There were no titles on the line at AO Arena on Saturday when Amir Khan and Kell Brook finally squared off. But as Brook bludgeoned his arch nemesis for six rounds, he won something that was perhaps more important than any championship belt.
And yeah, while Khan has a rematch clause, this would be like running back the Battle of Omdurman with how one-sided this bout was.
From the very onset it was clear that while both men were faded versions of themselves after the hard roads they had traveled, it was Brook who had much more left in the tank. Khan, who's punch resistance has always been low, was hurt in every round of this contest. About the only time his legs didn't shake from coming in contact with Brook's gloves (which he had to change into after he walked into the ring) was when they touched them up in the center of the ring.
courtesy of Boxxer
It's often been said that Khan's legs look like that of a baby deer as he gets clipped on the chin. Well, in this bout he looked like Bambi on quaaludes as he stumbled around the ring at various points, seemingly unable to even take jabs without his equilibrium being affected. The only chance that trainer, Brian 'BoMac' McIntyre, had of winning this fight was to put Terence Crawford out there in place of Khan.
To his credit, Khan never actually hit the canvas. But you got the sense that Brook really enjoyed putting it on him every round, especially the fifth where it became very clear that Khan simply had nothing to hold him off. The bout was mercifully waved off by referee Victor Loughlin early on in the sixth frame.
courtesy of Boxxer
The British version of the Hatfield's and McCoy's had been settled in brutal fashion.
It has to be satisfying for Brook who for years was overshadowed by Khan, and was never earmarked for stardom the way his counterpart was. And for a long spell, it looked as if he would never get the chance to give his hated rival his comeuppance.
Who knows where Brook goes from here. There is talk of him retiring on this high note(but this being boxing, that seems like a very quaint, if not downright naive), or more lucrative British battles with the likes of Conor Benn, Liam Smith or even Chris Eubank. Yet those fights will not have the emotional pull of the Khan victory.
It's a widely held belief in boxing circles that the damage done to him by Gennadiy Golovkin did irreparable harm to Brook. In retrospect it certainly does look like a reckless gambit. Without that bout, who knows how the rest of his welterweight title run plays out. Some will argue this point, but as a general rule, getting your face broken isn't advantageous for your career path.
Who knows what Brook missed out on, or what could've been.
But he'll always have the conquest of Khan.
Jaime Munguia did the expected by stopping D'metrius Ballard in three rounds inside a bull ring in Tijuana. So what's next?
Munguia is 25 year old, and has a record of 39-0(31 KOs), and has already been a world champion in the past. Back when he had the WBO 154 pound title, he was basically a prospect. But he's now five fights removed from that belt and has had a chance to hone his skills with Erik Morales. And it has to be said, Munguia does seem to be moving in the right direction as a more polished fighter.
courtesy of Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions
It's time to see what he really has.
Coming into this weekend, he was rated number one by both the WBC and WBO (Ring Magazine has him fourth), and there was a growing impatience with not just his handlers in stepping him up, but also the sanctioning bodies to forcing Munguia into a mandatory challenge. Currently, the WBC champion at 160 is Jermall Charlo, while Demetrius Andrade (the WBO belt-holder) turned down an opportunity to face his mandatory challenger, Janibek Alimkhanuly.
I reached out to Mauricio Sulaiman, the president of the WBC, who explained to me that last year they had ordered Munguia to face Sergiy Derevyanchenko, but Munguia had a prior commitment. So with that, they then ordered Munguia-Carlos Adames as a final eliminator.
"After this fight we will confirm if he will take on the WBC final elimination or not," stated Sulaiman via email.
WBO president, Francisco 'Paco' Valcarcel, tweeted this out on Sunday morning.
Word I'm getting is that Golden Boy Promotions has reached out to Top Rank (which handles Alimkhanuly) about this match-up, and will discuss this further in the upcoming week.
Jorge Linares suffered a 12th round KO loss at the hands of Zaur Abdullaev on Saturday. He started off well enough but faded down the stretch. This could mark the end of a very colorful, up-and-down career for Linares, who is now 36 years old....The stream/production of this card in Russia was so bad that many fans took to coming up with the moniker 'ESPN-Minus'....William Zepeda faced a really awkward guy in Tijuana this weekend in Luis Angel Viedas -- and he got away with a blatant blow as Viedas was down on the canvas -- but here's another guy that I'd like to see versus the upper echelon of his division(lightweight)....Juwon Howard provided the most memorable moment of this college basketball season...Anyone else enjoying 'Secrets of Playboy' on A@E?.....I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org