They are two world class welterweights in their own right but nobody knows for sure who the best 147lb fighter in Britain is at this moment in time. Amir Khan; former two time world champion, is currently ranked number two and divisional rival Kell Brook, the current IBF champion, is currently ranked at number one, but the two are yet to face each other in the ring.
It’s a potentially huge fight and the rivalry has slowly been bubbling under the surface even whilst the two fighters have been occupied by different goals; Khan maintaining the growing momentum built on his steady comeback trail by slowly stepping up the level of opposition whilst Brook triumphed against Shawn Porter for IBF glory.
Khan seems to have a reluctance to fight Brook despite the fact that he has a world title strap which could be a useful bargaining tool for negotiations with other big names in the division. It does appear like he is trying to avoid Brook although he does have a point regarding the Brook’s status in the USA. There seems to be reluctance in the US at least, to accept Kell Brook as a serious force in the division. His lesser reputation was reflected in the way Porter along with a lot of the American boxing fraternity were guilty of blatantly underestimating Brook’s ability based on the names on his résumé. Even after his win over Porter on foreign soil, it was the scrappy nature and holding in the fight that seemed to be highlighted. Nobody is talking about Brook as a star in the division and it would be great to see him take on some of the really big names. To discard someone on the basis that they haven’t fought top fighters is not always wise. In that case you would discard the likes of Keith Thurman who by contrast is rated very highly in the US. These fighters simply need their opportunities to shine on the big stage. Brook is a genuine champion. He’s certainly not a paper champion.
Brook undoubtedly has the raw power to knock Khan out, but I think he would need to adopt a very uncharacteristically aggressive approach and hunt Khan down by cutting off the ring in order to do so. This is because Khan has blistering speed and will out point even the best technical boxers; it is one of the reasons some believe he has a chance at beating Floyd Mayweather Jr now.
Brook has a staccato rhythm to his boxing in a similar way to someone like Adrien Broner. He tends to cover up and block when the opponent is attacking. However throwing at the same time that Khan throws could be key to landing, as that is when he is at his most vulnerable. Danny Garcia illustrated this perfectly when he wiped him out with a huge left hook as Khan came in with an uppercut. Brook doesn’t throw enough leather to gain a point’s win but has the power at his disposal and is capable of getting the knockout.
Khan’s vulnerabilities only add to his excitement and entertainment value. He will beat some of the elite fighters and lose to some but he is for sure in the world’s elite mix; a world class operator. He shone against Alexander in a near punch perfect performance last time out. Was it an illustration of the new composed logical Khan? We will know for sure when he gets back in the ring with a big puncher. Alexander has never been a big hitter something shown by his low knockout percentage.
Khan possesses the quicker hand speed and would be in and out of range with rapid fire combinations against a fairly static opponent in Brook. It would probably also suit him to keep the tempo high as Brook’s stamina has been called into question before against Carson Jones earlier in his career. Looking at his body composition and muscle profile you’d say he is naturally more of an explosive and strong athlete unlike Khan who has the natural stamina and built up his strength.
Both men have the potential to beat each other on the night. I could only see Brook scoring a knockout. However I believe that Khan has the superior speed and all round skill. Therefore a points victory in his favour would be the most likely result.
Khan: W30 [KO19] L3 [KO2] 57.58KO%
Brook: W33 [KO22] L0 66.67%KO%