British boxer Amir Khan believes a showdown with fellow countryman Kell Brook could be as big a fight as Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao in the future.
But Khan, who has been vocal in his pleas for a showdown with Mayweather before the unbeaten American retires, says Brook must first prove himself against top fighters in the division such as Marcos Maidana and Timothy Bradley before the fight is made.
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“There’s a few options,” Khan told Sport360. “You’ve got Kell Brook there still. What I’ve said about that is let’s build him up so that the fight is bigger in the future. There’s no point taking a fight now when down the line it could be one of the biggest fights in UK history.
“Look at Mayweather-Pacquiao. People waited five years for that and look how much that generated. Around $500 million – 45 minutes for half a billion! With Kell Brook, I want him to fight the likes of Marcos Maidana, Timothy Bradley and beat those guys. I want him to build his name so it’s not only a big fight in the UK, it’s a big fight around the world.”
But Khan says negotiations with Eddie Hearn, Brook’s promoter, have begun after the Matchroom boss travelled to the British-Pakistani fighter’s base in Bolton last week to discuss a 2016 bout.
“I definitely think next year it could happen. If he has one or two fights with decent opponents then I can’t turn him down because I’ll look a mug then. At the moment, though, I want him to get a big name. Then we’re not cheating the British fans, we’re giving them a fight they want. I spoke to Eddie Hearn and we’ve sat down and told him everything. He definitely understands.
“Also, a fight with Manny Pacquiao in Dubai could be massive. I’d love to take that fight. We’re friends but sometimes you’ve got to put friendship to one side. That fight would be amazing.”
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In the meantime, Khan still has his eyes trained on Mayweather and has not given up hope of taking on ‘Money’, but admits that a showdown is increasingly unlikely.
Khan looks set to miss out on meeting Mayweather in the final fight of his Showtime contract on September 12, where his opponent is yet to be named.
If Mayweather were to win that fight his record would be 49-0 and calls for a 50th fight would grow louder. Khan, however, has become less optimistic about a potential fight but reiterated that he would be ready and willing should Mayweather come calling.
“I’m just a little bit upset that I’m not getting the Mayweather fight again and if I’ll ever get it I don’t know,” Khan said.
“I really believe he thinks it’s going to be a very hard fight and he knows it’s a fight he might lose.
“Non-boxing fans will never understand but look stylistically at what gives him problems: Speed, movement, accuracy, power, size. I know Manny Pacquiao had speed and power but he couldn’t get to him. You know why he couldn’t get to him? Because he didn’t have the size. Physically he was tiny compared to Mayweather.
“I was watching the fight from the side and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, Mayweather made it look so easy because he didn’t let Manny settle down. He made it boring.”
With Mayweather expected to fight in September, it appears unlikely Khan will be the opponent. But the Bolton-born boxer reckons there is an outside chance he could still get the call.
“I’ve been calling him and his team and it seems Mayweather’s just not interested. You never know with him though. If he does call me out, six weeks before the fight it would be cheating his fans, cheating me because he knew he couldn’t beat me fair and square. Unless he changes the date I can’t see it.”