Eddie Hearn has advised Amir Khan to make the fight with Kell Brook after the Sheffield boxer’s lacklustre performance against Michael Zerafa on Saturday.
Speaking after Brook 38-2 (26) recorded a pedestrian points decision win over the Australian [by scores of 118-110, 119-109 and 117-111, the British promoter recommended Khan take advantage of the situation.
“If I were Amir Khan now I’d be on the phone, that was below par,” said Hearn, who promotes both boxers, after the fight.
The 32-year-old ‘Special K’ admitted it wasn’t his best showing despite being happy with his preparation for the fight under the guidance of new coach John Fewkes.
“A bit rusty. It’s the best training camp I’ve ever had. It was just a bit flat tonight. It was one of them. I couldn’t let that right hand go, I couldn’t get in a rhythm,” said Brook.
The former IBF welterweight champion was quickly out of the blocks and swept the first half of the fight, bloodying the visitor’s nose before the end of the first frame. But in the back half of the fight he would look alternate between explosive patches and periods of relative inactivity that allowed Zerafa, 26, to take charge behind a smart jab.
Midway through the ninth round Zerafa 25-3 (14) appeared to have Brook hurt with a flush right hand, driving him back to the ropes and forcing him to hold on to survive. Again in the twelfth a Zerafa right hand stung the highly-fancied hometown fighter.
The fight wasn’t close on the cards but it was more competitive than Brook’s backers would have liked to see.
With the win Brook becomes the mandatory challenger for WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd 23-0 (16) who is coming off a fourth round KO of Jason Wellborn last weekend.
It is unlikely the 28-year-old American is losing any sleep over this result.