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Amir Khan to fight Kell Brook in Manchester grudge match on February 19


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mir Khan will fight Kell Brook in a British boxing grudge match on February 19 in Manchester.

On Monday, the pair confirmed an agreement to take their long-running war of words into the ring, with former IBF welterweight champion Brook describing negotiations as “unbelievably hard work”.

With a dislike of each other running back to their amateur days, the pair will face off at the AO Arena early next year after an announcement at a high-tension press conference.

“It’s 17 years this has been being talked about, even in the negotiations it’s been unbelievably hard work,” said Sheffield-born Brook, who has won 39 of his 42 professional bouts. “I’m ecstatic the fans are finally going to see the fight they’ve wanted for years.

“Now we’ve got a date and that’s when Amir Khan hits the deck for the final time.

“It started from our original promoters back in the day. We’ve always been meant to fight each other but it’s never happened. He’s never given me any respect, he’s never acknowledged me.

“He’s always said, ‘fight this guy, I’ll fight you’ and ‘beat this guy, I’ll fight you’. He’s always run away, and when it’s come to this part of his career there’s nowhere else to run. So this is when he wants it. I’ve wanted this for many years.

“I’m coming for a car-park scrap: with accuracy and power I’ll take his chin clean off his head.”

Former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champ Khan has not fought since July 2019, but remains confident he still boasts the credentials for victory as he seeks to improve a record of 34 wins from 39 fights.

“I respect him as a fighter but I’ve never been scared of any fighter,” said the 34-year-old Bolton fighter. “I’ve never run from Kell. At times in the past I didn’t think he deserved the fight.

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“But now I’m going to smash him in the face and put him in his place. Now we get to see who can back those words up. I’m coming levels down for this fight. I’ve fought the best in the world, conquered America.

“I’m giving the fans what they want, people want to see me punch him in the face and put him in his place.”

Neutrals will be forgiven for considering this a match-up that has come many years too late, with Brook already 35 and Khan reaching the same age next week. Promoter Ben Shalom disagreed however, insisting the public still wants to see the bout.

“Khan and Brook are icons of the sport in Britain and this will be an iconic encounter,” he said.

“Their rivalry has simmered for years, they are still by far the best welterweights in the country and the eyes of the world will be on them when they square off in February to finally settle the question about which of them is the better man.

“This is a fight every boxing fan has wanted to see for years. It’s the biggest fight in British boxing right now outside of Anthony Joshua versus Tyson Fury and we’re delighted to be able to deliver this legacy-defining clash live and exclusively on Sky Sports Box Office.”

Additional reporting by PA Media.


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