Kell Brook has attacked Amir Khan, calling his English rival a conman who has deceived both their promoter Eddie Hearn and fight fans.
Brook is in preparation for a bout against Australian Michael Zerafa on Saturday night. The pair will clash at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield as an eliminator for the WBA super welterweight world title. Brook is expected to breeze past the younger Aussie, who is not as experienced as he is, paving the way for a long awaited fight with Khan.
But the Yorkshireman took the opportunity in his press conference to take aim at the reluctant boxer from Bolton, who has still to agree to a match-up. Brook says he will look to take on elite fighters like American champions Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman or Shawn Porter if Khan remains disinterested.
“I feel like a teenager again, I could weigh in at 147 pounds tomorrow if I wanted,” Brook said.
“I’ve got that buzz, I’ve got many years left. I want to fight the top boys. Shawn Porter’s got the WBC world title, let’s see if he wants a rematch. I would love to bring Errol Spence back here in the summer and get the win because I’m an animal. I feel reborn.
“Amir Khan is a conman. They should call him Amir Con. He’s mugged you off Eddie. This is his last big fight. Under Matchroom I thought that this fight was nailed on. He shook me hand, looked me dead in the eyes at Tony Bellew’s last fight and said ‘We will fight next’. What can I do? I’ve bent over backwards.
“I said I will come to 147 pounds. We’ve not even talked about hydration or anything like that because it’s not even got to that. First of all, we need him to come to the table and say ‘Yes, it’s on’. Because I’m doing everything I can for the fans. He’s turned his back on the fans and he keeps saying I have. I think everyone knows he’s running off.”
Talk of a Brook-Khan fight goes all the way back to 2012. After Brook suffered terrible losses to Gennardy Golovkin and Spence in 2016 and 2017, and Khan was beaten by Canelo Alvarez in 2016, a bout between the two welterweights was seemingly drawing close.
They were both signed to the same promoter, Matchroom. Each had a tune-up fight earlier this year, in anticipation that a bout was near. Anthony Joshua against Tyson Fury is arguably the only fight bigger in the UK between two British boxers.
But still it hasn’t been made, much to the disappointment of many. Khan took on and beat Samuel Vargas in Birmingham in September and now wants a bout with Terence Crawford.
Brook appears ready to put Khan behind him if he can’t convince the 31-year-old to step in the ring with him. First up is Zerafa, a middleweight from Melbourne with two losses in his pro career. A former Commonwealth super welterweight champion, Zerafa has only fought twice outside of his homeland. Both occasions ending defeat, first to Arif Magomedov in Moscow in 2014, and then badly to Peter Quillin in the US in 2015.
Solid and respectable, Zerafa will give his all but is outmatched by Brook. The bookies have the 26-year-old winning with odds as high as 20/1. For Brook, the mission is clear – destroy Zerafa and confirm a shot a world title holder Brian Castano. Khan can wait. The Sheffield slugger cannot concern himself with what Khan wants and must focus only what he can control, starting with Saturday night’s showdown.
“No disrespect to Zerafa but I’m not interested in what he’s going to do,” Brook says.
“I know that I’m 100% and there’s going to be no man that can deal with me. I’m very happy, I’m very strong, I’m very explosive, so I’m looking to put a serious performance on and give everyone an early Christmas present.”