Kell Brook vs Amir Khan 2: Here’s why the domestic rivals need to call it a day…

Following Brook’s decisive win last month, a rematch has been mentioned, but this is the right time for both to ride off into the sunset…

For many years, it felt as if Kell Brook vs Amir Khan was one domestic fight that would never happen.

It was a bout that Brook clamoured for throughout his career, but Khan was never quite as receptive.

This appeared to change in 2018 when Khan signed a three-fight deal with Brook's long-term promotor, Eddie Hearn.

In theory, the allusive fight should have been easy to make at this point. But as boxing fans know, it is never simple making a fight of this magnitude. You just need to look at the Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua saga to know that!

The British rivals ended up going on separate paths that led to each of them losing to WBO welterweight world champion Terence Crawford.

Fast forward to the end of 2021, both were inactive. Brook's last fight was in November 2020, while Khan's was over a year earlier in July 2019.

So, it came as a surprise when it emerged that they were once again in talks for a fight.

Rightly, many scoffed upon hearing this news. We had been here plenty of times before and purists were not ready to be let down again.

However, people were wrong to judge as the fighters signed on to tussle at Manchester Arena on February 19.

This quickly brought about a debate. With people asking, would anyone still care?

The fight was happening ten years after it should have and both men were well past their best.

It was cynically viewed as a cash grab from the fighters before they retired. While they were paid handily by Sky Sports/Boxxer, the appetite for the bout was soon proved.

The event was sold out within minutes and the hype built in the weeks and days prior.

There was an acceptance that Brook and Khan were past their peak. Ultimately though, when fight night came, not many cared.

This event transcended the sport as even non-boxing fans had an interest in the outcome.

The undercard was sub-par at best but the main event more than made up for that.

The atmosphere was electric as the fighters made their way to the ring. It was expected that their styles, age and desire to win would make for a thrilling fight.

It was just that, as over six rounds, Brook and Khan threw everything at each other as they looked for the knockout.

It was Brook who had most of the success though as he was in control. Khan showed immense bravery as he kept going while out on his feet.

Brook got the win he was striving for as his last onslaught gave Victor Loughlin no choice but to award 'The Special One' the victory by TKO at the halfway point.

Each fighter came out of this night well. Brook looked a million bucks as he rolled back the years to dismantle his long-term rival.

Khan meanwhile was clearly done in and did not have the hunger to compete at this level anymore. Everyone watching and Khan himself was aware of this, but the Bolton-born boxer kept going all the same.

'King' had already been stopped four times earlier in his career so his bravery was disputed. Against Brook though, Khan did a stellar job of silencing these naysayers.

Brook really brought it to Khan in each round but the latter took the punishment and did not give up until the referee stopped the contest.

In the lead up to the fight, it was announced that there was a rematch clause in the contract if Brook - the B Side - was the winner.

Rematch clauses are common in modern boxing and using it, in this case, was fair. Had it been a close fight with a disputed finish, a rematch would have been easy to justify.

Saying that, even if it was slightly competitive, a rematch would have still likely been accepted.

This was not the case however as Brook won by a landslide. He managed to make it look like he was in his prime, while Khan was just not.

Amir Khan has hinted at retirement following loss to Kell Brook

Despite it being widely accepted that a rematch should not happen, it was revealed earlier this month that Khan was considering activating the rematch clause.

Now, Khan is a smart man. He accepted after the loss that it was time for him to step away.

The former world champion does not have anything left to prove and at this point, he would only be putting himself at risk if he fought on.

Khan will know this, so while it might seem as if he wants redemption, he's actually after some free money to step aside.

If the clause is activated, Brook would not be able to battle anyone else unless Khan is paid a lump sum to void the rematch clause.

Credit to Khan for this, any boxer with business sense would do the same thing.

While it rightly seems pretty conclusive that Khan won't fight again, Brook's next step remains up in the air.

The 35-year-old's value has shot up in the last month. In Brook's own words, he is now a prizefighter and he wants to be paid what he thinks he's worth.

There are a few options out there for Brook. Fights against the likes of Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith have been mentioned.

Yet the most tantalising prospect would be a clash with Matchroom Boxing's golden boy, Conor Benn.

Hearn desperately wants this to happen. It's understandable why from his side as it's arguably the biggest fight out there for Brook and Benn.

Yet with Brook said to be demanding £10m to return, this is off the table, for now at least.

It should stay that way as well. While the former IBF world champion has achieved a lot and had many great nights, most of his career was spent chasing Khan.

The clash with his fellow Brit was always going to define his career, for better or worse.

Brook got himself in the best shape of his career and his desire showed on the night as he wanted it more than Khan.

The Special One destroyed his rival in front of a packed arena in Manchester, earning a lot of money in the process. There is no better way for him to go out.

If he fights Benn or anyone else, it would not outdo the Khan victory even if he was to win again.

Brook and Khan have both enjoyed brilliant careers and they delivered fans one of the most memorable nights in recent history.

It is time that both step away and ride off into the sunset with their health, bank accounts and reputations in a healthy state.

They could always earn a few more pound notes with an exhibition bout against each other in another ten years' time. It's hard to think of anything more inevitable…

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