BROOK SNUB FEAR AF­TER KHAN EYES CRAW­FORD

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - LEINSTER CLUB SFC FINAL - BY DAVID AN­DER­SON

FOR the first time in his ca­reer a ques­tion mark hangs over the great Va­syl Lo­machenko.

In all my ex­pe­ri­ence of se­ri­ous shoul­der in­juries, fight­ers have rarely been the same again.

Lo­machenko tore the labrum in his right shoul­der, the car­ti­lage that keeps the joint in its socket, in the se­cond round against Jorge Linares in May.

It is a won­der that he was able to get through the bout, never mind win by stop­page in the eighth round.

Lo­machenko was also down in the sixth against Linares. That made him hu­man and sug­gests to ev­ery con­tender out there that he can be beaten.

Though there was talk of a move up to su­per light­weight to chal­lenge for a ti­tle in a fourth cat­e­gory should he be suc­cess­ful against WBO light­weight cham­pion Jose Pe­draza at Madi­son Square Gar­den, I would cau­tion against that.

The dis­crep­ancy in size makes his power less chill­ing and his abil­ity to take a shot more prob­lem­atic the higher up the food chain he trav­els.

Even at light­weight, his op­po­nent tonight has a fiveinch reach ad­van­tage.

Of Lo­machenko’s 12 pro fights, all but the first have in­volved a world ti­tle. For his 13th the WBA light­weight champ steps into uni­fi­ca­tion ter­ri­tory for the first time.

At his peer­less best the speed, power and sheer va­ri­ety of Lo­machenko’s for­mi­da­ble arse­nal was just too much for mor­tals and if he re­turns to rude health a 10th stop­page win beck­ons.

But as I said, you never know how an in­jury like the one he sus­tained will hold up un­der the stress of cham­pi­onship box­ing.

And as a re­sult of the Linares bout there is a queue of fight­ers lin­ing up for a shot at one of the great­est of all time. Should Mikey Gar­cia re­think his op­tions fol­low­ing the jump to 147 to face Er­rol Spence in March, he is an ob­vi­ous tar­get at 135 pounds. There is a fight to be made with the un­beaten puncher WBA su­per feath­er­weight cham­pion Ger­vonta Davis, who in Jan­uary last year in­flicted on Pe­draza his only de­feat and is strug­gling to make 130 pounds.

And Luke Camp­bell, who will chal­lenge for a world light­weight ti­tle next year, would snap Lo­machenko’s hand off, as would Robert Easter Jr.

So it’s all to play for in New York where Lo­machenko sets out to prove that he is still the man to beat at light­weight.

MARK OF A CHAM­PION Va­syl Lo­machenko bounced back from be­ing knocked down to beat Linares in May Fol­low Barry on Twit­ter at @Clonescy­clone @Mcguigan­s_­gym @Cy­clone­promo

AMIR KHAN is ready to snub Kell Brook again for a world ti­tle clash with Ter­ence Craw­ford be­cause the Amer­i­can is a big­ger name.Brook is an­gry Khan is pre­pared to re­nege on their gen­tle­man’s agree­ment to fight in the spring and in­stead chal­lenge WBO wel­ter­weight cham­pion Craw­ford.Craw­ford’s pro­mot­ers Top Rank are pre­pared to pay Khan £3.9mil­lion ($5m) to face their man in New York on March 23.Khan’s team claim Craw­ford (right) is much more at­trac­tive be­cause that fight of­fers him a route back to the top.A mem­ber of Khan’s team told Mir­ror Sport: “The Brook fight would be huge over here, but in the States it doesn’t ring any alarm bells.“We have to look at the big­ger pic­ture and if Amir takes Craw­ford and beats him, he’s back on the map. Craw­ford’s got the belt and Amir wants to be world cham­pion again.“Amir is in­ter­ested in the Brook fight and af­ter the Craw­ford fight, that could still hap­pen.“Amir just wants a de­ci­sion ASAP be­cause he needs to go back into train­ing soon. We need to know what’s hap­pen­ing this month.”Brook, 32, faces Aus­tralian jour­ney­man Michael Zer­afa in front of his home fans at the Sh­effield Arena tonight in what he thought would be a tune-up for a show­down with Khan.He is fu­ri­ous with his bit­ter ri­val and says it will be Khan’s fault if they never meet.“If it doesn’t hap­pen, peo­ple know who to blame – the Kar­dashian boy,” said the for­mer IBF wel­ter­weight champ.“De­spite what he says, this fight won’t al­ways be there.“If one of us gets beat, it just kills the fight.“I’ve done ev­ery­thing I can to make it hap­pen, but he’s just run­ning out the back door again.”

AN­GRY Brook is fu­ri­ous with ri­val Khan

AM­BI­TION Khan wants Craw­ford’s world ti­tle

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