Promoter Eddie Hearn hopes the Amir Khan-Kell Brook fight can finally be tied up for early March as he holds fresh talks for the pair to meet in the fall of 2019.
This long-awaited grudge match seems to be nearing closer, with the pair sharing a handshake as they watched Oleksandr Usyk successfully defend all of his belts against Tony Bellew in their undisputed clash at the weekend.
It’s now been made clear that Hearn held a meeting with Khan’s father on Monday as he attempts to put Brook’s and Khan’s differences to one side and sort out the remaining terms for the fight.
Hearn has been quoted as saying “I think early March is the date that is sort of penciled at the moment,”
“I’ve seen the footage where apparently Amir shook his hand and said ‘Trust me, it’s happening’. Hopefully it is. It’s just whether it goes early March, or late May.”
Khan has accepted that boxing fans have been made to wait around for the Brook fight for long enough, but first “The Special One” must overcome Michael Zerafa on December 8, live on Sky Sports.
Amir speaking on events has been quoted as saying “I think it’s time the fight against the Sheffield fighter might happen next, It’s what I want next, so let’s make it happen.
“But at the end of the day, I want Kell to get through this fight – and in good style – so it makes our fight even bigger. I hope he doesn’t get beat. If he does our fight’s off.
“I’ve topped bills in America but I’m back in the UK, and it’s nice coming back and topping the bill again. But I don’t just want to top the bill, I want to do something special, so it’s got to be a stadium fight. I want to do it in March. Let’s do that.
“After this fight, he will be back down to welterweight, which makes it even better. We agreed on 147[lbs] and he says he is happy doing it, so let’s make the fight happen.
“There’s no excuses now. I just want this fight so I can put him in his place and shut him up. All the talking he’s been doing all these years, I have been the quiet one, so now it’s time he backs his words up.”
One of the main sticking points that has caused problems in negotiations is that Khan has called for Brook to accept a rehydration clause, meaning he could not put on over 10lbs by the morning of the fight after aking the 147lb welterweight limit, something Kell isn’t happy about as there is no title on the line.
Hearn went onto say “It’s something that Amir wants, and it’s something that Kell doesn’t want.
“Someone has got to give, either way, and either say ‘Okay, I will do it, or alright I don’t want that.’
“But I think Amir learned a lesson from the ‘Canelo’ fight, but that was up at middleweight, which is a different kettle of fish.
“I can understand both arguments, but from a rules point of view, there’s no rule why if Kell makes welterweight, why he should have a 10lb hydration clause, unless it’s for an IBF title, or some kind of IBF sanctioned event.”
Brook has briefly parted ways with long-term trainer Dominic Ingle and has linked up with John Fewkes for this upcoming bout as he works towards the Zerafa fight, and is hopeful that Khan will finalise a deal for the pair to meet in the ring next year.
“December 8 is the first one to get that weight down and look good and then continue through, and hopefully the kid from Bolton will sign the contract,” said Brook.
Watch Kell Brook vs Michael Zerafa live from Sheffield on December 8, live on Sky Sports