The Amir Khan-Kell Brook fight, which will take place this Saturday night in Manchester – at last, this after many years of waiting – could easily have been dubbed “Finally!” Instead, the bitter domestic grudge-match has been handed the tag-line “Judgement Day.” It’s a must-win fight for both men; not because the winner will go on to bigger things like a world title fight, but because both men know full well they will be almost unable to live with the knowledge that their hated rival bested them.
Brook has said that Khan will really struggle to carry the burden of having lost to him over the coming years. But will Brook get the win? Despite Saturday’s fight being past its sell-by date, it cannot be denied how the fight is still crammed full of intrigue, and it really is hard to pick a winner with any certainty. Khan and Brook both have their weaknesses, both are past their best, and both men enter the ring knowing (if not admitting to themselves) that they could be taken out at any second of any round.
Khan, 34-5(21) and Brook, 39-3(27) have both argued in the lead-up to the fight, who has the better chin? At first glance, such a question throws up a seemingly obvious answer: Khan has the far more suspect chin. Khan’s chin has let him down, famously, a number of times (see his losses to Briedis Prescott, to Danny Garcia, and his wobbles and/or knockdowns at the hands of Willie Limond, Michael Gomez, Marcos Maidana, Julio Diaz; we will not hold his KO loss to the far bigger Canelo Alvarez against him) and Khan could be hurt or taken out by Brook on Saturday.
But Brook has shipped some serious punishment during his career (see his losses to GGG and Errol Spence) and his ability to take a shot without his facial bones betraying him is in serious doubt (also, common opponent Terence Crawford took Brook out with ease in Kell’s last fight). So who has the better chance of scoring a KO or stoppage on Saturday? This fight could absolutely end early.
Khan will still have his speed in the fight, most likely at least. Brook will still be carrying the greater punching power, most likely at least. And with the sheer dislike for one another driving them on, Brook and Khan can be expected to raise their past their best game as high as is possible at age 35, after so many years in the ring.
As such, despite the negativity in some quarters (“I’m not paying for this fight, it’s almost ten years too late!” being a common line), Khan-Brook will be a good fight, an exciting fight. It may even be a fight fans cannot turn their eyes away from for fear of missing a sudden termination. Both men are vulnerable to a good punch and it wouldn’t be a shock if both men hit the mat. What would be quite a surprise is a distance fight.
Someone is getting taken out on Saturday. But who?