By Keith Idec
If a much-discussed showdown with Kell Brook is to be the third and final fight of Amir Khan’s contract with Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports, Khan is sending mixed messages.
The British star says he wants to stay busy and Brook is “the name I want.” He also is adamant about the Brook bout being contested at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds and feels it should take place at a stadium in England sometime during the summer.
Brook moved up to 154 pounds earlier this year and has repeatedly stated that he can no longer make the welterweight limit of 147 pounds. Bolton’s Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) and Sheffield’s Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) also have upcoming fights scheduled, which means they wouldn’t fight until next summer if Khan-Brook were to take place during one of those months.
Khan’s next fight was officially announced Thursday. The former 140-pound champion is scheduled to meet Colombia’s Samuel Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) on September 8 in Birmingham, England.
Sheffield’s Brook is set to face Canada’s Brandon Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) on July 28 at O2 Arena in London.
“You know the name I want is Brook,” Khan said during an episode of Sky Sports’ “Toe 2 Toe” podcast, which was posted Thursday. “He’s a guy who’s supposedly been calling me out and I’m ready for him. He’s always said he wants to fight me at welterweight. He’s only just moved up, so come back down. I want it at 147 pounds.”
Canelo Alvarez knocked Khan unconscious in Khan’s only fight near the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds. That May 2016 bout technically was a middleweight championship match, but the contracted weight limit was 155 pounds, not the middleweight maximum of 160.
While it’s obviously possible Brook and Khan could agree to a catch weight between 147 and 154 pounds, Khan seems reluctant to afford Brook any potential advantages.
“There’s no point mentioning my name and running around saying, ‘I’m scared,’ ” Khan said. “I’m not scared of anyone. I’ve always fought who they put in front of me and never ducked a fight. I’m the one who made this fight closer. I made a deal with Eddie [Hearn] and Matchroom, hopefully, to get this one done.
“When he first started calling me out, no one really paid attention. I let him bark and talk. Now he’s getting out of his boots and needs to be put in his place. But it has to be at 147 pounds. If that fight is going to happen, then it happens at 147 pounds.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.