Kell Brook has hit back at suggestions from Amir Khan that he is "fooling the public" by fighting Michael Zerafa, insisting he has done everything possible to make a showdown with his long-time rival finally happen.
A clash between the two Englishmen appeared to be on the cards for 2019, with promoter Eddie Hearn revealing last month he had penciled in a date for next March.
However, reports emerged this week that Khan could instead be set to take on WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford instead.
Brook is in action on Saturday as he tops the bill in his hometown of Sheffield against Australian Zerafa, though Khan made public his opinion on the choice of opponent in an interview with Sky Sports.
"This guy he is fighting – I'm not sure what street he's pulled him off. He's fooling the public [with] who he is fighting," Khan said, before adding he would rather fight "pound-for-pound champions" instead of 'The Special One'.
However, Brook responded to the Olympic silver medallist following a public workout, claiming he had "bent over backwards" to get a deal done between the two.
"They should call him 'Amir Con.' Amir Khan is ducking me. He’s taking the Hearns for mugs. This is the fight we all want, but he’s wanting to go down a different route now with this Terence Crawford. It’s something we all want to see in a fight, we’ve got bad blood, we’ve got history, we genuinely don’t like each other," Brook told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast of Talk Sport.
“I was hoping the time would be now, we’re under the same umbrella [both boxers are represented by Matchroom] and I thought it could be done. We’ve offered him a deal, but his ego is unbelievable. For me, I’m all about the fans. I want to give them this fight because I’m sick of hearing, ‘when are you going to fight Khan’. I want to deliver it. I’ve agreed to go down to welterweight, I’ve agreed on many other things. I was hoping I was going to give the fans an early Christmas present, but he’s completely turned his back, he’s turned his back on the British public.
“He’s a coward and a conman – they should call him Amir Con. He’s looked me dead in the eyes at Tony Bellew’s last fight, we shook hands and he said, ‘we will fight next’, but he’s gone running off again. He’s a coward. I really thought we would lock horns, and he’s talked so much rubbish about me conning the public, but I want to deliver this fight for everyone.”