Kell Brook is living the dream, and now that he has ended his long and frustrating wait for a world title he is going to want to live the dream for as long as possible.
It has been a long and arduous journey to the summit for the Sheffield man, but now he is at the top it will only get tougher. The glass ceiling has been shattered, and now that the ‘Special One’ can bring his shiny new IBF world title to the party he is suddenly being ushered through doors that have been previously slammed shut in his face. Who lies in wait behind those doors provides a fascinating insight into how a man quickly becomes a priceless commodity when he has a world title in his possession, especially when it is a title in the most talent rich and lucrative division in boxing.
The list of possible opponents for his next big fight includes legends from Manny Pacquiao to Juan Manuel Marquez to young, hungry contenders such as Amir Khan and Keith Thurman. The list illustrates the magnitude of the tasks facing Kell Brook if he is to continue his reign at the top.
Make no mistake, Special K’s cards are now marked by some of the most menacing men in the sport and that is why he must play his cards carefully if he wants to prolong his place in the sun.
When pondering his next opponent Kell Brook should employ the risk versus reward strategy. It is patently obvious that Kell Brook, who after tax and training costs probably only banked about $70,000 of his $200,000 fight purse for facing Shawn Porter, needs a lucrative pay day. He must maximize his earning potential while he is a world champion.
That is why, a money spinning domestic mega fight with long time rival Amir Khan, is by far and away Brooks best option. From both a financial and a fighting perspective it makes perfect sense. Out of all the big names, it is Khan who would comfortably bring the most money, yet the Bolton man is by far the most beatable opponent available to Brook. I mean Brook would probably make around 5 million pounds sterling in a showdown with Khan, and with the aid of a stacked undercard the fight could sell-out Wembley Stadium.
If you take into consideration that Marcos Maidana only made a guaranteed $1.5 million for a welterweight unification fight with Floyd Mayweather, Brook’s purse would pale in comparison to what he would pocket for facing Thurman, Marquez or Manny Pacquiao instead of Amir Khan.
Apart from the fact that Keith Thurman is just far too damn dangerous a fighter for a 1st title defence, he also brings no money to the table. The undefeated, 5ft 11in American is a monster for a welterweight and he represents arguably the most physical risk for undeniably the lowest possible financial reward. Even in victory, Kell Brook would have to ship major punishment from a force like Thurman, whereas Khan is not a power puncher at 147lb and is plagued by accusations that his chin is about as fireproof as a paper towel.
I know Kell Brook valiantly stated in his victory speech that he would fight Thurman. But now is not the time for the Sheffield slugger to show his charitable side by granting a title shot to a bone-fida knockout artist, who is perhaps the most avoided fighter in boxing. You can bet that he is the last warrior on Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn’s wish list- that’s for sure.
Obviously the prestige attached to fighting living legends Floyd Mayweather Jnr, Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquaio is an alluring pull for any prizefighter. But Brook should look at the bigger picture and realise that Amir Khan is his golden ticket; the fight is a cash cow that he can milk for many more millions than he would get anywhere else.
Yet just because a goldmine clash with Amir Khan makes perfect sense doesn’t mean it will be an easy fight to fix. Firstly, if Amir Khan’s name is announced in the Floyd Mayweather Jnr sweepstakes then Brook can forget about a bout with Khan in the near future.
Just as importantly, Brook is clearly bitter that he has had to play subordinate to the Bolton man for many years despite the fact he feels he is, and always has been, the better boxer. So now Brook is a champion he may be inclined to make Khan ‘wait in line’ for his shot. I get the impression that the pride of both men could prove to be a major stumbling block in setting up a brawl between the two British fighters.
Neither man will want to budge in the negotiations. It seems they would each be content to cut off their own nose to spite their face rather than satiate the other’s demands.
Yet as with all rivalries, each protagonist needs the other and Kell Brook certainly needs Amir Khan if he wants to keep living the dream.
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