‘If I was Amir Khan I’d be on the phone now’: Eddie Hearn predicts Amir Khan will decide within a week whether he will face Kell Brook
- Kell Brook said a clash with Amir Khan is ‘now or never’ after Michael Zerafa fight
- Khan is considering snubbing Brook for a shot at star Terence Crawford
- Eddie Hearn is hopeful Brook’s display in Sheffield could persuade Khan to fight
Eddie Hearn expects Amir Khan to decide within a week whether to finally face long-time rival Kell Brook – or kill off the domestic dust-up for good.
Brook insisted a welterweight clash with Khan is ‘now or never’ after he laboured past Michael Zerafa in Sheffield on Saturday night.
As first reported by Sportsmail, Khan is considering snubbing Brook for a shot at pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford.
Eddie Hearn expects Amir Khan to decide within a week whether to finally face rival Kell Brook
But Hearn is hopeful Brook’s underwhelming display in Sheffield could persuade Khan to take more money for the ‘easier’ fight.
‘If I was Amir Khan I’d be on the phone now,’ he said in the ring after the fight. And later on Saturday the promoter claimed negotiations should soon be concluded – one way or the other.
‘I’ve told Amir it is now or never – I think he will decide in the next week,’ Hearn said.
‘He may sign the Crawford fight. Before tonight I would have said he would go with the Crawford fight… (but) Kell looked average tonight. If you weren’t sure before tonight, which he’s not because it is one or the other, then surely that is going to make you more sure.’ Brook revealed after Saturday’s unanimous decision victory that he would bend to Khan’s wishes and meet him at 147lbs with a 10lb rehydration limit between the weigh-in and first bell.
Khan is considering snubbing Brook for a shot at pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford
Should Khan put pen to paper, Hearn claims he could make ‘more than double’ the £3.9million he has reportedly been offered to face Crawford.
But the promoter believes it’s a fear of losing – rather than money – that has rendered the fight so difficult to make.
‘I’m not saying Amir thinks he is going to lose to Crawford but there is definitely the element of, “If I lose to Crawford I can come back and fight Brook”,’ he said.
‘But if he loses to Brook it is, “Oh my God” and Brook feels the same. They’re both petrified of losing. It will kill them forever. All their world titles, unifications – it will be like George Groves. He is remembered for getting knocked out by (Carl) Froch, I know he went on and did brilliantly but he’s still remembered for that moment and that is what losing this fight would be like for these guys.’ Victory over Zerafa earned Brook a shot at WBA and IBF super-welterweight champion Jarrett Hurd and, if a fight with Khan falls through, the Sheffield fighter remains determined to pursue big fights at both 147 and 154lbs.
Brook insisted a welterweight clash with Khan is ‘now or never’ after he beat Michael Zerafa
But Brook-Khan remains Hearn’s No 1 priority – even though he admits both fighters could be past their best.
‘Are they still in the primes of their career? There is an argument that Kell is not as good as when he fought Shawn Porter (to win the world title in 2014), maybe Amir is not as good as when he boxed (Marcos) Maidana (in 2010) but they’re still world class fighters. After that performance, I have to say Amir is the favourite,’ he said.
‘It sells out any arena in double-quick time. I think it sells around 60 or 70,000 (tickets). People will forget about that (Zerafa) performance two days later. It is chip paper. People will know about the history and the build-up. When they get together it will be epic.’
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