Kell Brook has admitted that he was impressed with Amir Khan’s bravery during Saturday’s highly-anticipated grudge fight between the two bitter rivals. Brook emerged victorious in the sixth round of a bruising encounter at the AO Arena in Manchester after taking control of the bout from the very first bell.
The Yorkshireman came flying out of the blocks to hurt Khan with a fierce right hand before landing a combination of powerful shots prior to the end of round one.
Brook went on to maintain the upper hand in the second before his eye began to swell in round three to give Khan a glimmer of hope.
However, the Bolton-born fighter was unable to mount a remarkable comeback as Brook continued to deliver a brutal beating until the bout was eventually stopped in the sixth round.
The contest was swiftly waved off as Brook unleashed a flurry of unanswered punches before the two fighters shared a sporting embrace in the immediate aftermath of proceedings.
Although Khan was firmly second best throughout the bout, he was never knocked to the canvas and earned high praise from Brook as a result of his courageous showing in spite of the outcome.
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“I said: ‘Listen, you’ve got the heart of a lion’. He took some big shots,” Brook told Behind the Gloves after the fight.
“We both said we’re going to put that to bed and maybe have a coffee one time. Whoever gets in that ring, you have to give them that respect.
“He put up a fight, he just came second tonight, but I knew that was happening.”
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether either fighter will decide to hang up their gloves after finally settling their 17-year rivalry on Saturday.
Khan also paid tribute to his opposite number in the aftermath of the event before suggesting that he could soon put an end to his lengthy career in boxing over the coming weeks.
“It was tough out there, Kell came trained and came ready,” Khan told Seconds Out.
“No disrespect to him, it was an amazing fight and I wish him all the very best for the future. He made me realise that maybe it’s tough for me, you know.
“I’ve been in the game for 18 years now, at the top level of boxing I’ve been fighting at, and I think it’s time to maybe consider calling it a day.
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“For some reason I just didn’t feel right in there. That’s no excuse, that’s maybe just my age, but respect to Kell and his team, they came ready and overall the crowd was happy.
“I think the timing wasn’t there more than anything and my reactions were kind of slow. Obviously I thought the speed was there but my reactions on shots he was throwing at me were not there.
“That’s like a sign to me. I’ve got a beautiful family and I’ve made tons of money in the sport of boxing, I think it’s time to spend time with my loved ones now.
“I don’t want to get hurt any more, you’re always one punch away from getting hurt. I’m glad me and Kell came out of the ring safely.
“There’s no point risking it now and I think it’s time to maybe call it a day.”