Amir Khan is targeting an all-British welterweight showdown against Kell Brook in the summer of 2018, despite seeing his bitter domestic rival relinquish the IBF world title to impressive mandatory challenger Errol Spence Jr on his return to the 147-pound division on Saturday night (27 May).
Defending the belt he took from Shawn Porter for the fourth time in front of a passionate hometown crowd at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane, Steel City native Brook, who fractured his right eye socket during his defeat to middleweight king Gennady Golovkin last year, appeared to suffer the same injury in his left eye midway through his clash with Spence. He eventually took a knee in round 11 after being knocked down in the 10th.
Brook, aged 31, jumped two weight divisions to face Golovkin in September 2016 and, having been open about his struggles to make the welterweight limit, promoter Eddie Hearn reiterated after the bout that he would like his charge to move up to light-middleweight.
"The Special One" himself claimed after only his second career loss that he was willing to fight anyone that the fans wanted if the money was right and Khan, a former unified light-welterweight champion returning to welterweight level after also rising to middleweight to challenge Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, believes it would make sense for the pair to fight next summer.
"I'd like to fight him at 147," he said in his role as a ringside pundit on Sky Sports Box Office. "Obviously Kell's had the loss now and I'm sure he's going to go into another fight which is going to be a nice tune-up fight and then maybe next summer we could be back in a big stadium."
Asked if that meant he would not take on Brook next, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist replied: "Depending on Kell's eye. It just depends on the dates as well, obviously there's a lot of pay-per-view fights on. The fight between me and Kell Brook is a pay-per-view fight and I really believe that fight next summer would definitely make sense. Kell will need some time now to kind of relax and chill out, but I think it also might give him enough time to get a tune-up fight and then go into a big fight."
A "devastated" Brook has now confirmed that fractured left eye socket, telling Sky Sport News: "They kept me in until about 3am. I had a CT scan on my eye and the eye is broken again, same as the Golovkin one, so, maybe surgery again."