Amir Khan and Kell Brooks long awaited nag fight looks set to continue as planned on 19 February, after all British boxing was postponed in January.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) suspended a number of matches due to the growing number of Covid cases in the UK, but one of the most anticipated matches of the year should be unaffected.
The sub-map is not yet fully confirmed, but it already offers some impressive names, with the addition of Frazer Clarke now confirmed.
The 30-year-old has only just become a professional after captaining Team GB’s boxers at the Olympics in Tokyo, where he won bronze in the heavyweight division. It may seem like a delayed progress, but he has been running the rounds in the amateur circuit for a decade after missing Rio 2016 when Joe Joyce was selected ahead of him.
Clarke has signed with Anthony Joshua‘s 258 MGT management label, after sparring with the former WBA, WBO and IBF world champion with Team GB.
“Both Amir and Kell are legends, so being on their undercard is great,” Clarke said. “Burton is my hometown and a place I love, but Manchester has a special place in my heart, so it’s special to start my journey in front of their fans.
“The training is going great and I am 100 percent focused on making a spectacular and entertaining show for everyone in the pros.”
Brothers Hassan and Adam Azim will also perform in welterweight and lightweight respectively.
The duo were on the same card back in November, and while Adam is undoubtedly making the bigger waves after winning 10 national titles as an amateur and being ranked No. 1 in world-class youth level, Hassan made a huge impression on his pro debut on Wembley Arena at the end of 2021, beat Ivan Njegac by a knockout with one stroke in the first round.
Like Bradley Rea and Viddal Riley, they are still awaiting confirmation from their opponents. Rea remains undefeated with an 11-0 record, including four knockouts, while Riley started his career with two emphatic knockouts before winning his last two matches by unanimous decision.
Full list of matches
- Amir Khan vs Kell Brook (welterweight)
- Bradley Rea vs TBA (middleweight)
- Viddal Riley vs TBA (cross weight)
- Adam Azim vs TBA (Lightweight)
- Hassan Azim vs TBA (welterweight)
‘One of the most frightening talents’
by Kevin Garside, Is chief sports correspondent
Adam Azim was introduced to combat sports to curb a hyperdisposition, first to kick boxing at the age of four and then the noble arts as a 10-year-old. “I had ADHD,” he recalls. “The only way to train my energy was boxing. It was always positive. I tried cricket, I could bat and bowl but could not play. Did not feel it. When I first started boxing, that was it.
As well as Amir Khan, Azim had something to do with Naseem Hamed – the knockouts, the overflowing, the somersaults. On the advice of his father, a successful operator in the care sector from Slough, Azim decided to add his own festive setback to his repertoire.
“People want excitement. They want entertainment. My dad said ‘why are you not trying to come back?’. I went to a gym club and the guy said it would take three months. I learned it in an hour.” After victory No. 2 at Wembley, where he left Stu Greener sprayed on the floor, Azim landed the flip as clean as Max Whitlock.
“When I was fighting in the amateurs, I knew what to do. The opponents were scared. It was like ‘wow, this guy has won everything’. I had a reputation. As a professional it’s different. Shane teaches me a lot of things. On match night it’s the same. I have to perform, show what I’m up to. In the second match I did it and knocked the guy out. It all comes together. It’s on to the next match and the next after that. just develop myself to become a better fighter. “
Jake McGuigan, part of Azim’s management setup and brother of coach Shane, is “hugely excited.”
“He wants to fight for a world title tomorrow, but is still young,” said Jake. “Step by step. It’s a long process. Does he have the talent? Absolutely. Some of the scariest I’ve seen. And Shane feels the same. But he has to prove it.”