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Amir Khan hopes to "laugh in Kell Brook"s face" by proving he has more fans in Sheffield

Khan hopes to 'laugh in Kell Brook's face' by proving he has more fans than his rival does in his home town of Sheffield

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

00:49 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

02:11 GMT, 6 March 2013

Amir Khan has revealed he cannot wait to fight in Sheffield – because he wants to ‘laugh in Kell Brook’s face’ about having more fans than Brook does in his home town.

The former world champion is to fight Mexican Julio Diaz in Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on April 27 at a catchweight of 143lbs, and though he is adamant he will return to 140lbs to avenge defeats against Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, he couldn’t resist a dig at welterweight Brook, his long-time rival.

'We’ll show him how we sell tickets,' said Khan, whose fight against Diaz is his first in the UK for two years.

Last laugh: Amir Khan believes he will sell out the Motorpoint Arena because he has more Sheffield-based fans than Kell Brook

Last laugh: Amir Khan believes he will sell out the Motorpoint Arena because he has more Sheffield-based fans than Kell Brook

'It’ll show that I probably have more
fans than him in his home town. That’s a laugh in his face, really. But I
don’t think about fighting him yet – he has to prove himself.'

Brook is to fight Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title in May and, if victorious, interest in a fight between he and Khan is certain to grow, something the latter says he will welcome once he has achieved his ambitions as a light welterweight and moved up to the 147lb division.

'I have nothing against Kell Brook,' says Khan. 'I don't care about him or think about him. He has to prove himself. At the moment he's not on my radar or anything.

'Spectacular': Julio Diaz was impressed with Khan's performance against Carlos Molina

'Spectacular': Julio Diaz was impressed with Khan's performance against Carlos Molina

'If I move up to 147 then definitely I would fight him, but it's six to nine months before I do move up. When I do, I'm not someone who says no and I would take that fight.

'I still want to fight at 140 and win titles at that weight and then move up to 147 as a world champion.

'There are still two fights out there at 140 against Petersen and Garcia – they are fights I want and that are there for me, so I don't see why I should move up.'

Battle of Britain Interest in Kell Brook fighting Amir Khan continues to grow

Battle of Britain Interest in Kell Brook fighting Amir Khan continues to grow

Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley were among those mentioned as potential opponents for Khan, with Peterson and Vyacheslav Senchenko, who retired Ricky Hatton in November, understood to have rejected official offers to fight him. As a consequence Diaz has been viewed as an underwhelming opponent, but he is one Khan is adamant will not be easy.

'We got the fight I wanted,' he said. 'Not many would take this fight on so I have a lot of respect for Diaz for taking it.

'People will turn us down because they know this is a tough fight, even though last year wasn't our best. We tried with some and it didn't happen, which is why I left England for a training camp without doing any press as I didn't have a secure opponent.'

Back on form: Khan followed two straight losses with a 10th-round stoppage of Molina

Back on form: Khan followed two straight losses with a 10th-round stoppage of Molina

For Diaz, the next fight represents the biggest of his career after his last was a draw against Shawn Porter on the undercard of Khan's 10th-round stoppage victory over Carlos Molina, the 2004 Olympian's first with trainer Virgil Hunter, and one in which the Mexican felt Khan simply could not be criticised.

'I have to say he was spectacular,' Diaz said. 'He looked a whole different fighter. Virgil has done a very good job with him, but I have a very good team and, when I get in the ring in Sheffield, it will be a very proud moment.

'Amir has been a superstar since he started and has been treated like one. I’ve struggled to get attention by winning performances and knockouts, but it’s just made me work harder.'

Tickets for Amir Khan vs. Julio Diaz can be purchased from www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or by calling 0114 256 5656.

Kell Brook world title fight with Devon Alexander pencilled in for February or March

Brook world title fight back on: Alexander showdown pencilled in for February or March

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UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 13 December 2012

Rising British star Kell Brook has been given a provisional New Year date for a big world title fight in America.

Golden Boy promotions are pencilling in either February 23 or March 2 as the rescheduled date for the injured Brook’s challenge to welterweight champion Devon Alexander in Los Angeles.

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC 5 Live: ‘Kell could have fought as planned next month but would only have been about 60 per cent fit after injury his ankle and missing road running.

'He is a little down in the dumps but in order to do himself justice, he can't fight on that day.

'I didn't want hundreds or thousands of Brits booking their flights to America and losing out.

'There's no way after all the work we've done, we can let a 60 per cent Kell Brook go into what is a 50/50 fight.

'It's not a terrible injury; he
turned it in Fuerteventura and he can't exert himself as well as the
strength and science guys want him to.'

Hearn continued: ‘We would prefer March 2 to give him more time to be 100 per cent for a fight as tough and important as this one.

