For years Kell Brook has insisted he has the beating of Amir Khan, and on Saturday he executed his game plan to perfection when he stopped his British rival in six rounds.
Brook troubled Khan with his power from the start before overwhelming him amid a furious, one-sided attack at the start of the sixth round to prompt a stoppage in a nontitle catchweight fight (149 pounds) just above the welterweight limit at the AO Arena.
Brook (40-4, 27 KOs), from Sheffield, who made three defenses of the IBF world welterweight title during a reign from 2014 to 2017, had Khan rocking in the first and fifth rounds, before relentless pressure in the sixth forced the stoppage.
Khan (34-6, 21 KOs), who was knocked out by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2016 when he jumped two weight classes to fight for the world middleweight title, was stopped on his feet, but defeat had looked inevitable for a while. Khan got out-landed 79-34 in total punches (64-19 in power punches), and just could not handle Brook’s power.
Get all the latest Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlets.
After at least six years of serious attempts to make this clash between two bitter rivals who live about 50 miles apart, but whose paths have repeatedly missed each other, Brook celebrated wildly with his team in the ring after the stoppage.
“It was just a matter of time before I was getting him out of there,” Brook said.
“Those are the fights I wanted to be involved in when I walked into a gym as a kid. I knew from 18 years old I was a better fighter than him. He had the push and promoters behind him because he won an Olympic medal.”
Brook had to change gloves in the ring before the fight after a dispute about gloves and wraps, but Brook remained completely focused.
“They tried to get into my head,” Brook said.
When Brook looks back at his career, this might be his most satisfying and proud moment, and revives some hope he can remain in big fights.
For Khan, however, a sixth professional defeat might be enough to convince him to retire.
“I’ve had 40 fights, winning two world titles, fighting in America and around the world,” Khan said. “I need to sit down with my family. But it is more towards the end of my career. In the ring, I didn’t have excitement and that push. That’s maybe a sign that I should call it a day, but let’s see.”
Both 35-year-olds were in decline before their overdue meeting. Brook last held a world title in 2017, while Khan’s reign at junior welterweight ended in 2011.
Check WagerWeb and find the best online betting site.