Khan vs Brook: The Retirement Fight
Make no mistake, when Amir Khan and Kell Brook finally share a ring in 2022 it won’t be to decide who is the better fighter, it is now a fight to decide who has declined the least. It’s really that simple. Some will say it is better late than never, many will probably say they would be better just leaving it.
For Brook, it is the fight he has always wanted, and the reason he has got it now is almost certainly because Khan has nowhere left to go. Khan has a price, only Brook can now give him what he commands.
From the outside looking in, Khan was the one who was either avoiding the fight or using Brook as leverage for opportunities elsewhere. Khan spent too long chasing fights he couldn’t have instead of focusing on one he could have had on his own doorstep.
Both have taken the wrong fights for different reasons in the later stages of their careers, and they have paid a heavy price for the choices they have made.
The grudge fight seemed close many times, each will blame the other for why the fight never materialised previously. The inflated egos and the genuine mutual animosity left us thinking about what could have been, now the fight has been finally signed, it changes nothing.
Whatever happens in February, it is still the big domestic fight that got away. The retirement fight will prove very little.
Both will be 35 when they hit Manchester for the long-awaited showdown and both are clearly past their best, and in truth, they have been for quite some time. There have been no meaningful or significant wins on their records in years, only devastating defeats that say plenty.
The wear and tear on both is obvious, maybe worryingly so. Khan and Brook would be better served in retirement. In many ways, their race has already been run.
It is a pension fight plain and simple, the hard sell won’t hide that. Nobody should be fooled. I seriously doubt anyone is.
Conor Benn says he will be ringside, Benn wants the winner, Khan or Brook don’t need him. It is one fight where we don’t need to see the torch passed. We already have the answers we need.
The equality in decline will make for a decent enough fight, it will likely be a good watch albeit an uncomfortable one. The hope is that whatever they are being paid, they won’t pay a higher price further down the line. It could be that kind of fight. They are now at the stage where every punch absorbed counts.
Khan and Brook have been great servants to British boxing over the years, they were outstanding talents who probably don’t get the recognition they deserve. A fight between the two when they were at their respective peaks is a missed opportunity that both will almost certainly regret later on in life.
Manchester is a fight of no return for Khan and Brook, the winner shouldn’t be tempted to chase what has been lost forever. The fight is what it is, and shouldn’t be treated as anything different. Win, lose or draw both fighters should get out while they can.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer