Amir Khan’s next move: Legacy overshadows Grudge
Amir Khan has two solid options for his next outing as a clash with UK rival Kell Brook hangs in the balance.
A huge offer to face Terence Crawford in the United States next spring seems to have turned Khan’s head in the direction of a world title shot.
Talks with Brook over a possible Wembley super-fight at 147 with a ten-pound hydration clause had reportedly been going well.
But that was until Bob Arum offered the chance to pit his wits against a pound for pound star, which on paper is a much bigger opportunity for the Bolton man.
If signed soon, Khan would be able to challenge for a version of the welterweight crown for the first time in his career.
A big star in America, Khan has the option to star on ESPN, taking on the WBO champion in a battle of two former unified super-lightweight kings.
Khan claimed WBA and IBF versions in a solid reign from 2009 to 2012. Whilst Crawford became the undisputed ruler in 2017.
‘Bud’ then moved up successfully for the second time in his career to claim a world title in a third weight division.
Knowing a win will put him back in the P4P argument, Khan (Pictured below by Mark Robinson) may well choose legacy over a grudge match with Brook.
Defeating Brook certainly settles a long-term argument. But on a world scale will do nothing to enhance Khan’s standing.
Since Brook suffered back-to-back losses against Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence, breaking eye sockets on either side of his face in the process, ‘The Special One’ has watched his stock fall worldwide.
Trading blows will do great business in the UK, and can help both men financially, but for Khan may be best left on the shelf until all title options have been explored.
Brook is basically a super-welterweight having to boil down. And the Yorkshireman would need a big scalp at welterweight to garner stateside interest.
As things currently stand, Crawford is a far better fight. Khan would represent the hardest test to date for one of Top Rank’s biggest stars.
Take into account that Khan has a one hundred percent record against southpaws, and the skilled fight element, it seems a simple choice for the first quarter of 2019.
Arguably held in higher regard on the opposite side of the Atlantic, Khan would get another chance to display his obvious talents in a winnable fight against a world class operator.
The last time that happened for Khan was against Devon Alexander in 2014. The Briton saw out a wide victory. Beating Alexander eventually led to an offer from Canelo – and the rest is history.
His welterweight career effectively was put on hold until this year. But Khan knows those huge names he desires are there as long as he stays in the win column.
ESPN are said to be keen to land the fight, leaving Brook on the back burner at least until the autumn.
Should Khan accept the Crawford offer, the pressure would then fall on promoter Eddie Hearn to find a tough opponent for Brook.
A massive win for Khan against Crawford would push Brook even further away unless he beats a top contender to earn his shot at the strap.
There’s no doubting Khan v Brook would be a much grander affair if the WBO championship comes into the equation.
The next couple of weeks will reveal all about how this ongoing saga is going to play out.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay