By Terence Dooley
Former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan was delighted when Richard Schaefer announced that Golden Boy are putting together a tournament at 140lbs, as recently revealed on BoxingScene. The tournament will start when Danny Garcia defends his WBC and WBA titles against Zab Judah on April 27th, which will be followed by Lamont Peterson versus Lucas Matthysse, for Peterson’s IBF belt, on May 18th. The next stage will match the winners of those two contests, with Khan waiting in the wings.
Khan, 27-3 (19), takes on former IBF lightweight titlist Julio Diaz at a catchweight of 143lbs at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on April 27 knowing that a victory will keep him on track for a meeting with the eventual overall winner of the above bouts. It will also give Khan a shot at redemption after defeats to Peterson (L SD 12) and Garica (TKO 4) left the Bolton-born boxer without a major title. A situation that Khan has pledged to rectify before moving to pastures new.
“I’ve still got unfinished business down at the 140 division, so I want more fights in that division,” said Khan when speaking to BoxingScene about Schaefer’s plans. “Richard wants the winner of Garcia-Judah and Peterson-Matthysse to fight each other, and the winner fights me. It shows that there’s still a lot of stuff to go for. It is exciting. Hopefully, I win that fight to unify the division then move up to 147.”
Khan was reinstated as WBA titlist despite losing to Peterson in December 2011 after “Havoc” tested positive for steroids ahead of their scheduled May 2012 return. This left Khan kicking his heels until July and his world was ripped apart again when WBC title-holder Garcia stopped him at 2:28 of the fourth. Shaefer’s tournament will give Khan a measure of revenge should one of his former foes win their next two fights, but which rematch appeals to Khan the most?
“I think Garcia, which would probably be a much easier fight as well, but that’s the future — I just want to get past this fight with [Julio] Diaz, so I’m fully focused on him,” Khan responded. “By the end of the year we’ll hopefully get the winner of those fights.”
Tickets for Amir Khan vs. Julio Diaz can be purchased from www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or by calling 0114 256 5656. Or via Sports Corporation at www.sportscorporation.com or by phone on 0845 163 0845.
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