by David P. Greisman
Junior-welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia says he won’t step in to face Amir Khan unless their fight is a unification bout — something that will not happen unless Lamont Peterson gets stripped of his belts.
“A unification bout with Khan is the only way we can fight,” Garcia tweeted Friday evening. “If he don’t get his belts back then I will have to face my mandatory.”
Garcia, who holds the WBC belt, is mandated to defend that belt against undefeated contender Ajose Olusegun. A purse bid for Garcia-Olusegun has been pushed back to June 1, according to a report earlier Friday on BoxingScene.com.
Garcia has been named as a possible foe for Amir Khan, whose May 19 bout with Lamont Peterson was canceled after Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone. Khan is now likely fighting on July 7, according to reports.
Peterson won the WBA and IBF belts when he defeated Khan in December. However, he’s admitted to taking the testosterone prior to that fight for what his team claims were legitimate medical reasons.
If Khan were to have those belts awarded back to him, that could allow Garcia to fight him without losing his WBC belt — a specific sanctioning body belt Garcia has said is incredibly important to him.
Under WBC rules, a unification bout can be determined to “take precedence over and occur prior to any previously designated mandatory defense.”
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter at twitter.com/fightingwords2 or on Facebook at facebook.com/fightingwordsboxing, or send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org