Amir Khan will not fight Kell Brook in his next fight after the British boxer announced former world champion Chris Algieri as his next opponent.
This week's boxing talk has been dominated by the all-British showdown between Khan and Brook in a fight that could take place at Wembley Stadium. The renewal of their welterweight rivalry comes after Brook made a successful return to the ring to defend his IBF welterweight championship against Jo Jo Dan having been stabbed in the leg last year.
That triggered talk of a meeting with Khan, as Brook called out the Bolton-boxer immediately after the bout, and Khan returned fire earlier this week, although he suggested any fight with Brook will take place once he has fought the winner of the Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao showdown at the start of May.
Great boxing rivalries
Great boxing rivalries
1/10 Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier – 1971, 1974 & 1975
Possibly one of the greatest rivalries of all time, not just in boxing but in any sport. These two titans met three times, with Ali taking home the spoils 2-1. The first was known as the ‘Fight of the Century’ in which two undisputed title holders came together, it ended with Frazier winning after 15 rounds via unanimous decision. The final fight was dubbed ‘Thrilla in Manilla’, where Ali retained all three of his heavyweight titles.
2/10 Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling – 1936 & 1938
Among two of boxing’s most historical fights. With Schmeling’s origins of Nazi Germany, these two represented something a little more than just two heavyweight boxers at their peak coming together. Louis was undefeated coming into the first fight while Schmeling already had 60 fights under his belt. The German won it with a 12th round knockout. By the time the pair met again, Louis had won the world Heavyweight title. It only took him one round to knock out Schmeling. Louis’ performances gained him national recognition and became one of America’s first African American heroes.
3/10 Micky Ward v Arturo Gatti – 2002, 2002 & 2003
The first time these two met proved to be The Ring Magazine’s ‘Fight of the Year’. A famous left hook body shot in the ninth brought Gatti to his knees and proved the deciding factor in the judges’ decision. A rematch was agreed immediately with Gatti knocking Ward down in third, however the American managed to finish the fight before losing by decision. The final fight also won The Ring Magazine’s fight of the year, Ward knocked down Gatti in the sixth, but before the referee could count to ten, the bell sounded. Gatti was able to come back and win via unanimous decision.
4/10 Nigel Benn v Chris Eubank – 1990 & 1993
In what was initially a fierce domestic rivalry, became one of world interest between these two British greats. Eubank was originally the challenger and began shouting out for Benn after only 10 fights. After winning his WBO middleweight title, Benn agreed to face Eubank. With each fighter saying they were going to knock the other one out, it was the challenger that actually did. With a technical knockout in the ninth round. The re-match was watched by half a billion people worldwide, with both defending titles it was so even, it ended in a draw.
5/10 Gene Tunney v Jack Dempsey – 1926 & 1927
Fighting twice, these bouts have gone down as two of the most famous in boxing history. Tunney won the first over 10 rounds via unanimous decision. The second is why these two were forever known in boxing history. In the seventh round Dempsey threw a flurry of punches to knock Tunney down for the first time in his career. The referee couldn’t count until Dempsey had reached a neutral corner. He didn’t oblige, buying Tunney valuable time. Tunney managed to rise at a time many say was over ten seconds. This is why the fight is known as the Long Count. Tunney went on to knock down Dempsey in the eighth and win by unanimous decision.
6/10 Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez – 2004, 2008, 2011 & 2012
One of the greatest modern day rivalries which will go on to be imprinted in boxing’s history. Having fought four times to this day, Pacquiao has won two, Marquez one and the other being a draw. Marquez winning the most recent with a sixth round knockout, handing the Pac-Man back to back defeats. The Ring Magazine awarded it not only ‘Fight of the Year’ but also ‘Knockout of the Year’.
7/10 Ken Norton v Muhammad Ali - 1973, 1973 & 1976
Ali’s second defeat came to the man known as ‘The Black Hercules’. In what was their first fight, Ali was the 5-1 favourite and had won 10 fights since his first lost to Frazier. Norton broke Ali’s jaw in the fight, despite The Greatest carrying on, he lost on a split decision. Six months later, Ali avenged Norton winning also on a split decision and re-gaining his NABF Heavyweight title. The third and final fight was some three years later after Rumble in the Jungle, Ali won via unanimous decision.
