LONDON (AP) — In a grudge match that has been a long time in the making, rivals Amir Khan and Kell Brook will meet for an all-British welterweight fight in February.
No world title will be at stake in the Feb. 19 fight in Manchester that will settle a long-standing rivalry after years of failed negotiations between two of Britain’s most well-known boxers.
The fight was announced on Monday.
It will be a first fight in more than 2½ years for the 34-year-old Khan, a former world champion at light-welterweight and an Olympic silver-medalist in 2008.
The 35-year-old Brook, who was world champion at welterweight from 2014-16, last fought last November when he was stopped in the fourth round by Terence Crawford.
On a news conference Monday to promote the fight between boxers who are past their best, Brook accused Khan of ducking him for the majority of their careers.
“It’s 17 years this has been being talked about — even in the negotiations it’s been unbelievably hard work,” Brook said. “I’m ecstatic the fans are finally going to see the fight they’ve wanted for years.
"Now we’ve got a date and that’s when Amir Khan hits the deck for the final time. It started from our original promoters back in the day. We’ve always been meant to fight each other but it’s never happened. He’s never given me any respect, he’s never acknowledged me."
Khan, who has also lost to Crawford as well as Canelo Alvarez, Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, said he was “coming levels down for this fight.”
“I’ve never run from Kell," Khan said. “At times in the past I didn’t think he deserved the fight."
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