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Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.

  • Steve Bunce

Khan v Brook fight an impossible dream

Steve Bunce October 23, 2012

Kell Brook has arrived at IBF champion Devon Alexander's doorstep after winning his latest eliminator against Hector Saldivia. But the worst kept secret in boxing is that Alexander is probably going to vacate his welterweight title.

Alexander faced Randall Bailey to get hold of a belt and make himself a two-weight world champion, which gives him real bargaining power when it comes to pushing for big, big fights in the future. Brook is high risk for Alexander, but the bout wouldn't generate a significant amount of cash, so it won't be his first priority.

If he does vacate, it's great news for Brook: he will then have to fight someone for the title who is weaker than Alexander. The American may not be pleasing on the eye, but he is a fantastic fighter and, as he's been in with some terrific boxers (Tim Bradley, Junior Witter, Marcos Maidana and more), a very dangerous opponent. I'm staggered when I hear people say Alexander will be an easy night for Brook.

If I'm Brook, then I'm saying a little prayer to the boxing gods every night in the hope Alexander will relinquish the IBF strap.

With a vacant title up for grabs, who knows who Brook will fight? I wouldn't like to say - it could be any one of 30 guys. There was a time 30 years ago when you had to beat somebody in the top ten to get a world-title shot; now you just have to be pushed by your promoter and national governing body.

It could easily be someone worse than Saldivia, who wasn't even the best man Brook has faced - and yet it was a final eliminator. Bizarre.

As for the Khan v Brook fight - well, you can forget about that: nobody will agree terms. Eddie Hearn (Brook's promoter) and Khan's people are tough guys to negotiate with, and neither side will want to let much go. That will create deadlock.

Let's say hypothetically that the fight happens next April. If Khan loses, he can't get back on the dollar wagon he's riding in America, where he remains a huge attraction despite recent defeats. At the moment, he can move in and out of title fights, hop from big name to big name. He has a lot to lose by facing Brook.

Khan is the attraction here, let's not forget that, and Brook needs Khan more than Khan needs Brook. Look at what Khan's done - it eclipses anything Brook can even dream of at the moment. In my opinion, a 60/40 split of the cash in Khan's favour would be fair. That shouldn't be a problem for Brook: he needs to get a figure in his mind, and if it's met then he shouldn't care if it's 1% of what Khan's getting.

Hearn has predicted both Khan and Brook can make £2m from the fight; Brook has never made 10% of that in his career. If he's been making relative peanuts, he can't now expect parity with Khan. His attitude should be: I'll accept less than Khan now, because if and when I beat him I'll be getting a whole lot more.

Ricky Hatton has been mentioned alongside Brook - but he's tied up on a journey towards Paulie Malignaggi, the WBA welterweight champion. If Brook v Hatton happens, it won't be for a while yet.

And by the way, Hatton's comeback opponent Vyacheslav Senchenko is ahead of any welterweight Brook has faced - and Hatton has been out of the ring for more than three years.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.