By: Sean Crose
On February 19th, the long – too long, actually – anticipated battle between English peers and enemies Kell Brook and Amir Khan will finally go down. Twenty thousand people are expected to view the fight live and in person at Manchester’s AO Arena. The match is being promoted by Boxxer and will be aired lived in the States on ESPN+. “Kell Brook versus Amir Khan is a fight that has sparked international interest,” said Boxxer honcho Ben Shalom. “This legacy-defining fight between the UK superstars, who have been world champions on American soil, now meet in a final showdown at AO Arena in one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in UK history.”
This bout has been brewing for what seems to be ages. In fact, it’s safe to say most fans were over hoping it would ever get done – when it suddenly became clear recently that the fight was going to actually happen. Now that the match is set, the world can finally see who the best man in the ring is – albeit way past the fight’s sell by date. Neither Khan nor Brook is most likely in his prime anymore. What’s more, both men have taken world class beatings for daring to be great – Brook against Gennady Golovkin and Khan against Canelo Alvarez. Their daring alone should add to their legacies, but sadly the public is fickle – even after some fighters take the kinds of chances other fighter don’t.
And so, older and more beat up than they once were, the rivals will finally get it on in what is more or less a highly publicized curiosity bout. Yet it’s hard to imagine any serious fight fan who isn’t interested in seeing this one. Brook and Khan, the two old pros, may no doubt still have bite. Plus, the clashing styles of the slick Khan and strong, straight punching Brook adds to the intrigue. On top of all that, there’s the fact that these two don’t seem much to like each other.
Perhaps this bout is the modern equivalent of 1989’s Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns’ fight. Although neither Khan nor Brook will ever been seen as all time greats like Leonard and Hearns are, their ages, combined with where they are in their careers, are similar to those of the two legends. Whether or not Khan-Brook will attain the level of go-round Leonard-Hearns 2 did remains to be seen. At the very least, American fans won’t have to pay to watch the bout on pay per view.