'If it was up to Kell Brook, he'd fight but I have to intervene and listen to the experts.You cannot go out to America if you have any doubts in your mind.

'New York comes back into play and they're also talking about Detroit. We don't mind where we go but what does matter is that Kell is ready for the biggest fight of his life.'

Bangladesh crush West Indies in first ODI in Khulna

Tamim and Anamul stand helps Bangladesh crush Windies to take ODI series lead

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UPDATED:

20:08 GMT, 30 November 2012

Bangladesh today thrashed West Indies by seven wickets to win the first one-day international in Khulna.

After dismissing the visitors for just 199, Bangladesh cruised to their victory target with 58 balls to spare.

Openers Tamim Iqbal (58) and Anamul Haque (41) set the tone with a stand of 88 for the first wicket, with Naeem Islam then making exactly 50 not out as the hosts cantered to an easy win.

All too easy: Bangladesh batsman Naeem Islam hit a half century in Khulna

All too easy: Bangladesh batsman Naeem Islam hit a half century in Khulna

The victory target would have been even smaller but for a fightback from Sunil Narine (36) and Ravi Rampaul (25) after the West Indies slumped to 133 for eight.

Windies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to bat first, but there were no immediate fireworks from flamboyant opener Chris Gayle, with just three runs in the first three overs.

Lendl Simmons scored the first boundary of the day off the 23rd ball and that seemed to inspire Gayle, who plundered 14 off the fifth over, with two fours and a six off Mashrafe Mortaza.

Abul Hasan had Simmons dropped on 12 before Gayle took another maximum and two more fours off the over.

Shotmaker: Anamul Haque hits out at The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium

Shotmaker: Anamul Haque hits out at The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium

Mortaza removed Simmons for 13 in the first over after the powerplay and Sohag Gazi followed with the prize scalp of Gayle (35 from 40 balls) with only his second ball in ODIs.

Gazi sent Marlon Samuels packing for a duck, but Darren Bravo set about rebuilding the innings as he took 16 off Naeem's only over.

Kieron Pollard (15), Devon Thomas (16), Sammy (10) and Andre Russell (nought) all failed to make significant scores, while Bravo's entertaining knock ended on 35.

That left the score at 133 for eight but Narine, with 36 in 45 deliveries, and Rampaul made a major contribution at the back end of the innings.
Gazi (four for 29) eventually wrapped things up when he made Narine his final victim.

Swashbuckling: Bangladesh's Tameem Iqbal cuts to the boundary

Swashbuckling: Bangladesh's Tameem Iqbal cuts to the boundary

Bangladesh's reply got off to the ideal start when Tamim smashed four fours and two sixes in making 58 from 51 balls before being caught off the bowling of Narine.

And Anamul struck seven boundaries in his 41 before being caught and bowled by Sammy.

That briefly gave West Indies hope but Naeem made a composed half-century and, after Nasir Hossain made a quickfire 28, Mushfiqur Rahim (16 not out) finished the match in style with a boundary in a final total of 201 for three.

Amir Khan promises to fight Kell Brook if he beats Devon Alexander

Bring on Brook! Khan promises to fight British rival if he wins world title

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UPDATED:

10:35 GMT, 12 November 2012

Amir Khan has handed Kell Brook an even bigger incentive to beat Devon Alexander in his world title fight by promising to fight the winner.

Brook is set to challenge for the IBF belt on January 19 in either New York or Las Vegas after maneuvering himself into the mandatory position with victory over Hector Saldivia last month.

And should the 26-year-old upset the odds in America, he could set up an all-British summer showdown against bitter rival Khan.

Back in action: Amir Khan (left) returns to the ring on December 15

Back in action: Amir Khan (left) returns to the ring on December 15

'I think it's a great fight,' Khan told BoxingScene. 'I think it's a great step up for Brook because he has been fighting at a lower level.

'I'm surprised he's taking the fight with Devon Alexander. Devon Alexander is a great fighter. It is a great fight for the welterweight division and in the future I can fight the winner.

'If he gets past Devon Alexander, then I think it makes sense to have a fight with him – and he'll have a world title [so] it makes sense to fight Brook maybe in the UK – it would be huge.'

Khan himself returns to action on December 15 against undefeated Carlos Molina in Los Angeles.

Title shot: Kell Brook

Title shot: Kell Brook

It will be the first time the 25-year-old has fought under the guidance of new trainer Virgil Hunter.

And the Bolton man is all too aware that he must get back to winning ways if he is to fight the world's biggest names.

'There’s always pressure when I fight but I definitely have to win this because if I lose, I’m done,' Khan said.

