By: Sean Crose
“It would seem like a perfect matchup,” I wrote, “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.” Those words were penned in 2015. “Unfortunately,” I added, “that match doesn’t seem likely to happen.”
“Khan,” I continued in that long ago article, “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, I added, it might prove to be too bad for Khan, as well.
Sure enough, Khan never did get his fight with Floyd Mayweather. Nor did he get in the ring with Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao. And he certainly didn’t get in the ring with Brook. Sure enough, each fighter went his separate way, shooting for glory while going up against some of the biggest names in the sport. Khan went on to fight Canelo Alvarez and Bud Crawford. Brook went on to face Crawford, Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence. Neither fighter was able to best any of these illustrious names – yet the courage, ambition and gamesmanship of these two earned them (perhaps grudgingly) the approving nods of fans.
And then, before anyone knew it, time moved had on. Khan and Brook were in their mid thirties, their glory days seemingly behind them. Yet these Brits still had one more moment in the spotlight ahead of them. For each man had unfinished business with the other. Finally, belatedly, word came out that Khan and Brook were going to square off in the ring. Fans sighed in frustration that the match was past the sell by date. Still, a feeling of “better late than never,” appeared to eventually settle in.
Better late than never, indeed. Although Brook essentially beat Khan from pillar to post during their long overdue battle this Saturday, there was no doubt that each fighter was giving it 100% in the ring. Brook stalked his man, fire in his eyes, while Khan, clearly on his way to defeat, kept boxing gamely, hoping to best his man with speed and heart. His chin simply wouldn’t allow it to happen. Brook walked out of the ring with a TKO victory, while the public got to nod in satisfaction that the aging battlers were able to shine once more in the spotlight.
Credit to them both.
*Cover photo: Sky Sports
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