8/10 Marco Antonio Barrera v Erik Morales - 2000, 2002 & 2004
Involving two of more modern days most famous Mexican boxers, the Barrera v Morales trilogy is a famous one, spanning over three different classes. Their first fight was in the super-bantamweight division with both holding titles. Morales won the first on a close split decision. Deciding to move up classes, Morales went to Featherweight, where again he met Barrera for a title match. This time Barrera won, in what was Morales’ first ever career defeat. The third and final time they met was in the Super-Featherweight division, where again Morales lost and with it his WBC title.
9/10 Riddick Bowe v Evander Holyfield - 1992, 1993 & 1995
These two Heavyweight giants came together three times in a famous blockbuster conquest. In the first fight, Holyfield walked in with Lineal, WBC, WBA & IBF Heavyweight titles having beaten Buster Douglas and George Foreman. Bowe had never tasted defeat and to everyone’s surprise, won via unanimous decision. The re-match went the distance with Holyfield winning on a split decision. This was Bowe’s first and only career defeat. The third, unlike the other two, was ended after eight rounds when Bowe knocked out Holyfield.
10/10 Sugar Ray Leonard v Thomas Hearns – 1981 & 1989
These two first met in a heavyweight clash with both boxers’ welterweight titles on the line. Ray Leonard known for his boxing skill, and Hearns for his vicious punching. The epic battle lasted 14 rounds before Leonard unleashed a series of punches, forcing the ref to stop the fight. The re-match, known as ‘The War’, had both fighters again holding titles, this time in the super-middleweight class. After 12 rounds of back and forth punishment, the fight was scored as a judge’s draw. The two never fought again with Hearns moving to light-heavyweight.
With that in mind, Khan announced on Thursday night that he is on the verge of finalising a deal to fight Algieri, which should take place in the American's hometown of New York on 30 May.
While the non-title welterweight bout against Algieri has not been officially rubber-stamped, Khan is happy with his choice of foe.
Khan said: "You can class him as an A-class opponent."
Algieri's only defeat in a 21-fight professional career came last November, when he was knocked down six times en route to a heavily lopsided points defeat to Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Yet in his previous bout, the 31-year-old American upset the odds to win a split decision over the much-feared Ruslan Provodnikov and take the Russian's WBO light-welterweight title.
Khan, himself a former champion at 140lbs, added on his wife's YouTube channel: "He has fought decent opponents, beaten decent opponents, and just fell short against Manny Pacquiao, which is an A star opponent.
"He's a decent boxer overall. He knows how to box and knows how to move well. He takes a decent amount of shots and he's got a decent amount of power, so I think overall it's going to be a good fight for me.
"Hopefully this can lead me on to the bigger fights in the future, which is what I'm looking at."
The 28-year-old has made no secret of his desire to fight the winner of the May 2 super-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao, while he would also be keen on facing Brook in a "winner takes all" bout.
For now, though, Khan's focus is on his next opponent and he is keen to arrange the bout in New York.
Khan's only previous outing there was an 11th-round stoppage of Paulie Malignaggi at Madison Square Garden in May 2010.
This time, though, Khan wants the non-title bout at the Barclays Center as he said: "We're looking at fighting in New York, I think New York's a great venue for me.
"Having that fight in New York will be good for the UK fans in a way because it will give them a chance to travel and it won't be as far as going to (Las) Vegas.
"This time I'd like to fight at the Barclays Center, which I've never fought at."
Khan, who last fought in December last year with a one-sided points win over Devon Alexander in Las Vegas, hopes his next bout can be finalised soon.
"I'm looking forward to getting this fight announced officially by my manager and advisor Al Haymon," he added.
"They think it's the right fight for me, they want to keep me going."
Additional reporting by PAReuse content