Kell Brook lurks in the background to trigger off run-up to Amir Khan fight - but can he make welterweight?

Sheffield's Kell Brook insists he can drop down to 147 pounds if it's the only way of fighting Amir Khan.
Amir Khan shrugs off Kell Brook in a brief shouting match. Pic: Press AssociationAmir Khan shrugs off Kell Brook in a brief shouting match. Pic: Press Association
Amir Khan shrugs off Kell Brook in a brief shouting match. Pic: Press Association

The Bolton welterweight is in action tonight, with Brook hovering in the background and hoping to promote the mega fight he says "the world wants to see."

Khan's attention is on Samuel Vargas in Birmingham this evening.

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But Brook - whom The Star predicted would break cover after months of media silence - now says: "I’d love to take the fight at the end of this year.

“I actually went in the ring for his last fight and he ran out of the ring when I got in."

"He’s a little b**** to be honest with you, he is.

“He’s tried every excuse in the book to not make the fight. It’s going to kill me to make 147lbs, but I’m willing to get down and make that fight."

He told talkSPORT Drivetime: "I'm going to the (Vargas) fight. I think we’re running out of time now, I think this is more or less his last chance to get it on with me."

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Brook has struggled to make welterweight for some time - so his descent back to the division he ruled as IBF champion must be carefully managed.

But with millions of pounds at stake, and this a likely farewell match for Brook, he clearly wants to sign a Matchroom contract with Khan.

Meanwhile, Khan says he has fallen back in love with boxing after admitting his time away from the ring left him feeling "lost" and "doing silly things" in his much-publicised personal life.

He spent nearly two years out after a brutal loss to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in 2016 in what was an ambitious jump up in both weight and class.

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That hiatus coincided with a string of problems in his family life, as the former champion had little to focus on other than a 'celebrity' lifestyle which included a stint on popular reality show 'I'm A Celebrity'.

However, a return to action in April saw him blast away former world title prospect Phil Lo Greco in 40 seconds in Liverpool and he seeks to shake off more ring rust against Vargas.

"Boxing definitely gets the hunger back," the 31-year-old told Press Association Sport.

"It helps keep the mind relaxed, chilled and thinking straight.

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"When I was away from boxing, I was lost. That's one of the reasons I came back; I thought 'you know what? Boxing is what I need'.

"I had so much energy in me I was doing silly things, so I decided I need to divert it into boxing and direct it into the right place. And look - I'm back now. You saw how I came back against Lo Greco and it didn't surprise me that I knocked.

him out so quickly because I'm one of the best fighters in the world.

"Just because I've been out of the ring for such a long time, people seemed to kind of forget how good I am and where I left off."

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Khan, who needed to strip naked to make the 10st 7lb limit on Friday, did look impressive when dispatching former Golden Boy Promotions prospect Lo Greco in Liverpool and he admits it gave him the taste for boxing again.

"Maybe it was a good statement," he said. "It was a direct statement to knock Lo Greco out the way I did, because it showed I'm still a level above.

"But at the moment I've got Vargas in front of me and hopefully I'll put in a good performance against him and move on.

"Boxing is what I love doing, that's why I'm doing it. At the end of the day, people can say what they want and do what they want but I'm a fighter. I was born a fighter and I'm going to do it until I feel it's time to stop."

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Khan has his sights set on a blockbuster fight with Manny Pacquiao or domestic rival Kell Brook before the year is out.

However, he is not overlooking Vargas, with victory at the Birmingham Arena a big stepping stone towards a huge stadium clash in his next fight.

Colombia-born Canadian Vargas - who made the weight with a pound to spare - has different ideas, though.

"You'll enjoy the show," he vowed.

"I've had a great camp with a great team. It's been tremendous. I've been sparring lots of rounds with guys from Puerto Rico, the States, Canada.

"There's no doubt in my mind I'll be victorious, whether it's going the distance, knockout or breaking his ribs.

"If I even touch him or clip him with something, he'll be hurt."