Finally, Amir Khan and Kell Brook will fight.
The pair will face off in Manchester on Saturday, live on talkSPORT, to settle a rivalry that dates back almost 20 years.
They may not be at the peak of their powers anymore, but Khan and Brook have had stellar careers and now, both 35, are desperate to prove they still have what it takes.
It’s been a long time and here’s how the rivalry evolved…
Amir Khan won an Olympic silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, but for about a year before that, he and Brook’s paths crossed.
“We knew each other,” Brook recalled.
“He was winning everything, I was winning everything. I knew he was good and vice versa.
When they were both 17, Khan and Brook briefly shared a ring during a training camp for England Boxing in 2004.
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“Kell was there briefly.” Khan explains. “They let him train just to check it out. But he took so many beatings that he was never picked up.
“That’s why Kell knows I have one on him.”
Brook’s father insists Team GB soured on Brook after beating Khan in the fight, a claim corroborated by Brook’s coach Dominic Ingle.
The first mentions of Brook and Khan’s fights began to transpire.
Brook was still focused on turning professional and without a trip to the Olympics he had gone 8-0.
Khan was 1-0. He made his professional debut beating Mario Kindelen, the man who beat him in the Olympic final, in his last amateur bout in the summer of 2005.
Fast forward five years and in December 2010, Khan had just defeated Marcos Maidana in a stellar fight and was the WBA light welterweight champion. He was 24-1.
On the same night, by coincidence, Brook defeated Philip Kotey to improve to 23-0. Frank Warren, who was promoting Brook at the time, gave Khan the first real challenge.
“Kell looked fantastic against Kotey and proved he was ready for the best in the world,” he said.
“Khan was in for a tough but exciting fight against Maidana, and if he’s serious about fighting in Britain next, a fight against Kell would be a logical fight to have.
“We’re talking about him facing Floyd Mayweather which doesn’t make sense and he should take the big offer I made to him to face Kell. It’s a huge fight for the British public and one they would want to see .
In June, Brook was taken the distance by Lovemore N’Dou. Khan shared how unimpressed he was on Twitter.
“If they say Brook is good, test him with a real top 10 fighter at 147lbs [welterweight],” he wrote.
Brook replied, “Don’t talk nonsense, Khan. If you want it, you can have it.
In October of that year, Khan finally began to warm up to the idea of fighting Brook.
In April, Khan posted about Brook’s private life before deleting the tweet, but the damage was done, prompting Brook’s ire and an investigation by the British Board of Control.
In October 2012, Khan and Brook went verbally at it on Sky Sports show, Ringside.
That’s when the story of the fight really came through as both men continued to claim they had the best of each other.
Khan persisted: “You know what happened Kell, you know what happened. I boxed Kell all around the ring and I’m not going to lie to you, it’s the honest truth from God.
Brook insisted, “You were schooled.”
In 2014, Brook was now represented by Eddie Hearn. But, like Frank Warren, Hearn was pushing to fight Khan and finding the same obstacles.
“There is a serious dispute between Kell Brook and Amir Khan,” Hearn told The Morning View on Sky Sports HQ.
“They can’t stand each other and I think those rivalries are always something very special. It’s a war of the roses, Lancashire versus Yorkshire. Two very, very good fighters.
During those years, it seemed like it was Brook who was chasing. Today, Khan says he’s the one who really made this fight possible.
Despite Brook and Matchroom suing, Khan rules out a matchup, insisting he wants Manny Pacquiao or Mayweather.
“There is talk of a fight with me and Kell Brook, but we’re still young,” Khan told ESPN.
“Kell Brook is still learning and I’m in a position where I want the big fights against Mayweather or Pacquiao to happen next year.
“They’re only a fight or two away from retiring, so I want my chance to fight them before they leave boxing. But Kell Brook will always be there and if we fight it has to be on my terms and what I want.
Later that year, Khan told Brook he had to test himself against the best in the world in order to prove it was worth it by fighting him. Khan has never fought Mayweather or Pacquiao, despite being very close to the latter.
Khan went from asking Brook to prove himself to becoming annoyed that he signed on to fight Kevin Bizier.
Khan tweeted: “I want it, Eddie want it, Sky want it, all the fans want it but then Kell decides to fight Kevin Bizier who lost to Jo Jo Dan twice!”
However, Brook claimed that Khan wanted the scholarship too much and that’s why she failed. Khan said Brook wanted a 50/50 split, but Hearn chimed in on Twitter: “Incorrect. Your lawyer called 80-20. We have confirmed that we will give you a larger allocation to do so.
Hearn then offered a 60/40 split in favor of Khan, but a week later Khan agreed to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez where he won $9 million.
Khan suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Canelo and the questions of how to face Brook are starting to arise once again.
Incredibly, Khan signed with Hearn, leading many to believe that the fight against Brook was close now that the two men were under the same umbrella.
In the two years that had passed, Brook had lost to Gennady Golovkin and then Errol Spence Jr in what were arguably the biggest matchups of his career.
Khan picked up victories after Canelo, one of which beat Phil Leo Greco in 2018. Brook entered the ring after the fight to face Khan.
However, Khan once again passed up the chance to fight Brook in favor of being beaten by Terence Crawford in 2019. In November 2020, Crawford went on to defeat Brook in just four rounds. He is the only common adversary on their records.
In November 2021, the fight was finally agreed and booked for February 2021 with BOXXER.
After years of trying to make the fight work, Hearn couldn’t enjoy the fruits of his labor.
But talkSPORT has and Amir Khan v Kell Brook is live from Manchester on February 19.
To bring. This. At.
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