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Amir Khan and Kell Brook close to secure fight deal set for Feb. 19 - Does anyone care?


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By Nick Parkinson, ESPN


Amir Khan and Kell Brook are close to agreeing terms on a long-awaited, and almost forgotten, welterweight fight in Manchester on Feb. 19, according to BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom.


Shalom, the youngest licensed boxing promoter in the U.K., told ESPN the bitter British rivals are at advanced talks to stage a fight that has previously fallen through during negotiations.


"We are aiming for early next year, there are a few details still to confirm and it's not been easy," Shalom told ESPN.


"We [bOXXER] want to make a big investment in fights and we've got Josh Taylor versus Jack Catterall [Feb. 26] and Chris Eubank versus Liam Williams [date to be confirmed], but this is the biggest."


Brook (39-3, 27 KOs), 35, from Sheffield, and Khan (34-5, 21 KOs), 34, from Bolton, could not agree terms in 2016 when both welterweights instead stepped up to middleweight for big fights.


Brook has repeatedly called in vain for Khan to fight him and after recent world title setbacks the rivals are finally close to agreement.


Shalom is close to matching them in what he has described as boxing's biggest fight in the U.K. outside of the heavyweight division, which features WBC champion Tyson Fury and former WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua.


"Everyone says it should have happened three or four years ago but people said that about Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao and it still broke records," Shalom said.


"Brook only fought for a world title last year, and it's still a huge fight. They are both coming off world title fights, they are both younger than Mayweather and Pacquiao were when they fought each other, and hopefully it will be the biggest fight in the U.K. outside of the heavyweights.


"It's going to help the sport grow. The U.K. needs this fight. The two of them hate each other and it's been painful dealing with it, but we are very close.


"Where ever this fights ends up, this is going to be a monster of a fight."


Both Brook and Khan have suffered defeats in recent fights, and both will have been out of the ring for over a year come fight night.


Brook suffered a broken eye socket in a fifth-round stoppage defeat to Gennadiy Golovkin for the WBC and IBF world middleweight titles in 2016 and in his next fight suffered the same injury when he lost the IBF world welterweight title in a fourth defence to Errol Spence in an 11th round knockout.


Brook was stopped in the fourth round by American Terence Crawford, the WBO titleholder, in his last fight a year ago.


Crawford also stopped Khan in six rounds in April 2019, and Khan's last fight was a four-round non-title stoppage win over Billy Dib in July 2019.


Khan, who will end a two-and-a-half year exile against Brook, boldly stepped up to middleweight like Brook in 2016, only to get knocked out in the sixth round by the Mexican.


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--- Last line of the article mysteriously out of place.


Don't know the mentality of Brits, but clearly the fight has lost it's luster as both of the fighters have lost theirs. I would've picked Brook previous at 147-154, but I see no favorites here save in the contract negotiations allocating ring size and weights that have yet to be released.

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Eddie Hearn was, once, wanting to put this on at Wembley. Can't see this fight being at a stadium like that now.


It smacks of one last payday. Should be a damp squid of a fight. Both have looked very poor and careers over, in recent years. Their true fanbases might turn out for this but the promoter will need deep pockets, for a fight no one wants to see.


Not a fight I'll tune in live for. Not knocking the promoter, he's trying to build his profile. Big names help but this is a fight way past its sell-by date.

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