By Sean Crose
It would seem like a perfect matchup – at least it would on paper. Kell Brook, the undefeated IBF welterweight champion of the world versus Amir Khan, the former silver medalist who arguably possesses the fastest hands in boxing, in an all British superfight. Unfortunately, that match doesn’t seem likely to happen.
If we’re to believe Brook’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, Khan simply isn’t interested in facing his countryman, no matter how much he could benefit from it. Hearn says it’s because Khan is scared, but the truth is probably less simplistic than that.
Khan wants to fight Floyd Mayweather. And until or unless Mayweather picks someone else as his September opponent, Khan probably isn’t going to agree to fight anyone. That’s too bad for Brook, of course, as he’s wanted to meet Khan in the ring for a while now.
Yet it may also be bad news for Khan, as well. What, it’s easy to ask, will happen if Mayweather decides not to fight Khan yet again? There are other viable opponents out there, after all. Danny Garcia, for instance, could be seen as a nice easy touch for the man called Money after the trials of the Pacquiao fight.
Also worth noting is the fact that none other than Juan Manuel Marquez is interested in fighting Mayweather yet again. For those with short memories, the first fight between Marquez and Mayweather, which occurred just before Mayweather was set to do jail time, was about as one sided as a superfight could be. Indeed, Canelo Alvarez may have found more success in the ring against Floyd.
Then there’s that other important issue – the fact that not a whole lot of people seem eager to see Mayweather and Khan get it on in the ring. The twitterverse would probably be filled with as much complaining as it would be cheers if word came out that Floyd and Amir were to meet. For a man as attuned to the public’s wants and needs as Mayweather is, that’s a very telling issue indeed.
Khan, however, might be willing to take that risk. And, sure enough, there are those who understand why. As big as a fight with Brook might be back home in England, a scrap with Mayweather would literally be an international, career defining event. It might be easy to criticize Khan’s decisions, but it also might be easy to overlook where the man is coming from.
As for Brook, it appears he’s interested in Brandon Rios being his next opponent. Rios is a popular fighter, after all, and his last performance, against arch-rival Mike Alvarado, was a brilliant one. Still, the fact that Rios was easily handled by Manny Pacquiao a few years back might take some of the luster off that potential matchup for some fans.
Keith Thurman has also been mentioned as a potential Brook opponent. That particular match might well excite a great many people, but it’s been said Brook might want to fight again in August. With Thurman fighting Luis Collazo earlier in the summer, a bout between he and Brook may indeed prove to be some way off.
Which brings us to the words of Marquez’ longtime trainer Nacho Beristain:
“Mayweather is a more difficult opponent so I would prefer us to fight Brook.”
Marquez-Brook? Most probably haven’t thought about it – but many may like the idea.