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The welterweight issue

On Saturday night Danny Garcia defeated Robert Guerrero to claim the vacant WBC welterweight title. The fight, in Los Angeles, was won with scores of 116-112 on all three of the judges score cards. The fight potentially paves the way for an electric showdown between 5 of the divisions main protagonists.

On Monday the undefeated sensation Keith Thurman signed to fight the heavy hitting Shawn Porter, who narrowly lost his title to Kell Brook back in 2014. In an all American super-fight, two of the divisions biggest punchers will fight it out for the WBA world title.

If that was not enough excitement, on this side of the Atlantic arguably the two best welterweights in the world ‘could’ battle it out for the IBF world title. Kell Brook the current holder is desperate to land a shot at long time adversary Amir Khan. The two share a history dating back to the amateurs with Khan originating from Bolton, whilst Brook is made of Sheffield Steel adding a touch of cross Pennine rivalry.

Khan is the former unified Light-welterweight champion who has moved up into the Welterweight division, whilst Brook who has campaigned for longer at the weight is the recognised world champion at 147 pounds.  Two talented fighters, both from these shores, in a fight that would sell out Wembley stadium should be an easy fight to make- one would assume. But it appears not.

The noises coming out of the Matchroom stable, the promotional company controlled by Eddie Hearn  who manage Brook, are claiming that Khan has demanded 80% of the fights purse. Hearn, a promoter famous for over charging fans may not be the most reliable source of information. However if true then Khans demands border on the outrageous.

I appreciate Khan is probably the bigger name than Kell Brook but Kell Brook is world champion and he needs some kind of parity. More importantly he needs some respect.

Hearn does indeed make a valid point and has reputedly offered a generous 60-40 split. Considering Khan has not been a world champion for nearly 4 years this would appear extremely generous indeed.

The reasons why Khan is so reluctant to enter the squared circle against the IBF champion are unclear. But now aged 29 and after fighting only once in 2015, in an exciting but far from dominant display against Chris Algieri,  he is in serious danger of wishing away his best years. For the last 18 months he has hoped for super fights against the games veterans, Mayweather and Pacquiao, who so far have shown no interest of fighting the Bolton favourite. If Khan refuses to fight Brook he risks estranging himself from a potentially lucrative tournament that could be created similar to the Super-six which started back in 2009.

Boxing is often accused of being ruined by internal divisions and politics and this is the latest example. In theory the winner of Khan/ Brook can fight the winner of Porter/ Thurman and with Danny Garcia in the mix the welterweight division has not looked so healthy since the Hearns, Leonard, Duran glory days. This is boxing however and the theory and practice are never compatible.

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