What next for Amir Khan and Kell Brook? Matt Christie sees them hint at retirement after their clash in Manchester on Saturday
BOTH Kell Brook and Amir Khan hinted at retirement in the aftermath of their long-awaited showdown. Khan in particular seemed ready to call it a day while Brook, who beat his old rival in six predominantly one-sided rounds, rejected the idea of fighting Chris Eubank Jnr or Conor Benn in the near future.
“It’s been a long time coming and I’m so happy I will not get pestered anymore about when I’m going to fight Amir Khan,” Brook said about the grudge match that was a long time in the making. “We went away before Christmas for training camp, I did not get to see my kids open their presents. People do not realize what we do. This was not about the money, I’ve got enough money as it is. ”
Brook won every round though Khan did his best to make a fight of it before he was stopped on his feet by referee Victor Loughlin.
“The referee was there to save him,” Brook reflected. “But I wanted to knock him out like Canelo [Alvarez] knocked him out. I have been dreaming about this fight for many years. ”
On his next move, Brook said: “I am a fighter and I like the competition. I like being a fighter and I always will. [But] it’s the fighter who is always last to recognize when it’s time to say goodbye. I do not want to be one of those fighters who fights for too long. ”
Brook, who had wanted to fight Khan since 2005, said it was an easy contest in the end.
“He knew I was coming hard, no matter what,” Brook said. “Timing beats speed and that was the case tonight. He has very fast hands but I knew straight away, soon into the fight, that it was my fight.
“I knew that nobody would remember the 42 fights I’d had before. I would be remembered for this one fight. And no disrespect to Khan, but it was easy for me in there. I did everything they wanted me to. I was the first in the ring, I even changed my gloves before the fight because they wanted me to. And I still took care of him. ”
Khan was admirably sporting. He did not have to but he walked into the media room after losing one of the biggest fights of his life. His face was badly bruised and swollen.
“No excuses, the better man won,” said Khan. “I never expected that from him, he put on a great performance. At the end of the day, we have rivalries but after a punch up, we can be friends. I respect him. ”
Khan has fought some of the best fighters of his era in huge events. But this contest against Brook was the biggest, he said.
“The best atmosphere I’ve ever fought in,” Khan reflected. He refused to make a single excuse before admitting it might be the end of his career. Three years ago, in 2019, he was poor while losing to Terence Crawford. “I’m going to sit down with my family and my team and work out what to do. I felt like this after [losing to] Crawford. I could not get in the groove and I wondered if it was because Crawford was so good. But I could not get in the groove again tonight which tells me something is not right.
“I want to retire from boxing, I do not want it to retire me.”
Brook also seemed to be leaning towards the exit door. Certainly, he will never be able to conduct a better swansong than this. Names like Conor Benn and Chris Eubank Jnr were mentioned as possible opponents.
“Let them fight each other first,” Brook said. “Make them prove they’re worthy.”
Dominic Ingle, Brook’s trainer, had other ideas.
“Get Floyd Mayweather out of retirement,” Ingle told the show’s promoter, Ben Shalom. “That’s bit of homework for you. Mayweather does not want to fight any real boxers so it might be tricky, but have a go. ”
That seemed to say it all. After beating Amir Khan, there really is nothing left for Brook to do.