By Keith Idec
Amir Khan claims he wants to fight Kell Brook in the near future.
Khan also contends the Brook bout must be contested at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds, which could be a big obstacle in negotiations. The former 140-pound champion knocked out Phil Lo Greco in the first round Saturday night of a bout fought at a contracted catch weight of 150 pounds.
“The weight is an issue,” Khan told Sky Sports in the ring following his knockout of Lo Greco. “I’m a 147 fighter. I moved up for this fight, for 150, because obviously I’ve not been in the ring for two years. But guess what? That fight’s not something I’m rushing and I’m not running away from.
“I will fight Kell Brook and I will beat Kell Brook if it comes down to it. And the world knows that. I’m a better fighter. I’m a stronger fighter. Kell Brook has been living off my name for a long, long time.”
Brook went face-to-face with Khan in the ring at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, following Khan’s knockout. He doesn’t think Khan really wants to fight him, but Brook suggested a catch weight somewhere between 147 pounds and 154.
The 31-year-old Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) moved up from 147 to 154 for his most recent fight, a second-round knockout of Belarus’ Sergey Rabchenko (29-3, 22 KOs) on March 3 in Sheffield, Brook’s hometown. Bolton’s Khan, 31, signed a three-fight contract with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, which also promotes Brook, supposedly to build toward what would be a huge domestic showdown in the United Kingdom.
“In the next week or so, me and Eddie will sit down and see where we go from here,” Khan told Sky Sports News. “It would be nice to win another world title. It would be an amazing thing to do, but at the same time, it would be amazing to fill out a stadium and get someone like Kell Brook.
“I think a Kell Brook fight has to happen at 147 pounds. I really believe that fight could happen for a title, but let’s just wait to see what Eddie has to say about this. I am happy to fight him. Fighting a big name like Kell in England would be a massive fight. Selling out a stadium would be amazing.”
Bolton’s Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) ended nearly a two-year layoff when he beat Toronto’s Lo Greco (28-4, 15 KOs).
The 2004 Olympic silver medalist hadn’t fought since Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) knocked Khan unconscious in the sixth round of their WBC middleweight title fight in May 2016 in Las Vegas. The contracted catch weight for Khan’s fight against Alvarez was 155 pounds, five below boxing’s middleweight limit of 160.
When Brook challenged Gennady Golovkin for the Kazakh knockout artist’s middleweight titles in September 2016 in London, the contract weight was 160 pounds. Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) won by fifth-round technical knockout against Brook, who suffered a fractured right orbital bone that required reconstructive surgery.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.