Watch Amir Khan vs Kell Brook in their all-British grudge match at Manchester Arena on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Thursday 17 February 2022 12:20, UK
"Get ready for retirement" was the message for Kell Brook from Amir Khan's sparring partner ahead of Saturday's Manchester scrap, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Boubacar Sylla had been training with Khan during his camp Stateside, where the former Olympic silver medalist was working in Nebraska and Colorado with US trainer Brian 'Bomac' McIntyre, who has long-cornered Terence Crawford.
Having grown up watching Khan explode onto the scene to become a former unified light-welterweight world champion, Sylla can now attest to the speed awaiting Brook on February 19.
"He's incredibly fast, I had my guard up here and he just sneaked that right hand in there," said Sylla on Behind The Ropes.
"He's fast, probably the fastest I've been in there with, strong jab man, and he has power.
"I used to watch him on YouTube like 'damn I want to be in there with him, I want to get to where he's at' but now it's here, we're on the same team now.
"It was a great experience being in the ring with him. A real world champion, Olympic medallist, it was an honour."
The pair have sought to ensure they are in peak physical condition for what looms as a defining night, Khan opting for the high altitude of Colorado's rocky mountains and Brook training with Dominic Ingle in the Fuerteventura heat.
An eventual meeting in the ring will mark the culmination of a decade-long dispute between the pair, both of whom are now 35 and seemingly closing in on the end of their careers.
"Don't take that fight, back out, because you're in trouble, he is in trouble," added Sylla, asked for what advice he would give Brook.
"Amir is about to kick his ass.
"Kell Brook, get ready for your retirement, because this is it."
Brook's sparring partner John Thain believes the contest will be as much about harnessing emotions as it will executing a game-plan.
"I've sparred a lot of welterweights and he's just so strong," said Thain. It's hard to be in front of him.
"This is so much more than a single fight, there's pride, it's bragging rights.
"Sometimes you go into fights with emotions as opposed to focus, sometimes it's trying to keep control of that.
"He doesn't want to be angry, he wants to be aggressive but not angry, he wants to be fast but controlled."