Khan warned fight against Brook will be ‘now or never’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Champions Cup - By Gareth A Davies BOX­ING COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Kell Brook might be for­given his frus­tra­tion with Amir Khan this week as the Sh­effield fighter pre­pares for what he be­lieved was a warm-up fight against Aus­tralian Michael Zer­afa tonight be­fore fac­ing his Bri­tish ri­val in a grudge match early next year.

Both Bri­tons are signed with pro­moter Ed­die Hearn, but it ap­peared this week that Khan may have been at­tracted to­wards a lu­cra­tive show­down with Bob Arum-pro­moted Terence Craw­ford, the World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion wel­ter­weight cham­pion from Omaha, Ne­braska.

Khan has for­ever been drawn to two things: fights in the United States, and the pound-for-pound list. Un­beaten Craw­ford, a three­weight world cham­pion, sits inar­guably in the top five in the world. Legacy, not a scrap over brag­ging rights, is what Khan seem­ingly craves. It makes Brook’s world ti­tle elim­i­na­tor all the more im­por­tant. “I’m do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to make this fight, ev­ery­one knows it’s him who is run­ning scared,” said Brook.

Hearn has warned the Bolton fighter this could be a closing time to sign. “Amir seems to think the Brook fight is al­ways there. It’s not,” he said. “This is now or never. Let’s give the Bri­tish pub­lic what they want. If Amir can beat Kell, he could fight Craw­ford af­ter for more money than he’s go­ing to get now.”

Brook says he will tar­get the best light-mid­dleweights if the con­tract is not signed. “I want any elite fighter. I’ve got that buzz again.” Zer­afa, who has lost twice dur­ing his pro­fes­sional ca­reer, warned the for­mer wel­ter­weight world cham­pion not to over­look him. “We’ve seen flaws in Kell,” he said, “and if there are too many holes in a ship, it sinks.”

Mean­while, Br­ti­ain’s Tyson Fury has been granted ap­proval for a “di­rect re­match” with World Box­ing Coun­cil heavy­weight cham­pion Deon­tay Wilder. Fury and Amer­i­can Wilder shared a con­tro­ver­sial draw in Los An­ge­les on Sun­day.

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