By Tim Royner: Amir Khan is looking to fight an £7m exhibition match against Neeraj Goyat on July 27 in Saudi Arabia, but the fight isn’t expected to get in the way of his domestic clash against former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, according to promoter Eddie Hearn. Brook is training right now for what he and Hearn hopes will be a summer fight against WBO 147-pound champion Terence Crawford. Khan will be getting a lot of money to face the little known 27-year-old Goyat, who comes from India.
Goyat has been fighting obscure opposition since he turned pro eight years ago in 2011. Last year, Goyat was beaten by novice fighter Sergio Daniel Moreno Martinez (1-2-1) by lopsided 6 round unanimous decision. Martinez was making his pro debut at the time. He’s since lost his last two fights.
It won’t hurt for Khan, 32, to take a confidence booster right now after his sixth round stoppage loss to Crawford on April 20. Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) was dominated by Crawford in a one-sided fight before his trainer Virgil Hunter stopped the bout.
“Amir wants to fight quickly, and get a win. There’s talks of him fighting in Saudi. nothing is confirmed yet,” said Hearn to Behind the Gloves about Khan fighting an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia on July 27. “So there’s the potential for him to fight in Saudi in July. Kell Brook isn’t looking to fight until September anyway. So that doesn’t effect anything in that respect anyway. So we’ll see what happens in the next few days,” said Hearn.
Fan interest in Khan vs. Brook fight is dwindling
Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn needs to make the Khan-Brook fight while there’s still interest from the British public in seeing these two fading fighters. The match is way passed it’s sell by date, and it’s imperative that Hearn make the fight happen in 2019. Hearn wanted Khan to make the fight with Brook (38-2, 26 KOs) in early 2019, but Amir decided to fight Crawford instead. It’s believed that Khan’s three-fight contract with Matchroom is now up. So, he’s now fighting on per fight basis. In Khan’s three fights since coming back from a two-year layoff in 2018, he’s beaten Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas, and lost to Crawford.
Brook has stalled his career waiting on Khan fight
Kell has been waiting around for a fight against Khan since last year. Brook took two tune-ups in 2018 against Sergey Rabchenko and Michael Zerafa, winning both fights. Neither of those fighters are talented contenders. In 2019, Brook hasn’t fought at all. He’s just been waiting patiently on the Khan fight, and not competing. It seems obvious to a lot of boxing fans that Brook is just looking for a cash out before retiring. Brook’s career tanked after he suffered stoppage losses to Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr. in consecutive fights.
Brook suffered eye injuries in both fights that required surgery to repair. What was interesting is the injuries occurred to separate eyes. Brook has had really bad luck since 2016. More than the defeats, Brook has crippled his own career by fighting tune-ups, and waiting for the Khan fight instead of moving on and going after world champions. It looks to some like Brook lost his confidence after losing his IBF welterweight title to Spence in 2017.
“We’re open to that. That’s the fight we want,” said Hearn about a match between Kell Brook and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. “Top Rank knows we want that fight. For now, he’s training anyway. He’s back in the gym. I still want to push for the Khan fight, but the Saudi fight doesn’t really effect the potential of a Brook-Khan fight,” said Hearn.
A fight between Brook and Crawford would be a good one of Kell had been staying busy, but he’s going to be at a huge disadvantage in that fight, because it’ll be his first serious fight in two years since his loss to Spence in May 2017. It’s not a wise move on Brook’s part to take on a talented fighter like Crawford when you haven’t fought a world class level fighter in two years. I’m sorry, but this writer can’t count Zerafa or Rabchenko as being world class level opposition. Those were soft jobs for Brook, and of course he won the matches.
It’s disappointing Khan taking exhibition matches
For a lot of boxing fans, it’s a bad look on Khan’s part that he’s now following Floyd Mayweather’s lead in taking exhibition matches instead of continuing to fight world class fighters in serious matches. There’s nothing wrong with a fighter at the end of the road fighting exhibition fights if they’re done with the sport and retired, but when they’re still active, it’s disappointing. Khan still has excellent options for big paydays in the boxing world against Brook, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, and Errol Spence. Khan doesn’t need to fight mediocre opposition in exhibition matches.