Ricky Hatton: My Amir Khan vs Kell Brook prediction and why it will be worth the wait

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Ricky Hatton: My Amir Khan vs Kell Brook prediction and why it will be worth the wait
© Provided by Metro Khan and Brook finally collide this weekend (Picture: Getty)

In his latest column, the British boxing legend looks ahead to the long-awaited Khan vs Brook showdown with plenty of Manchester talent looking to impress on the big stage.

Brook could have the edge

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Over the years I must admit I fancied Amir Khan to get the better of Kell Brook. Looking at the footage of him in training, even before the fight was announced, he looked to still have plenty of that speed, even if he isn’t quite as quick as he was a few years ago.

It would have been fair to say he might be a bit too quick for Kell. But Kell himself looks in absolute fantastic condition. I’ve changed my mind a little bit and I’m sure I will again before the opening bell on Saturday but I think Kell has looked a little bit fitter, a little bit sharper based on the footage we have seen.

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It is such a 50-50 fight, but Kell is looking pretty quick himself and we know he has got the punching power. He is certainly capable of knocking Amir out. At the moment, I’m drifting ever so slightly to Brook.

Ricky Hatton: My Amir Khan vs Kell Brook prediction and why it will be worth the wait
© Provided by Metro Brook has vowed to retire Khan (Picture: Getty)

Well worth the wait

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There has been a lot of waiting for this but honestly, I think it will be an even better fight because of it. As you get older, you tend to slow down a bit and your stamina suffers a bit more. And if you’re not as quick and your stamina is not like it was, you are going to go toe-to-toe that little bit sooner in a fight.

It’s one of the reasons why we love Amir, but he does have a habit of getting drawn in. And if he gets drawn in on Saturday, the fight switches in Brook’s favour. If he avoids that and sticks to his boxing, I think you have got to go with Amir.

I think with Khan, he is more likely to get drawn in if he has lost that bit of quickness. But we can’t forget about the fact that these two really don’t like each other. None of this has been for the cameras, none of it has been for show. So considering that, there is every chance Amir could get dragged in.

Ricky Hatton: My Amir Khan vs Kell Brook prediction and why it will be worth the wait
© Provided by Metro The rivalry finally comes to a head (Picture: Getty)

Ultimately, I think it is potentially a better fight than if they were in their prime. They are both older, they might have to go into the trenches sooner than they would have five years ago. It should be a war.

No concerns over Kell’s eye

Kell is experienced enough to know what is what. Yes, he suffered some damage in those battles with Gennady Golovkin and Errol Spence Jr a few years ago.

But with Dominic Ingle looking after him, if there was even a slight chance of the eye being an issue or if he found out it was something that was on Kell’s mind, I don’t think he would let him step foot in that ring.

You couldn’t get a more experienced camp with the Ingles and I think I speak for any trainer when I say if we thought our fighter had the slightest bit of doubt in his head, I don’t think we would let any of our lads go through with it. So the fact that Kell is here and the fight is happening, it shows that eye trouble is a thing of the past and I think he will be okay.

Ricky Hatton: My Amir Khan vs Kell Brook prediction and why it will be worth the wait
© Provided by Metro Khan confident he is inside Brook’s head (Picture: Getty)

Dominic would have noticed in camp, in his sparring if he was a bit hesitant, a bit tentative. He would have been onto that in a flash and told him: ‘No, you’re not fighting, Kell’.

So I think we can put that to the back of our minds because Kell has definitely put it to the back of his.

Rea looking to impress on undercard

It’s a big night for some of my lads on the undercard too with Bradley Rea looking to go 12-0 when he takes on Craig McCarthy. He had a wonderful performance against Lee Cutler early last year, absolutely destroying him in one round in what was deemed to be a 50-50 fight going into it.

Last time out he was up against Jez Smith, a very experienced lad. It was the first time Brad had a bit coming back his own way and he had to absorb a few shots himself. But that is the thing about this sport, you’ve got to get hit to learn. That is what makes it the hardest game in the world.

But he ticked a box and got the win, he proved his stamina, he proved his chin, he proved he is a very exciting fighter with a great style and skillset. He can fight at a distance, mix it up close, he can go southpaw or orthodox. I think he is going to have a really great career.

Just working with him alongside his head coach Blain Younis, I have seen him develop from when he first turned pro as a little Manchester kid to a really promising fighter, I think Blain deserves a lot of credit.

There are a lot of good fighters coming up in that middleweight division in the UK and Ireland. Brad isn’t shy, all of those people around him in the rankings, he will have no fear of getting in the ring with any of them. But all in good time.

Huge stage for Ibrahim Nadim

My young fighter Ibby Nadim will be eager to impress too. With Ibby, given we were in and out of lockdown for a while, he hasn’t been as active as we would have liked him to be. But he’s back on track and he has got an opportunity on a massive stage here in Manchester.

For any local lad, this is a box you want to tick. It’s a very proud moment. Ibby is developing really well, he is learning all the time.

Ricky Hatton: My Amir Khan vs Kell Brook prediction and why it will be worth the wait
© Provided by Metro Nadim looking to go 6-0 (Picture: Getty)

This will be his sixth fight so after this one we might look for an eight-rounder and we will just look for who is out there. Maybe we can get an area title shot or an English title shot. But its exciting times for both lads.

It’s also a big occasion for Charlie Schofield – he takes on Germaine Brown for the English super-middleweight belt. He’s another Manchester lad fighting at that venue for the first time and when you consider all the big names who have performed there, he will be so proud of that.

Charlie is another one doing great things down that Phoenix Camp with Robert Rimmer, it will be a very proud night for both of them and I’m sure Charlie will be looking to make a big statement.

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