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‘He was only a number’ – Amir Khan and Kell Brook’s bad blood dates back to teenage years after sparring match

, ‘He was only a number’ – Amir Khan and Kell Brook’s bad blood dates back to teenage years after sparring match

A fiercely-debated sparring session 17 years ago is the biggest talking point ahead of Amir Khan and Kell Brook’s long-awaited grudge match.

After years of trash-talking and accusations of ducking, the former light-welter and welterweight champions will settle the score on Saturday night in a domestic dust-up in Manchester.

Amir Khan and Kell Brook will finally get the chance to settle their differences
The bad blood between the pair has been apparent for nearly 17 years

, ‘He was only a number’ – Amir Khan and Kell Brook’s bad blood dates back to teenage years after sparring match

The pair sparred one another during an England train camp 17 years ago

The pair are no strangers to one another having crossed paths as teenagers during an England Boxing training camp in 2004.

Bolton bruiser Khan told Sky Sports: “We knew about each other. He was winning everything, I was winning everything.

“I knew he was good and vice versa.”

Khan‘s memory of the camp is of soft-spoken Sheffield slugger Brook being brought in as a body for the more skilled fighters in the camp to beat up.

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He said of Special K: “He was quiet. We never shared any words. Kell was only there as a number.”

The 35-year-old added: “Kell was briefly there. They let him spar just to check him out.

“But he took so much of a beating that he was never picked again.

“This is why Kell knows I’ve got one over him.

“I was the better fighter at the time. I was levels above him.

“Kell just can’t let it go. He remembers, and it must tarnish him.”

Khan ended up being selected for the 2004 Olympic squad not long after his sparring session with Brook, who insists competing in Athens was never his goal.

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He said: “I wanted to be a world champion. I got to 18 and turned professional.

“It wasn’t my dream to go to the Olympics.”

Khan and Brook go into their eagerly-anticipated showdown in the twilight of their careers and with their respective skill sets on the decline.

And Khan believes the deterioration of Brook’s once steel-like chin will show on fight night.

, ‘He was only a number’ – Amir Khan and Kell Brook’s bad blood dates back to teenage years after sparring match

Khan and Brook will clash in Manchester on Saturday night

He said: “I don’t think Kell has a chin or can take a good shot.

“I think his punch resistance is gone, literally gone.

“I honestly believe he is doing this fight just for that payday.”

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