The pair had been close to meeting five years ago, yet both opted to move up two weight divisions from welterweight to middleweight
Amir Khan and Kell Brook are set to fight in Manchester on Feb 19 after five years of on-off negotiations.
Ben Shalom, chief executive of promotional company Boxxer, confirmed that an official announcement of the all-British showdown would be made on Monday.
“It’s no secret, for the past two months we’ve been trying to make Amir Khan against Kell Brook,” Shalom said. “I think it’s a fight that every boxing fan has wanted to see for years and there’s been a lot of competition – every promoter has wanted it.
“They’re at a similar age, similar point in their career. We are very, very close now and hopefully we’ll announce that on Monday and it will be in February in Manchester.”
The pair had been close to meeting five years ago, yet both opted to move up two weight divisions from welterweight to middleweight, Khan facing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas, with Brook challenging Gennady Golovkin in London.
Khan was knocked out in the sixth round; Brook was stopped in the fifth round, suffering a broken orbital socket. Several rounds of negotiations have since failed to bear fruit. Both men are past their prime, and no belt is on the line, yet the deep rivalry and enmity will make it intriguing. The contest pitches Khan’s blistering hand speed against Brook’s precision and skills and the decline of both fighters – Khan is 34, Brook is 35 – makes this a 50-50 contest.
It may come down to the first mistakes in a duel which will still draw widespread appeal in spite of both men likely to be in their swansong challenge. Shalom explained on Sunday: “It’s no secret, for the past two months we’ve been trying to make Amir Khan against Kell Brook.” “I think it’s a fight that every boxing fan has wanted to see for years and years and there’s been a lot of competition – every promoter has wanted it, no matter what’s being said and what isn’t being said. They’re both at a similar age, similar point in their career. We are very, very close now and hopefully we’ll announce that on Monday and it will take place in February in Manchester.”
Khan, the former World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation light-welterweight champion, fought last in July 2019 when a victory over Billy Dib. Brook, who held the IBF welterweight title, was last in action in an unsuccessful World Boxing Organisation welterweight challenge against one of the pound-for-pound kings, Terence Crawford, in Las Vegas in November last year.
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated match-up between middleweights Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams, originally set for Dec 11 in Cardiff, has been rescheduled for Jan 29. Williams suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury.
Elsewhere, the Australian George Kambosos Jr battled to a huge upset victory over Teofimo Lopez in New York to capture the unified lightweight world championship, winning via a split decision. Kambosos dropped the champion in the opening round with a right hand and was felled himself in the 10th but clung triumphantly on until the end in a bloody fight of year contender.