Tonight in Sheffield, Kell Brook returns to his hometown to fight Michael Zerafa.
A win was expected to guarantee a long-awaited bout with domestic rival Amir Khan. However, earlier this week, Khan emerged as a top candidate to face welterweight world titleholder Terence Crawford on March 23. The former 140-pound titlist would be paid $5 million to face the elite pound-for-pound fighter.
Brook (37-2, 26 KO's), a former welterweight world champion, did not take the news well, going as far to call Khan a "coward" and "Amir Con."
Khan (33-4, 20 KO's), 32, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, believes Brook is on the last legs of his career after sustaining fractured orbital bones in consecutive fights against Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr.
“I can't see that much left in him after having both his eye sockets broken and having his boxing broken,” said Khan to The Independent.
“He's living a bit of a crazy life. I don't know if he's doing it for the money or I don't know what he's doing it for. Maybe that's one of the reasons he's fighting all these easy opponents because he knows if he fights someone half decent, the fight with me might be off. The only option he's got out there is me, other than me he's got nobody else.
“I'm speaking the truth and speaking the truth is going to hurt him, and I'm breaking him down. Skill-wise, I can out-box him anyway, and out-beat him. He's not going to be nice; we're not friends, we've got to go in there and its business to us."
Khan returned from a two-year layoff in April when he knocked out Phil Lo Greco in 39 seconds. He also returned in September when he outpointed Samuel Vargas. Khan was dropped in the second round and took some punishment in the 10th, but won very comfortably on the cards.
In his first fight at junior middleweight in March, Brook knocked out Siarhei Rabchanka in two rounds to win the WBC silver 154-pound title.