By Keith Idec
Eddie Hearn has grand plans for Amir Khan and that doesn’t just include a Khan-Kell Brook bout.
Khan’s new promoter envisions big fights for Khan now that they’ve agreed to a three-fight contract, which will begin with his April 21 return to the ring.
“The plan is to box in April and then again in August or September in preparation for a super fight in winter 2018,” Hearn said Wednesday, according to a story posted to the website of London’s Daily Mail. “The target is to provide him with the biggest fights possible, with a mouth-watering list of names, including the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence. I’m excited to get started and looking forward to a huge night of boxing on April 21.”
Khan and Hearn haven’t chosen an opponent for his April 21 fight at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. The former IBF/WBA super lightweight champion isn’t expected to face a top opponent that night in what will be his first fight since Canelo Alvarez knocked him out in the sixth round of their WBC middleweight title fight in May 2016 in Las Vegas.
Thereafter, though, the 31-year-old Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) will test himself against a higher level of opposition as he builds toward the “super fight” Hearn mentioned.
The Bolton, England, native could make significant purses for fights against Brook and Pacquiao. Khan and Hearn noted following a press conference Wednesday that Khan’s long-discussed domestic showdown with Brook is more realistic than ever, but Khan added that he might resume his career as a welterweight.
Sheffield’s Brook (36-2, 25 KOs), a former IBF welterweight champion, has moved up to junior middleweight for his next fight. Brook is set to box Belarus’ Siarhei Rabchanka (29-2, 22 KOs) on March 3 in Sheffield.
Khan and Pacquiao were negotiating last winter to fight each other last spring, but those talks didn’t result in a deal. Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) instead suffered a controversial, unanimous-decision defeat to unknown underdog Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 11 KOs) on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown, and lost the WBO welterweight title.
Though Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), the IBF welterweight champ, and Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), the WBA/WBC champ, have attractive alternatives, including a fight against each other, they could make big money for facing Khan, especially in England.
“One of the biggest stars in world boxing is back at a time when British boxing is booming,” Hearn said. “Last time he fought, British boxing was in a good place. Now we’re kings of the world and the king is back. And April 21 is going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to be moving towards some of the biggest fights in the division. Away from the fun and games from some of the best TV viewing we’ve seen in recent years on ‘I’m a Celebrity,’ the desire is to win titles.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.