As bitter domestic rivals Amir Khan and Kell Brook prepare to do battle at long last, members of the Boxing Social writing team make their pre-fight picks and predictions…
I can’t remember a time before now that I’d have confidently picked Amir Khan to beat Kell Brook… I guess, with Khan’s renowned fragility, the word “confidently” is a bit of an exaggeration.
For both British former world champions, they’ve come together after shaking off the dust, left on the shelf by mega promoters Hearn and Warren, deemed past their sell-by date. The intriguing thing about the two eventually fighting is that they’re at a very similar stage of their careers.
So, what does this fight boil down to?
For Khan, who looks the better of the two in terms of physical readiness, it’s about his discipline over the course of a 12-round fight. He’s started well against some big names, and then been drawn into serious trouble. The rapid combinations of a decade ago left him vulnerable, with little time to protect his chin – the years that have passed since won’t have improved him.
As for Brook, seemingly forever battling the scales (successfully) and with issues outside of the ring shortly after his best night beating Shawn Porter, there are questions surrounding his achievements. Other than that win over Porter, is he on Khan’s level? Where did it all go wrong? The Sheffield man was – at his best – an extremely slick, creative fighter. If he can find a big punch or two, he can win.
Forget talk of the fight happening too late; it is still massive. And while every part of me has learned from years of watching both men, nudging me towards a Brook stoppage win, I’m going to go for Khan to win by UD. – Craig Scott
In many ways, this fight is more interesting now than it has ever been. The bout would have been more meaningful at other stages, but Brook would likely have been a much shorter-priced favourite.
The intriguing thing, for me, is that we don’t know how much Khan has left. Brook’s deterioration has been clear to see for some time. However, Khan has been inactive for two-and-half years. Have the years been kinder to him than they have been to his Sheffield rival?
Neither fighter is known for living the life away from the ring. I’d hazard a guess that for the majority of the time Khan has been inactive, he would have been walking around at a weight far higher than the limit set for this bout.
Two-and-a-half years is a long time not to have been fighting. There will be a lot of ring rust to shake off.
For that reason, I’m backing Brook to win by stoppage in the second half of the fight. He’s not the fighter he was, but his flaws are less dramatic than Khan’s. – John Angus MacDonald
I think the hand speed and combinations of Khan will eventually overwhelm Brook and force the referee to stop the fight in round eight. Khan will likely bag rounds early, Brook will wait for his moment but perhaps end up chasing Khan and begin to get tagged. Eventually Brook will be worn, possibly his eyes damaged, and Khan will get his rival on the ropes, head getting tagged and that’ll be that. Part compassionate on the ref’s part I would imagine. – Shaun Brown