So this week in the UK we have had an unexpected, surprise announcement from Amir Khan, whilst Frank Bruno has decided that at the age of 54, and well documented mental health issues, that he is wanting to return to the ring and the heavyweight division.
I’ll start with the Khan announcement that he will take on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the WBC middleweight title on May 7th in Las Vegas. Yes, it’s at a catchweight of 155lbs, which is quickly becoming the only weight “Canelo” fights at anymore, but, for once, I’ll ignore the catchweight.
The first thing to comment is that Khan has got some serious balls to step up 8lbs in weight to take this fight. To say it was unexpected, is putting it mildly and, although it puts the Kell Brook fight even further back, let’s be honest it looks increasingly unlikely to ever happen, Khan deserves huge credit.
I’ve seen some unbelievably deluded comments on social media that Khan needs Brook and he is running scared. If you believe that, stop watching boxing. Amir Khan doesn’t need to fight Kell Brook, he’s done more than enough to deserve top billing and just because British fight fans are craving it, why should he bow to the pressure and take it for the sake of it.
I’d love to see the fight happen, but why should Khan get stick for chasing after the biggest names in the sport and make as much money as possible? Isn’t that what most fighters are in the sport to do. This fight with “Canelo” is a super-fight, and despite claims from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom, Khan will probably earn more money fighting on US PPV than the Brook fight anyway.
Khan’s comments that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were running scared from him certainly caused amusement, but they keep his name in the media and the running for the other big fights. He was mandatory for new WBC welterweight belt holder Danny Garcia, who beat him back in 2012, but I don’t think that rematch was ever going to happen.
If Khan wins the upcoming “Canelo” fight then he could potentially scupper a very lucrative scrap between the Mexican star and Gennady Golovkin. I don’t think Khan will beat Alvarez, although the blueprint is there for all to see from Floyd Mayweather, who outclassed him with consummate ease back in 2013.
All the advantages look to be in “Canelo’s” favour and it’s hard to build a case for a Khan victory at the moment. I can’t see Khan’s trainer Virgil Hunter taking a fight, he feels his man has no chance in winning, so they will definitely already have a game plan worked out.
This is a great fight and one I’m looking forward to. Everyone is a winner that watches “Canelo” and Khan, well except for Brook, Hearn and the legions of British fight fans who were almost promised that the two would meet at Wembley Stadium on June 4th.
Rather than criticising Bolton’s finest, lets give him credit for stepping up and taking a real fight, rather than a straight forward fight. It would be a huge shock if he pulls off a surprise win, when he will be a massive underdog, but imagine how big the Brook fight would be then. However unlikely, I’d love Khan to pull this off.
Frank Bruno is one of British boxing’s most famous names and very rarely do you see the whole country get behind a single figure the way the British public got behind Frank. Unfortunately though in recent years, he has become more well known for his mental health issues than his achievements in the ring.
The former world heavyweight champion though is considering a comeback to the ring, something that simply can’t happen. This week a video emerged of Frank training with Ricky Hatton, a man who ignited the British public’s support in a similar way, and although there is no denying Frank looked in great nick and incredible shape, a boxing ring is not the place for him.
The British press didn’t help by promoting the idea, whilst other fighters like David Haye have come out in support of him and another former world champion Tim Witherspoon has talked about introducing a senior boxing format.
For me, the last place I want to see Frank is in a ring and it looks the British Boxing Board of Control have a similar idea, when Bruno tweeted saying that they wouldn’t be giving him a licence.
There are more than enough fighters who are holding on to past glories that are still going now when retirement should be the only option. I don’t have much sympathy for those that frittered there money away, but if you are used to a standard of living that some of these fighters were in their heyday’s, then of course you would want to maintain that.
Some now have tarnished legacies and devalued reputations, but the need to keep fighting is strong. For some it is hard to get over it and move on, just look at the interview on the BBC Sport website with former world champion from Wales Robbie Regan.
Bruno provided more than enough entertainment both during his fight days and afterwards. I hope that he heeds the advice of the Board, fight fans and other authorities and stays out of the ring, although let’s be honest if he decides otherwise, who’s going to stop him.
Matt Bevan is freelance journalist and contributes to several other leading publications on a weekly basis. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MBevs68.