Boxing

Amir Khan: Bolton boxer running scared of fellow Briton Kell Brook

Khan became Britain's youngest boxing olympic medallist at 17. Photo credit: Boxing AIBA.

Khan won silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens aged 17. Photo credit: Boxing AIBA.

This week we learned Bolton boxer Amir Khan’s next fight would be against current WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.

This is a bout which Khan has always wanted after trying and failing to secure Floyd Mayweather Jr on a number of occasions.

Pacquiao, who is the first and only eight-division world champion, will provide a stern test but at the age of 38 it remains to be seen whether he still has the speed to trouble Khan.

He may be entering the twilight stage of his career but Pacquiao still presents an enticing proposition for Khan back at welterweight following the devastating sixth-round knockout at the hands of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez last time out.

The bold decision to move up two weights and take on Alvarez was seen by many as a step too far and so it proved with the way he was despatched by the Mexican in Las Vegas.

What was more bizarre was Khan’s refusal to fight fellow Briton and IBF world champion Kell Brook.

The Sheffield-born boxer has long expressed his desire to arrange a bout with Khan but the 2004 silver medallist has continually refused to agree terms.

Brook, who has lost just one of his last 36 bouts, would present a stern test and earned a lot of plaudits during his last fight despite being stopped in the fifth round by Gennady Golovkin.

The bout was a similarly ambitious step up with Brook moving up two weights to take on the Kazakh.

When news emerged that Brook had been fighting with a broken eye socket since the second round it just magnified the Englishman’s effort and determination.

After coming through surgery successfully the 30-year-old was hungrier than ever to set up an all-British clash but unfortunately the same enthusiasm wasn’t replicated by Khan.

There is a real appetite amongst boxing fans far and wide for the fight to go ahead, so much so that it would sell out any arena, including the O2 in London.

Khan v Brook is a real grudge match which would make for a thrilling spectacle and it is disappointing the two fighters are yet to step in the ring with one another.

For now Brook must take care of defending his IBF title when he meets American Errol Spence Jr in May.

Providing he comes through that contest unscathed there will undoubtedly be calls for the Khan team to return to the negotiating table regardless of the outcome against Pacquiao.

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