On Saturday, Kel Brook and Amir Khan will finally step into the ring to settle their ongoing grudge. After years of strong words towards each other and numerous near misses in making the fight, the pair have finally come to an agreement to settle their feud in the ring. Although this fight comes at least five or six years after it realistically should have done, the animosity between the two men makes it a highly anticipated contest all the same.
While there is a rematch clause, the settling of this rivalry may well end the careers of both men given their respective ages of 36 and 35.
Sheffield born Brook has enjoyed an illustrious career full of some amazing highlights. Here, we’ll be taking a look at the top five moments of his career.
1: Winning the British title
Aged just 221, Kel Brook’s first trademark victory came when he beat Welshman Barrie Jones to win the British title in 2008 with a 7th round TKO. Their was some controversy around the victory though. Jones was brought in to fight Brook at late notice due to Kevin McIntyre, the fighter originally scheduled to fight Brook, pulling out with injury. However, Brook put those criticisms to rest as he beat McIntyre in devastating fashion five months later, knocking him down three times in the first round in a dominant display.
2: Fighting Gennady Golovkin
This one is a case of bitter sweet for the Yorkshireman. In 2016, Brook was given the chance to fight a pound for pound great in Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin. Stepping up to middle weight, two categories above Brook’s usual fighting weight of Welter, Brook was a huge underdog going into this fight. In spite of this, Brook gave a more than respectable account of himself as he caused Golovkin more problems than the majority of opponents the man nicknamed triple G had fought prior to that.
Ultimately though, Golovkin won the fight by way of TKO in the fifth round when Brook’s corner through in the towel. He fractured Brook’s eye socket in the process. and this has continued to hamper Brook ever since. His fight against Errol Spence which followed this one was stopped due to the same issue.
Brook has never truly recovered from this but nonetheless it will go down as one of the most memorable nights of his career. The fact that he was able to go toe to toe with one of the all time greats who was naturally far heavier than he was said bucket loads about both Brook’s ability and character.
3: Being named Young British Boxer of the Year
A year after capturing the British title, Brook added another accolade to his list as he was named the Young British fighter of the year. This was a particularly significant achievement given that Brook was contending with long time rival Nathan Cleverly who was the European and Common Wealth champion at the time. The fact that Brook won the award ahead of Cleverly said a lot about the promise he had shown up until that point. In winning this award, Brook joined prestigious names such as Joe Calzage, fellow Sheffield man Naseem Hamed and the aforementioned Amir Khan.
4: Being ranked number one with the Ring Magazine.
For many fighters, the ring magazine holds a lot of prestige. Many value the rankings with this body far more than they do those of the respective governing bodies. As such, gaining the accolade of being ranked the top Welter weight in 2017 must have been an extremely proud moment for Brook. Although this one didn’t come in the ring, it was more a culmination of everything Brook had achieved throughout his career up until that point. At the time he won that award, Brook’s only defeat had come against Golovkin which had actually enhanced his reputation rather than tarnish it.
Very few fighters, even those who have won a world title, can boast the feat of being ranked first with the ring magazine.
5: Beating Shawn Porter to win his world title
When any fighter steps into a boxing gym for the first time, the ultimate dream is to one day become a world champion. In 2014, Brook became one of the lucky few who has been able to realise this dream. In beating Porter, Brook not only achieved something he had been working towards for his whole career, but he had also beaten the man who was widely regarded as the best in the world at that weight category at the time.
Porter was the favourite to win the fight and he lived up to this tag in the opening stages but Brook grew into it, eventually taking a majority decision victory to add his name to the list of fighters who had reached the top of the sport.
Whatever happens on Saturday night, one thing’s for sure. Kell Brook will go down as one of the best fighter’s Yorkshire has produced, and by extension one of the best fighters that has come out of Britain as a whole.