'This
is a fight I need to win, 100 per cent. If I don’t win it I’m done.
It’s that simple. The big super-fights I’ve always dreamed about won’t
be there if I lose this. Pacquiao, Mayweather — forget it.'

In an attempt to revitalize his
fortunes, Khan took the bold step of ditching revered trainer Freddie
Roach in favour of the quietly-spoken San Francisco-based Hunter.

'It’s a very tight community in that
gym. You need to have people there you trust. Virgil keeps it very
limited and that’s what I like about it,' he added.

'You’re not bothered about who’s watching, you’re not training for a crowd, or fans.'

Torquay 1 Stoke 1: Boenisch plays at left-back as Potters held in Devon

Torquay 1 Stoke 1: Boenisch plays at left back as Potters held in Devon

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 6 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Stoke continued their preparations for the forthcoming Barclays Premier League season with a 1-1 draw at Torquay.

The Potters took the lead in their first pre-season warm-up in this country two minutes before the break, when Gulls centre-half Aaron Downes turned a Matthew Etherington shot into his own goal.

Peter Crouch and Ryan Shotton went close for Stoke, before Cameron Jerome saw a second half header ruled out for offside.

On hand: Torquay keeper Michael Poke denies Dean Whitehead

On hand: Torquay keeper Michael Poke denies Dean Whitehead

However, the npower League Two side finished strongly and were rewarded 12 minutes from time when Billy Bodin beat substitute goalkeeper Carlo Nash with a powerful strike.

Poland international Sebastian Boenisch, available on a free transfer after leaving Werder Bremen, played 67 minutes at left-back for Tony Pulis' side.

No rush for Kell Brook world title fight, says promoter

Brook aiming for world title shot this year… but promoter Hearn says there is no rush

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UPDATED:

16:43 GMT, 3 July 2012

Promoter Eddie Hearn has called for patience as the clamour for emerging star Kell Brook to fight for a world title intensifies.

Unbeaten Sheffield welterweight Brook rose through the ranks steadily before seeing his profile soar since teaming up with Hearn's Matchroom firm.

A number of big wins over the past year, coupled with a rapidly growing fanbase, has given Brook, his supporters and the media itchy feet as he inches towards a world title shot.

Face off: Kell Brook and Carson Jones go head to head before their fight as promoter Eddie Hearn stands in the middle

Face off: Kell Brook and Carson Jones go head to head before their fight as promoter Eddie Hearn stands in the middle

However, Brook must beat American Carson Jones on Saturday before meeting Argentinian Hector Saldivia in a final eliminator for a shot at the title, which is currently held by Randall Bailey.

Hearn insists the process must take time in order to secure a mandatory title shot.

'I know everybody wants Kell Brook to go and fight Floyd Mayweather tomorrow but the guy is 26 years of age,' he said.

'There is no tearing rush. I want to make sure we're in a position this year to fight for a world title but what is so important to us is that Kell Brook becomes a mandatory challenger for a world title.

Unbeaten: Brook has a perfect record so far

Unbeaten: Brook has a perfect record so far

'We're not prepared to take two or three-fight options for small money in return for a voluntary shot. We want to work our way into a mandatory position. So if that takes an extra fight or an extra two months, it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

'I hear Devon Alexander is going to fight Randall Bailey, the champion, at the beginning of September. So that's fine.

'We'll take the winner, but we'll take them as a mandatory, so there are no ties, we don't have to take a ridiculous purse and meaning we can go and win the world title and then effectively we're a free agent.

'It's so difficult to manufacture a world title shot, particularly in this division. That's why we want to become a mandatory.

Title shot: Brook is aiming for a world title fight before the end of the year

Title shot: Brook is aiming for a world title fight before the end of the year

'It's a big fight anyway. I expect Alexander to beat Bailey so Brook v Alexander, probably some time in December, is going to be a huge fight.

'He's got to beat Saldivia first – he's got to beat Carson Jones even before that – but we're confident of winning both.'

Brook (27-0, 18KOs) and Jones (34-8-2, 24KO wins) came face to face again today for the first time since a fractious meeting when the fight was announced. And the Yorkshireman continued to try to get under Jones' skin at the final pre-fight press conference.

'I notice Carson's slimmed down and looks trim but that big head of his hasn't shrunk down,' he said. 'We're going to be hitting that big head on Saturday and hurting him.”

Addressing Jones directly, he added: 'I don't like the kid. I can't wait to knock you out. You've been beaten before whereas I don't think I've even lost a round.

'You sure aren't going to touch me. You're going to get smoked!'

Oklahoma native Jones unsurprisingly claimed his preparations have been perfect and said: 'I don't care who I'm fighting, I'm going to train like I'm fighting Floyd Mayweather.

'This guy has never been in with anybody as bad as I am.'

