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Fight making is difficult when you get to the elite level of boxing. Amir Khan and Kell Brook have each had their own moments at the top of the sport and British boxing fans have long looked forward to the time the two would inevitably meet in the ring. Unfortunately, getting the two British stars in the ring proved to be beyond their respective promoters during the peak of their powers.
Time and distance has not cooled the tensions between the two fighters though. It has been clear throughout the build up to their highly-anticipated fight on Saturday evening that there is no love lost between them.
The speed with which tickets to the AO Arena sold out and the rate of pay-per-view sales also shows that there remains a great appetite amongst the British public for the fight.
Those who watch in Manchester or further afield should be treated to a cracking fight. Many serious pundits and other fighters finding it difficult to separate the two men, while Brook and Khan know they have a genuine chance of ending their rival’s career with a win.
Kell Brook 4/6 (Betfred)
Amir Khan 11/8 (bet365)
Draw 20/1 (888sport)
Kell Brook and Amir Khan have much in common, including a damaging defeat to Terence Crawford. The American overpowered both fighters but he appears to have patched up his differences with Khan as he recently joined him for a sparring session to prepare for Saturday night. Crawford was full of praise for Khan, saying that he retains the speed, the technique and the hunger required to beat Brook. The bookmakers disagree.
Brook is the 4/6 favourite with Betfred and yet he goes into the fight feeling as though he is the man with everything to prove. The Sheffield fighter has had a chip on his shoulder for 18 years, ever since Khan was selected for Team GB in the 2004 Olympics ahead of him. Khan went on to win a silver medal, become a household name and have the sort of opportunities in his early professional career that Brook could only dream of.
For all that Brook’s hard work and dedication eventually paid off – he won the IBF welterweight title in 2014 and held it for three years – he maintains that he could have had an even better career had the Team GB selectors made a different decision.
There is some justification to that claim. Khan, however, did not become the unified light-welterweight world champion simply because of a piece of luck. He has had to suffer for his success including that brutal defeat at the hands of Crawford.
With the American’s guidance adding to a fight camp which has reportedly gone well, Khan can utilise his movement, speed and reach advantage to gradually wear Brook down and secure a win against the odds with bet365 going top-priced at 11/8.
Brook by KO, TKO or Disqualification 5/4 (bet365)
Khan by Decision 7/2 (Paddy Power)
Khan by KO, TKO or Disqualification 7/2 (Betfred)
Brook by Decision 4/1 (bet365)
Draw or Technical Draw 20/1 (888sport)
The Method of Victory market suggests that the market is split when it comes to a potential Khan win.
The underdog can be backed at 7/2 both to win by decision or by a knockout. We’d suggest the latter.
This is being billed as an intriguing battle of styles with Khan having the edge in terms of speed and movement and Brook the more powerful puncher. There is little doubt that a longer fight favours Khan as he has proven himself a durable fighter, even when it is to his detriment, but he has enough power to knock opponents out, especially when they are fatigued by his movement in the latter rounds.
Both men have said that they would love to knock the other out. That’s standard fare for pre-fight press conferences but the enmity between them suggests that they’ll each go in search of something spectacular to settle this rivalry once and for all. Khan has enough still left in the tank to be the man to land that big blow so consider backing him to win via knockout or technical knockout at 7/2 with Betfred.
Brook in Round 8 @ 16/1 (bet365)
Brook in Round 7 @ 16/1 (Betfred)
Brook in Round 5 @ 16/1 (Betfred)
Brook in Round 6 @ 16/1 (Betfred)
Brook in Round 9 @ 18/1 (bet365)
Brook in Round 4 @ 18/1 (bet365)
Brook’s fight record tells a tale in terms of his punch power. 27 of his 39 professional wins have come the way of a knockout and that record has helped to inform the prices in the Round Betting market. As we think that Khan is the man most likely to win and that he can do so without the fight going the distance there is some good value to be had for a more speculative bet.
Khan is highly unlikely to win this fight early on. He’ll have to set Brook up for an extended period of time before he can start thinking about a knockout. It could be that a tight fight gets close to going the distance before something dramatic settles it so the 80/1 that bet365 are offering on Khan winning in Round 12 is worth a small stakes bet.
Amir Khan to Win at 11/8 with bet365
Khan to Win via Knockout at 7/2 with Betfred
Khan to Win in Round 12 at 80/1 with bet365