He has suffered two gruesome eye injuries in his last two fights, a fracture of the right orbital socket against Gennady Golovkin, and a fracture of the left orbital against Errol Spence Jr., but Kell Brook is gunning for a return in 2018, and he wants to knockout his bitter rival once and for all.
That would be Amir Khan, a 30-year-old former super lightweight world champion, who was knocked out cold by Canelo Alvarez in May 2016 for the WBC middleweight world title.
“I want to get in there and beat Queen Khan up,” Brook told UK’s Mirror at an App Empire event. “We all want to see me stood over him, saying, ‘Listen, I told you. I told you.’”
The pair have called out each other out for years, but Khan’s demands were too unreasonable at the time to captivate “Special K” and promoter Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Sport. However, Brook reassured his fans that he hasn’t forgotten about his rival.
“We want to make that fight happen. We all want to see it. I want to smash him.”
Khan (31-4, 19 KO’s), a 2004 Olympian from Bolton, underwent serious hand surgery last year in which surgeons removed a bone from his hip and transplanted it into his hand. He was eyeing a return to boxing earlier this year, but has been sidelined by a string of personal issues.
In a series of fiery tweets, Khan announced in August that he and wife Faryal Makhdoom had separated, then accused her of cheating on him with heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua. Embarrassingly, the alleged texts between Makhdoom and Joshua turned out to be completely illegitimate, and Khan was forced to apologize.
Both fighters have since buried the hatchet.
“Can’t wait to get back in the ring, where I belong. I apologise to all my fans for not being active for a year,” Khan said in a statement on his Instagram. “I want this more than anyone. [It’s] time to make my comeback, right to the top where I belong.
“A lots happened in my life, and it’s time I put everything behind me. I apologise to everyone for all the wrongdoings, time to move on, and do what I do best.”
Khan has some of the fastest hands boxing has ever seen in recent years, but his weak chin is his Achilles’ heel. He was knocked out by Breidis Prescott in 30 seconds in 2008, former world champion Danny Garcia by a brutal counter left hook in 2012, and the aforementioned Canelo.
Both fighters are looking to remain relevant in the sport, which means they are going to pour their guts and hearts out in the ring, and that makes the timing for this mega clash even better. Furthermore, it’s a very compelling bout.
It will be interesting to see how much more power the hip bone will bring for Khan. Additionally, whether he has suffered any decline in his hand speed due to the long layoff is also a good question.
For Brook, how much more punishment can he take to his eyes? You can bet if this happens that Khan is going to target the eye sockets all night long. However, Brook has a sharp counter uppercut on the inside, and can put Khan to sleep at any moment in the fight.
My early prediction is an eighth-round KO for Brook, with Khan winning four of the first six rounds.