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Kell Brook stops arch-rival Amir Khan in six rounds to triumph in pulsating Manchester grudge match

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K

ell Brook earned ultimate bragging rights over long-time rival Amir Khan as one of British boxing’s most enduring modern feuds was finally settled in a pulsating grudge match.

Brook defied a pre-fight backstage row over his gloves – having to change them in the ring – to produce a superb performance full of power and poise and stop his nemesis 51 seconds into the sixth round of Saturday night’s enthralling bout in Manchester, with referee Victor Loughlin stepping in to end the contest after a brave but determined Khan had been badly rocked several times but would not quit.

A terrific clash almost two decades in the making certainly did not lack for explosive excitement despite the general consensus that it had come several years too late, with each fighter – both now 35 – now facing decisions over whether to continue their illustrious careers or else hang up the gloves.

For the triumphant Brook, who rolled back the years with a terrific display to move to 40-3, another mammoth all-British showdown with Chris Eubank Jr could lie in store next.

“I can walk away. Eubank, I don’t like Eubank. We could fight Eubank. There’s some big fights out there for me,” the former IBF welterweight world champion told Sky Sports.

“If the millions are right, I’ll fight. I’m a prizefighter at the end of the day.”

However, Khan strongly hinted at bringing his illustrious 40-fight professional career to an end after admitting that he just “could not get going” against Brook and that his love for boxing no longer burned brightly.

“40 fights, that’s a lot of fights. Winning two world titles, fighting up and down America and around the world,” he said.

“I need to sit down with my family, but I think it is more towards the end of my career now, yeah.

“Obviously that love of the sport is not there anymore, like it was before. When I was in the ring I used to have that excitement and that push, but I just didn’t have that in me, I felt quite flat.

Action Images via Reuters

“I think that’s maybe a sign for me to know that I should be calling it a day maybe. But let’s see, I’m going to go back and watch the video. Let’s see where we go from here.”

On Saturday’s undercard, Natasha Jonas finally realised her world title dream at the third attempt.

After previously running both Terri Harper and old Olympic foe Katie Taylor close, ‘Miss GB’ defied a three-division weight jump to blitz former world champion Chris Namus of Uruguay inside two rounds to pick up the vacant women’s WBO super-welterweight belt.

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