By Adam Foy: Despite both fighters being way past their best, Brook vs Kahn is one of the most intriguing fights of the decade so far and it goes way deeper than the needle. The fight itself has fans completely split and it’s clear that age and condition will play a big part in the result.
At various times throughout their equally up and down careers, a solid argument could have been made for either man., but the formula has always been the same; Kell Brook’s timing vs Amir Khan’s speed.
My personal belief is that if Brook’s eyes can keep up with Khan, if he can truly see Khan’s and start to predict them, then he’ll turn Amir to spaghetti in the mid to late rounds, but it’s just as realistic that Brook is overwhelmed by the pace and loses by a stoppage or decision.
In truth, there are far too many variables in this fight for me to think it will be this simple, whichever way it goes.
Many fans have cited each fighter’s history when reasoning their predictions, but I would suggest that both fighters have very similar records. They have beaten one world level fighter each and lost to three great fighters. You could say Khan has mixed in slightly better company in terms of name-value, but he did lose most of those fights, so I’m not sure how much bearing that has.
In terms of durability, you would have to give the edge to Brook. The fights that he has lost have been via stoppage and retirement to the division’s biggest punchers, whereas we have seen Khan genuinely put to sleep on far too many occasions.
However, it would be remiss of me not to mention Amir’s heart. This is a man who has always gone out on his shield. His resistance in round 10 of his fight with Maidana was one of the bravest things I have seen in a boxing ring and the image of Kell taking a knee in his hometown fight with Errol Spence Jr seems like a very stark contrast to this.
For the record, I think Brook did absolutely the right thing and very probably saved his eyesight by making that decision, and it could be argued that his higher punch resistance led to him taking more punishment, but it’s clear that Khan has put everything on the line every time while the perception is that Kell has fallen short of that.
In a fight with this much animosity, both men will undoubtedly be giving everything and it may very well come down to mental strength at the end. If it does, I would have to give Khan the nod on past performances.
Another element that can’t be ignored is age, and more importantly, whose style is more resistant to the aging process?
Khan has relieved on making the most of his speed for much of his career and this has left many holes in his technique. He opens up completely when he attacks and loses his defensive shape. He feels the need to be all action and wastes his energy, which leads to him tiring and repeating sequences. This has been one of his biggest weaknesses throughout his career and I wouldn’t be surprised if it led to his demise in this fight, especially with Kell Brook’s timing, and let’s not forget that Brook has landed clean punches against everyone he has fought.
On the flip side, Brook has bad habits of his own; His tendency to lean back from hooks could well land him in trouble against Khan, who loves to throw a left hook by a straight hand, and his low guard could allow Khan to take the initiative with his explosiveness and land the first punch in the majority of exchanges.
In short, this is as close as it gets. Fights are often marketed as 50/50, but few have so many objectively sensible arguments for both sides, and it is also incredibly rare to have a contest that is so sure to define the career of both fighters. Both men are fighting for their legacy and neither of them are under any illusions as to that.
I can’t think of a match in the last few years that I have looked forward to more and I expect the tension and atmosphere to be incredible.
In conclusion, I cannot f***ing wait for this!!