Kell Brook getting closer to Amir Khan's level, says Johnny Nelson
Last Updated: October 22, 2012 8:21am
Johnny Nelson says Kell Brook sent a defiant message to Amir Khan with his impressive display against Hector Saldivia.
The Sheffield fighter set up a mandatory world title bout with IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander after winning Saturday night's final eliminator, but talk has already turned to an all-British showdown with Khan at some point in 2013.
The pair came to blows on Sky Sports' Ringside show earlier this month when Khan seemed to get the better of the war of words, insisting he would easily win a potential bout.
But Nelson said Brook looked like a more powerful and mature fighter against Saldivia and said Khan might no longer be as confident of beating the ever-improving star.
"He looked different physically and emotionally," Nelson said.
"He had a good poker face on when he got in the ring and physically, just look at the size of his arms, of his shoulders and of his back. He just looked in perfect condition.
"The talk has been of maybe Amir Khan and I've been asked before who I thought would win. Even though I like Kell and even though I like Khan, if they boxed today I'd say Khan.
"But after this performance if I was Amir Khan I would box Kell Brook now before this kid is a fully-fledged, fully confident individual, which will probably be in the next 12 months. He's not even the finished article.
"Amir Khan came on Ringside and he man-handled Kell and that gave him confidence that he knows more than this boy and he fancies the fight.
"But after seeing that, he might think 'maybe I don't need this.'"
Saturday's fight was finished by a stunning third-round left jab, which left Saldivia struggling to pick himself up off the canvas.
And Nelson says the impressive performance silenced the doubters who'd questioned his commitment before his underwhelming win over Carson Jones last time out.
"I'm trying to figure out when I've ever seen anybody knocked out like that by a jab," he said.
"That's what shocked everybody. Where did the shot come from? It was a simple straightforward jab and it took Saldivia out to the point where he was staggering and he was hurt.
"He didn't trip over, it wasn't bad balance, it was a solid jab like a full-blooded right hand and that showed Kell Brook had done all the work expected of him and he wasn't even panting. He didn't even have to push himself.
"Kell Brook only did three rounds with ease, so now he's got to think to himself to stay at world championship level and beyond, he's got to prepare for a fight like this every single time."