Brook Stops Khan in 6 Rounds
Boxing isn’t a sport for old men. 35 isn’t old in a more normal less violent way of life, but in boxing and crucially with the amount of wear and tear both fighters have, old men is exactly what they are.
Last night in Manchester, Amir Khan found this out the hard way, and so will Kell Brook, if he continues in a sport that can somehow refuse to let go until the stars that grace it are damaged beyond repair.
Brook has the perfect opportunity to bow out in style on a win that is probably even more satisfying and sweeter than when he beat Shawn Porter on American soil to win the world welterweight title in 2014.
The long chase for Khan proved worthwhile in the fight he thought would never happen. It always looked out of reach, but when it finally came Brook unleashed all the years of frustration on an opponent who must have wished he had stayed in boxing hibernation.
Khan has always relied on speed of hand and foot, and when that goes, the long-standing vulnerability would always be enhanced. The gamble that Brook was shot to pieces on the evidence of how the Sheffield lost to Terence Crawford in 2020 didn’t pay off, and Khan will probably always regret taking the fight.
I predicted Brook would win inside 6 rounds, it was more a feeling rather than any real conviction. But as the fight drew closer, I could only see one winner. Khan had the look of the more broken fighter coming in, too many wars and too long spent in the boxing wilderness. As long as Brook wasn’t dead at the weight, I couldn’t see how Khan could hold him off for the duration of the contest. The reality star would soon realise that boxing reality hits harder.
Khan needed a good start, he didn’t get it, and very quickly it became a battle for survival. Khan has always been too brave for his own good, and he again showed guts and heart way beyond the call of duty. One last act of defiance for the brave old warrior.
Hurt in the opening round, Khan bravely rallied in the 2nd round, but Brook was in total command for the remainder of the brutal and at times uncomfortable fight. It was a matter of when and not if Brook would win.
Somehow Khan stayed on his feet, one last minor miracle, before the referee Victor Loughlin wisely stepped in to save Khan further punishment in the 6th round. In truth, Khan should have been pulled out by his corner a minute or so earlier. Maybe even sooner.
After all the animosity there was respect at the end. Boxing does that, a cruel sport often with the cruelest of endings, but there is beauty in all the brutality.
Khan won’t fight again, Brook should make the same decision. He won’t, and last night will fade away as a result. At some point his career will end painfully and predictably. Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn have expressed interest, Brook is way too good to be the perceived name to boost a record of others. He deserves better.
The future will decide itself, but for now Brook will quite rightfully enjoy perhaps his finest hour. Khan hopefully, can now enjoy his retirement, it was one fight too many and one his body could have done without.
It was a lesser version of the fight it could have been, and is still very much a fight that got away. It wasn’t about titles, only bragging rights. But the two old-timers gave plenty, served up what they could and it was enough to justify all the hype leading up to the fight.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/Boxxer