounced around again. Kell used to wear head guards and body protectors, and small gloves. I used to wear the big gloves so I didn’t hurt him and no head guard so that way he had a chance. He was all padded-up from head to toe, just so he doesn’t get beat. And I’d still get them shots in.
“So that’s like why when we sit there and he talks about it like he used to beat me up in sparring I just think, ‘what are you talking about?!’. I should’ve recorded that, I should’ve recorded those videos when he was padded up like a pillow.”
A decade later the touchpaper has been lit and we will see who really has the better skills at the Manchester Arena. But it has taken far too long to secure this fight and the frustrations over failed negotiations has only added fuel to the fire.
“He’s been bugging Mayweather for the fight for years, he hasn’t got the fight, so what’s the next fight that’s bigger – me and Khan,” he said. “I’ve said it from day one. I’ve said it that his whiskers are delicate and when this brownie hits his chin, it’s going to shatter and he’s going to do that dance that he likes to do. He’s brittle. He’s Bambi on ice…. all rolled into one.”
The big moment was 2017. At the time, Brook was the IBF welterweight world champion, while Khan was looking to get back in the mix following a KO defeat against Canelo Alvarez.
Despite Khan’s position as a world champion, Khan had still demanded a 70-30 split in his favour rather than a 50-50, forcing Eddie Hearn’s matchroom and Brook’s father Terry to walk away from the negotiating table. Khan’s advisor Asif Vali gave the lowdown of how the talks went a few years later with casinoclic casino en ligne present.
“Terry stood up, shook my hand, said, ‘We are not doing business’, and walked out.”
Khan then hit out at both Brook and his promoter Hearn on Twitter, declaring himself ‘the A side’ out of the two.
“Eddie I’m the A side and you and Kell know he will make more then he did against [Gennady Golovin],’ Khan wrote. “I offered more as a guarantee so forget the percentage.”
Instead Brook took on the mandatory challenge of Errol Spence – who would end his reign as IBF champion – as Khan insisted his rival ‘didn’t want the fight’.
“My team sat down with Brook and his manager, we tried to make the fight and Brook said he doesn’t want the fight, so it’s not happening,’ Khan said, speaking about the talks on ITV’s This Morning. I want the fight and Brook has just walked away from it; he doesn’t want it.
“I was getting the blame for not taking the fight, and now when I’ve said “yes, I’ll take the fight”, Brook has stepped back and made excuses.
With the date now settled, Brook said: “I’m sick of people coming up to me asking me when I’m going to fight him. February is when he hits the deck for the final time. He’s never given me respect, acknowledged me. He’s always ran away and it’s come to this part of our career when there’s nowhere else for him to run. It’s been frustrating for me, I’ve wanted this for many years.”
Khan added: “I’ve never ran from him, never needed to, what I’ve achieved in sport speaks for itself, but we’re here now. At the end of the day, the talk he’s been giving, he needs to back them words up.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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