Kell Brook says Amir Khan didn’t give him the respect he deserved early on in their careers;
Kell Brook says Amir Khan has never shown him the respect he feels he deserves ahead of their highly anticipated grudge match on February 19th.
Kell Brook knows he cannot let emotions get the better of him when he and Amir Khan finally step foot in the ring for their decade-in-the-making showdown on February 19.
When the first bell sounds, all the trash talk and bad blood will be left in the past as the two bitter rivals engage in one of British boxing’s most eagerly-awaited grudge matches and a potentially career-defining moment for both.
It is anything but ‘just another fight’, but it might well be a case of treating it like one when things get underway inside Manchester Arena.
“I watched the (Liam) Williams and (Chris) Eubank Jr fight [Eubank Jr won a unanimous decision over Williams in Cardiff] and took something from that, it’s a little bit similar to mine because I know they don’t like each other,” Brook told Sky Sports.
“Williams went in there with a lot of rage. I can’t bring that rage and emotion in – as hard as it’s going to be I’ve got to stay professional and keep them behind me while I go in and be professional.
“There’s going to be a lot of emotion, it’s been a long time coming but I’ve got to be professional. I’ve got to go out there and do what we’ve planned to do
“If he somehow manages to get through it, it’s going to be a one-sided fight for me winning on 12 rounds.”
Both men appear to be 100 per cent certain of victory, unwilling to contemplate the implications of a defeat which could prove career-ending.
“You ask any world champion, any fighter – [losing] doesn’t come into the mindset, that’s why they’re as successful as they are,” added Brook.
“It’s all about the mind and I’m going in there believing 100 per cent I’m going to beat him, there’s not a doubt in my mind. I know what’s in me, I know how much I want it, I know it’s written for me to go out there and to win in style.
How Khan-Brook was agreed: ‘They refused to talk!’
Kell Brook has produced some stunning performances and will be looking for another one against Amir Khan.
The Special One says his long-term rivalry with Khan stems from the early days of their careers, suggesting the Olympic silver medallist did not pay him the respect he deserved upon turning professional.
“I think him getting silver in Athens and then turning professional and he got all the hype behind him, he was always topping bills,” said Brook.
“I’ve got no problem with that, but I always think I’ve had it the hard way, I’ve had to fight around the bill, I’ve had to fight to become mandatory for the world title, I’ve come the hard way and he’s never given me that respect, he’s always looked down his nose at me.
“At the beginning he said ‘who is Kell Brook?’, like he didn’t know who I was. He knew exactly who I was and he never gave me the respect I deserve.
“I got told by Frank Warren we would actually meet, a little bit like (James) DeGale and (George) Groves, early on and it never materialised, he never gave me that respect.
“And just his lies saying it’s me that doesn’t want the fight, I think it’s noted now that it is me that wanted the fight.
“Like the teacher says, better late than never! We’ve got the fight. It’s going to be a thriller.”
Amir Khan and Kell Brook’s fight has been in the making for many years with lots of twists and turns.
Brook, who insists he will have no problem making the agreed weight of 149 pounds, is happy to admit the fight means “everything” to him, and he is aware his dislike of Khan – whose charity work has been well documented – is at odds with the views of many others.
“I don’t really know him as a person. I hear things, because boxing is only small and everybody knows everybody, and I hear that he’s a decent kind of guy.
“I’m not going to kill him, I hear he’s an alright guy. But I just want to punch him in the face.
“I just don’t like the guy, I don’t like how he comes across to me, but everybody has got their own opinion on things.”
Amir Khan says that he will show that Kell Brook was ‘always talk’ and he is the better fighter ahead of their highly anticipated grudge match on February 19th – live on Sky Sports Box Office
Brook was last in action in November 2020 when he was stopped in the fourth round by Terence Crawford, while Khan is entering his first fight since defeating Billy Dibb in the fourth round of their July 2019 clash in Saudi Arabia.
In the end, after years of talking, all paths for the two 35-year-olds led to each other.
“It got to a point where, in my opinion, Amir didn’t have anywhere else to go, nobody wanted to see him fight the Billy Dibbs of the world, he’s burned his bridges in America,” said Brook.
“He knows this is a big-money fight, a big draw, so I think it’s come to the final stage of his career where he thinks ‘I’m going to grab a load of money’ and it’s a fight he thinks he can win in his own mind.
“We’ve got a different mindset, we know what we’re going to come to do and he’s going to know real quick how big, strong and determined I am.
“I’m not thinking about what happens after. What’s in my sights is him and here, the 19th, being in Lamborghini mode.”