Amir Khan will not be satisfied with merely beating Kell Brook on February 19, and has set his sights on consigning his fierce rival to boxing obscurity when the pair meet at Manchester Arena.
By now the story is well known; neither likes the other, neither can envision losing and both know they cannot afford defeat at this late stage in their careers.
While victory secures long-brewing bragging rights and perhaps the shot at another pay day or two, defeat potentially puts a full stop to whoever should come off second best.
Khan v Brook: The Gloves Are Off
Sunday 13th February 7:30pm
“I think it comes down to how hard you’ve worked and how hard I’ve worked going into this fight,” said Khan.
“Obviously with the great sparring, great game plan we have for this fight, I’m just going to go in there and hurt Kell, that’s what I want to do.
“I don’t want to go in there and just box him, I want to go in there to hurt him and to put him away.
“He’s already got smashed up eye sockets, he’s already been beaten, knocked out, this is the time now where I finish his career off so he never needs to look at boxing again.
“This is going to be a nice pay day for you, Kell Brook, so you get this pay day and walk away, leave the sport happy.”
In response, Brook insisted the reason the fight was finally made after a decade-and-beyond of bad blood was due to Khan’s lack of opportunities elsewhere.
“There’s no pay days left for you, that’s why you’ve taken it now,” said The Special One.
Khan’s most recent fight came three years ago in July 2019 when he stopped Billy Dibb in the fourth round of their clash in Saudi Arabia, while Brook returns to the ring for the first time since his fourth-round defeat to Terence Crawford in November 2020.
Brook recently explained how their long-term rivalry stems from early on in their careers, citing a lack of respect shown on Khan’s part upon both turning professional.
“It’s a long time coming for me, you’ll see,” said Brook. “He gets destroyed, he gets beat like I’ve been telling you for years.
“He’s never wanted this fight, it’s me that wanted this fight for the fans. “He’s always had it his own way, he’s not having it his own way.”
Such has been the exchange of insults over multiple years, naturally build-up has featured debate over who wanted the fight and who perhaps did not in the past.
Brook insists the Olympic silver medalist had nowhere else to go, to which Khan has reminded his opponent it was his side that initiated the fight scheduled for Manchester.
“I sent my team to see yours to say ‘let’s make this fight happen’ so my team approached yours,” he said.
“You’ve been talking about it a long time, yes, but the main person that went and got it done was me. I sent my team to go and sit with your team. You’ve just been talking about the fight.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
Saturday February 19 – BOXXER in Manchester
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook
Frazer Clarke’s pro debut
Saturday February 26 – BOXXER and Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight titles
Nick Campbell vs Jay McFarlane – Scottish heavyweight title
Saturday March 5 – Top Rank in Fresno
Jose Ramirez vs Jose Pedraza