Demanding Brook's attention, Jones added: 'Look at me – I feel sorry for you on Saturday.'

London 2012 Olympics: Great Britain beaten by Lithuania in basketball warm up

Great Britain put in good performance but still go down to Lithuania in basketball warm-up

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UPDATED:

08:52 GMT, 24 June 2012

Great Britain's men produced a creditable performance but were beaten 63-61 by Lithuania in Houston – their second defeat in as many nights.

Following Friday's 86-80 loss to Nigeria, Britain pushed the world's fifth-ranked team all the way and could even have snatched victory in the last second, but Dan Clark's Hail Mary from halfway bounced out off the rim.

Clark was one of three GB players in double figures with 11 points, Kyle Johnson leading the way with 12 and Joel Freeland scoring 10.

Narrow defeat: Great Britain's Ogo Adegboye collides with Lithuania's Jonas Maciulis

Narrow defeat: Great Britain's Ogo Adegboye collides with Lithuania's Jonas Maciulis

On the floor: Great Britain's Devon van Oostrum reaches for a loose ball against Lithuania's Sarunas Jasikevicius

On the floor: Great Britain's Devon van Oostrum reaches for a loose ball against Lithuania's Sarunas Jasikevicius

Lithuania's Paulius Jankunas led all scorers with 13 points and three of his team-mates also hit double figures as they edged a game in which the lead changed hands 12 times.

The higher-ranked side turned around a five-point first-quarter deficit to level at 37-37 at half-time.

Britain edged ahead once more and took a narrow one-point lead into the final quarter, but a low-scoring final period went 10-7 in favour of the Lithuanians.

Sir Alex Ferguson: Manchester City would be haunted by title failure

Fergie's take: Manchester City would be haunted by final day failure

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UPDATED:

20:59 GMT, 11 May 2012

Deep down, Sir Alex Ferguson knows that his team’s race is just about run for another year. Only a Devon Loch moment — Ferguson’s own words — by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday will hand United the 20th English championship they crave.

Sitting before the written media for the last time this season, though, the United manager did plant just one seed of mischief on Friday when he allowed himself to wonder what life might be like for Roberto Mancini and his players were they to let glory slip through their fingers.

‘The disappointment of losing the game would be unbelievable,’ said Ferguson. ‘It’s untold at this moment in time what effect it could have on them.

Slight hope: Sir Alex Ferguson is praying City fall apart on final day

Slight hope: Sir Alex Ferguson is praying City fall apart on final day

‘We can only do our best and try and win the match. Hopefully something stupid happens to City. Twenty-nine years ago today I took a wee team called Aberdeen to beat Real Madrid in a European final.

‘That’s QPR’s challenge — to do an Aberdeen.’

Ferguson struck exactly the right tone. While he clearly hopes victory for his team at Sunderland will be accompanied by a miracle in east Manchester, he knows the chances are slim.

As such, he was careful to be complimentary about City manager Mancini, but also clear on one thing. That United have been in this position before and recovered the following season.

‘The situation at the moment means we are probably going to lose out this season but there’s a lot of young players in the squad,’ he said. ‘We’re not looking as though it’s an end of an era for us. In many ways it’s the start.

‘The challenge is obvious. If we lose the league then we have to try and win it again. We are certainly not going away, that’s for sure.

Spirit: Wayne Rooney and his colleagues will need to win at Sunderland

Spirit: Wayne Rooney and his colleagues will need to win at Sunderland

‘There is a great thing about this club, an in-bred discipline about what is needed to win a league and it has shown itself this season again.’

Ferguson, of course, has endured last-day dramas before, most notably when United failed to win at West Ham in 1995, allowing Blackburn to win the league despite defeat at Liverpool.

‘How many chances did we have that day’ asked Ferguson, blowing out his cheeks. ‘It was unbelievable. It was agony, because we didn’t expect what happened at Anfield.

‘We thought Liverpool would maybe draw the game, but when we realised they had won. Well, what a chance we had.’

Ferguson and Mancini clashed on the touchline as City beat United at the Etihad recently. Should he ultimately finish second, though, Ferguson will undoubtedly convey his congratulations privately to Mancini. It is very much his style.

Close: Will Paul Scholes see United miss out on their 20th title

Close: Will Paul Scholes see United miss out on their 20th title

Asked about his rival yesterday, he said: ‘To win the league is not easy and a lot of people underestimate how hard it is to win.

‘Of course he (Mancini) has had a big financial advantage over everyone, but you still have to put a team on the pitch and pick the right players and the manager must take the most credit if you win the league in this country.

‘You have squads of players, but trying to orchestrate the harmony of the place is very important. Making everyone feel they have played their part is a massive part of the game today, so to win the league is a massive step forward for Mancini.’