With Amir Khan recently urging longtime rival Kell Brook to retire, Danny Flexen wonders if he will take the advice
For someone who insists he has no interest in facing Kell Brook, longtime rival Amir Khan sure is happy to talk about the Sheffielder. Most recently the Bolton man, last seen beating up much smaller late substitute Billy Dib in a farcical Saudia Arabian main event, has urged Brook, inactive since December, to permanently hang up the gloves.
"I really feel he should retire. I don’t want to fight him, give him a beating and hurt him," Khan told the Ask The Experts podcast. "He should retire because he’s had two eye sockets broken, he’s already slurring. He’s been beaten up basically."
While Brook would obviously be loath to take any advice from his arch nemesis, will the former IBF welterweight champion decide, of his own accord, to pack the fight game in?
Not so long ago, we analysed the pros and cons of Kell calling it a day and since then no fight dates have been rumoured for the 33-year-old, let alone confirmed. According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Brook is at a stage of his career where only marquee fights motivate him and few appear to be on the table right now.
While I do not believe his speech has markedly deteriorated in recent years, there is no denying the two serious eye injuries - suffered against first Gennady Golovkin then Errol Spence - or how rusty he appeared versus unheralded Michael Zerafa last time out. All these things seem to indicate retirement is indeed an option Brook should at least consider.
That being said, the Zerafa fight was Brook’s first under new trainer John Fewkes and he still won a clear decision. Kell may well feel he still has something to offer, especially if he can make 147lbs safely and with significant strength once again.
The key factor here may well be legacy. If Brook were to retire now, he would be able to claim one unremarkable world title reign, defeats to two of the three world-class opponents he faced and an inferior career to Khan; that last point may hurt him more than the rest.
Carrying on could of course cause further harm to his status, but that nagging feeling of potential unfulfilled may well compel Brook to return for at least one more big night.