Khan vs Brook-A breakdown on the potential Battle of Britain

Amir KhanBy Joey Mills - It’s been widely reported that both Kell Brook and Amir Khan have designs on a fight with each other. The promotional difficulties in putting this match together have been covered elsewhere on this site, but assuming the fight can be made, who would walk away with the win?

“King” Khan has the clear edge in experience. A former unified champion at 140 pounds, he has mixed in a far higher class than Sheffield’s Brook. Lovemore N’Dou and Matthew Hatton make up the only world level fighters on “Special K’s” resume whereas Amir Khan has seen off the likes of (an albeit faded) Marco Antonio Barrera, Andreas Kotelnik, Zab Judah, Paulie Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana. It would perhaps be an idea for Brook’s team to match him with a world class name before a Khan fight was made in order to better assess where he is in his development, and get a clearer picture of whether he is ready for the Bolton man.

The status of a potential Brook-Khan match also depends on whether the former Olympic silver medallist can come through his May 19th title challenge against Lamont Peterson.. Khan will be attempting to regain the IBF and WBA light-welterweight championships that he lost to the D.C native in a controversial but thrilling fight last October. While a Khan loss in this fight would not make a Kell Brook fight impossible, it would render it unlikely. Amir would be moving up in weight to face welterweight Brook, so him being a reigning world champion going into the fight isn’t essential. However if Khan was to suffer a loss against Peterson, a tricky-looking assignment against the Sheffield slickster would be a very difficult rebound fight. It seems likely that Khan, with the might of Golden Boy behind him, would seek a softer return to the ring.
The weight could also have an impact on the in-ring outcome. Kell Brook is a career welterweight, while Khan is yet to box in the division. Amir is a strong fighter, with his bullying up close landing him in trouble with a particularly sensitive official in the Peterson bout. However Brook would be the biggest fighter he had been in with, and as the Matthew Hatton bout proved this past weekend, Kell is adept at physically dominating an opponent.

In terms of speed, this is a close battle. Khan’s combinations have bamboozled many an opponent, not least noted speedster Zab “Super” Judah. Brook also boasts lightning-quick fists, as he showed “Magic” Matthew a few tricks of his own on Saturday night. Khan’s speed is proven at a higher level, against quicker fighters, and so the edge must go to him in this category. But with Brook unproven in this area, it would be interesting to see who is the fastest if they came face to face in the ring.

In terms of boxing acumen, the form guide sees them run each other pretty close. When focused, Khan is dazzling. However as the Maidana and Peterson clashes show, he is prone to hot-headedness and this can lead to him abandoning the game plan. Would his admittedly gripping display of bravery against Argentinian Maidana have been necessary had he stuck to his plan of boxing at distance? Brook is the calmer boxer, and doesn’t rush his work. However if Khan can keep his head and not get drawn into a war, his dominant showings when boxing from distance in the past would seem to suggest he would have the beating of Brook.
Kell Brook vs Amir Khan is a fascinating and potentially very exciting clash. I would favour Khan to just edge it at this point in the men’s respective careers. But with so many questions yet to be answered about the impressive Brook, that result is no certainty. It is to be hoped that the promotional wrangling and contract posturing that has become an odious ever-present in modern boxing doesn’t stop us from seeing this fight unfold.

Article posted on 20.03.2012

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