The truce between longtime rivals Kell Brook and Amir Khan is over.
The British welterweights were bitter rivals throughout their careers, but after over a decade of trash talk, they finally met on February 19, 2022, at Manchester Arena to settle their feud. The bout was one-sided as Sheffield’s Brook dominated Bolton’s Khan in a sixth-round TKO.
Their camaraderie is officially over after it was revealed by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) on Tuesday that Khan had tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug ostarine in a post-fight drug test. UKAD punished Khan with a backdated two-year ban, meaning he won’t be eligible to fight until April 2024. Khan, however, maintains that he is retired from the sport and has no intention of lacing up the gloves again.
UKAD SAID WHAT NOW
Khan claims he ingested the drug unwittingly, and UKAD’s investigation confirmed just that. According to their report, the amount found in Khan’s body was too small for the fighter to reap a benefit. However, as many people in combat sports know, the timing of these tests can be a determining factor in whether one sample tests positive or negative. If a fighter is close to the end of a cycle of a prohibited drug, one testing agency may find the substance in question while another does not. In other words, if UKAD had tested Khan earlier, perhaps at a random point during his training camp, it’s possible they may have discovered an even higher percentage of ostarine in his system.
Kell Brook doesn’t care how Khan ingested the banned substance. As far as he’s concerned, it was in his system. Therefore, Khan was cheating, whether he knew about it or not.
KELL BROOK BLASTS KHAN
“Just ’cause he’s retired doesn’t mean that I’m out of the game,” Brook told iFL TV. “At the end of the day, he was cheating. [Khan is] going to have to pay a hefty fine, so that it’s a thing where fighters shouldn’t even think about doing.
“Of course, he should be paying for this. At the end of the day, as much as this is bad publicity for him, he needs to pay financially. He needs to let everyone out there [know that] you can’t just fight and then get caught, and you’re retired that there is no punishment. Of course, he should [be fined].”
Kell Brook added that Khan’s explanation is synonymous with other fighters that have been caught with their pants down.
“It’s the same thing with anybody that’s been caught: they didn’t know, it was this, it was that,” Brook said. “But at the end of the day, it was in you. You got in that fight with a drug to enhance you and hurt me in a sport where legally you can get killed in. It’s not about, ‘you didn’t know.’ It’s in your system. You know exactly [that] it’s in your system. You got in there with bad intentions to hurt me bad, to win the fight at all cost, which has come back and bit him in the ass bad.
Brook said Khan deserves everything that is coming to him. Moreover, he found the turn of events ironic, considering it was Khan who had been calling for enhanced drug testing.
“He’s going to have to live with that,” Kell Brook said of Khan now having to deal being branded a drug chat. “People are going to think how long has he been on these drugs. Of course, it’s going to tarnish his career. Imagine if he wasn’t on them drug, he would’ve gone out probably in the first round [of our fight].
“He was the one that was saying drug test me,” Brook added. “I’ve lost count how many times I was drug tested in that fight. And all along it were him that were doing the cheating in there. It’s a f—— joke.”
While Brook and Khan announced their retirements shortly after their fight, the 36-year-old former welterweight world champion is considering a comeback. He has been mentioned as a potential opponent for Conor Benn, who is reportedly slated to fight on June 3 in Abu Dhabi. It would mark the first fight for the welterweight contender following a much-publicized drug controversy after the 26-year-old twice tested positive for the banned substance Clomifene.
Kell Brook (40-3, 28 KOs) won the IBF welterweight world title on August 16, 2014 by defeating then-champion Shawn Porter by majority decision at StubHub Center (now Dignity Health Sports Park) in Carson, California. He made three defenses of the belt before making an ill-advised decision to move up to 160-pounds to face then-unified titleholder Gennadiy Golovkin, who broke Brook's right eye socket en route to a fifth-round TKO.
He subsequently moved back down to 147-pounds to defend his belt against then-rising contender Errol Spence Jr., who knocked down Brook twice, once in the 10th, and again in the 11th rounds, to secure the world title.
Brook's last world title appearance came against Terence ‘Bud' Crawford in November 2020, when the unbeaten three-division world champion stopped Brook in the fourth round at the MGM Grand Bubble in Las Vegas.