Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, believes that his city can take over from Las Vegas as the world’s biggest fight city.
Khan took to the dais at the Boxing Writers’ Club annual dinner to outline his vision for the nation’s capital city. He pointed to the heavyweight numbers that Anthony Joshua and David Haye routinely bring to the city’s O2 venue as well as the recent visit of Gennady Golovkin when stating his case. Khan also looked back to the rarely mentioned night in 2014 when Carl Froch knocked out George Groves in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium as a sign of British boxing’s pulling power.
“I want to see the largest sports and cultural events staged here in London, not Las Vegas,” said Sadiq Khan (quotes courtesy off City A.M.). London was the perfect host for the unmissable fight between the undisputed pound-for-pound king in Gennady Golovkin and our very own Kell Brook. Both for our city, and the thousands of boxing fans in London, staging the best fights is something we could all get used to.”
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He added: “I want to see the biggest sporting and cultural events staged here in London because we not only have world-class venues to stage top-class boxing, but we also have the globe’s best fight fans. London is open to the best talent in the world and that is why I am keen to see another super-fight in the capital, and what better one to start with than arch-rivals Amir Khan and Kell Brook both in the ring at Wembley Stadium? Both fighters are northerners so London is neutral territory and I think it is a contest the British public and London fight fans would love to see.”
A meeting between Brook and Khan has been gestating for years now, but, typically for boxing, both men are coming off bruising stoppage defeats—Khan was KO’d in six by Saul Alvarez in May and Brook was pulled by his corner in round five due to eye damage in his losing effort against Golovkin. However, there is still a desire among British boxing fans for the encounter, although it may no longer have enough lustre to fill Wembley Stadium, especially if Brook moves to 154.
Still, with rumours of a fight between Joshua and former world heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko circulating, Britain could end 2016 having welcomed some of boxing’s biggest names to our shores; a sure sign, perhaps, that we are starting to hang with the big boys in world boxing on a more regular basis and could see more big names over here over the coming years.
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