Amir Khan is being offered $8 million to face rival British welterweight contender Kell Brook, following the Bolton man’s failure to secure an even more lucrative payday against American superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Former junior welterweight titleholder Khan, 27, is still coming to terms with Mayweather’s decision to fight Argentina’s Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on May 3 rather than himself. That contest would have reportedly banked the Englishman at least $10m.
However, it seems all is far from lost for Khan, whose recent fights have been nothing if not compelling due their unpredictable, entertaining nature. That means he is still a significant draw at the UK box office, a fact underlined by Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn on Wednesday.
Hearn, who promotes unbeaten Brook, has revealed that a formal big-money approach has been made to the Khan camp in an effort to set up a domestic scrap between the pair.
“When we heard Khan’s Mayweather fight was on the brink of falling through, I made a serious offer for him to fight Kell,” Hearn said. “That offer – £5million – is still on the table and will remain there for the foreseeable future.”
Whether Khan (28-3, 19 knockouts) will take the financial bait to face 27-year-old Brook remains to be seen. One possible snag to an immediate and successful conclusion to negotiations is that Khan is contracted for one more fight on Frank Warren’s BoxNation channel, while Hearn’s Matchroom stable is tied into a long-term deal with Sky Sports.
But not in doubt is that it would be a grudge bout to capture the British public’s imagination. Khan and Brook (31-0, 21 KOs) have never seen eye to eye and have had several verbal spats, usually via Twitter, over the last 18 months – with Brook, the RING’s No.4-rated welterweight, accusing Khan of constantly swerving calls to settle their differences in the ring.
Brook, the IBF’s No.1 contender for its 148-pound belt currently held by Shawn Porter, is due to fight in Liverpool on March 15 against an opponent to be confirmed. Khan, out of action since last April when he got off the floor to beat Julio Diaz on points, says he will announce his next fight later this month.
Harry Pratt is on Twitter @gharrypratt