After years of waiting, veterans Amir Khan and Kell Brook will look to compete against one another inside a boxing ring.
It was announced that Khan and Brook will meet on February 19 from inside the AO Arena in Manchester. This will be a non-title fight.
Making his debut in 2004, Brook is a former British and Intercontinental Welterweight Champion. He won the IBF Welterweight Title against Shawn Porter in 2014. Successfully defending it three times, Brook moved in weight to face Gennadiy Golovkin. Losing via round five TKO, Brook suffered injuries from the fight and against Errol Spence Jr., losing the welterweight title in the process.
Taking time off to recover, Brook fought in two fights in 2018, took more time off, and returned in February 2020. On a three-fight win streak, Brook faced Terence Crawford in November 2020 for the WBO Welterweight Title. He lost via TKO in the fourth round and hasn't fought since.
"He’s (Khan) never given me no respect, he’s never acknowledged me," Brook stated during the introductory press conference (h/t Bad Left Hook). "He’s saying ‘fight this guy and I’ll fight you, win a world title I’ll fight you,’ he’s always run away. I think it’s come to this part of his career where there’s nowhere else for him to run so now he wants to fight. This is the biggest fight out there for him, the biggest money fight, and there’s nowhere else for him to go so this is when he wants it, now. So it’s been so frustrating for me, I’ve wanted this for many years.”
A silver medalist in the 2004 Olympic Games, Khan turned professional in 2005. He won the Commonwealth Lightweight Title in 2007 and won the WBA Light-Welterweight Title in 2009 against Andreas Kotelnik. Khan defended the belt five times, winning the IBF belt in the process. He lost the belts to Lamont Peterson in 2011 and after losing to Danny Garcia right after, Khan would go on a five-fight win streak.
Moving to the middleweight division, Khan would get knocked out by Canelo Alvarez. He recovered with two wins in a row before losing to Crawford in 2019. Khan's last fight was a TKO win against Billy Dib in 2019. Since that fight, he has been helping people combat COVID-19 by offering his wedding venue for support.
“I respect him as a fighter...in my last ten years I’ve fought two of the best pound-for-pound fighters — maybe got beat but still young, fighting the best out there," Khan stated. "Never ran from Kell, never needed to. Obviously what I’ve achieved in the sport speaks for itself. But look, we’re here now, no point in crying about the past. At that time in the past I didn’t think he deserved the fight but now it’s come to a stage where I’m waiting to give him a good shot right in the face. I want to put him in his place. That’s what it’s all about, end of the day.
This is a grudge match literally years in the making.
Around the start of the 2010s, both were rumored to fight one another. It wasn't until late 2016 when talks really heated up. Khan, however, faced Alvarez while Brook faced Golovkin. Matchroom Boxing's Eddie Hearn thought he had the bout booked in 2017, and in 2019 the two were ready to clash, but Khan would face Crawford while Brook was healing from injuries.
Now, both are ready to finally settle their differences.