By Rick Reeno
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has advised BoxingScene.com that a deal has been reached for Amir "King" Khan (26-2, 18KOs) to challenge WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia (23-0, 14KOs) in an HBO televised main event on July 14th, either from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California or the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell (25-0-1, 19KOs) will open up the broadcast against Johnathan Banks (28-1-1, 18KOs).
"Amir Khan will return on July 14th against Danny "Swift" Garcia," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com. "And Seth Mitchell will be in the co-feature against Johnathan Banks."
With respect to Khan-Garcia, there are several side items that still being sorted out - in terms of the championships at stake. Schaefer is confident that the WBA and IBF will return the titles to Khan, which in turn creates a unification clash against Garcia - and also allows Garcia bypass a mandatory defense against Ajose Olusegun.
Golden Boy's lawyers are attempting to reverse Khan's split decision loss to Lamont Peterson from last December in Washington, DC. The two fighters were scheduled to have a rematch on May 19th in Las Vegas, but the fight was canceled after Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone during a random drug test administered by VADA [Volunteer Anti-Drug Association]. Peterson later admitted, through his attorney, to being injected with a testosterone pellet last November, a month before his win over Khan.
Regardless of the titles, the HBO wants the fight and Schaefer expects it to happen.
"We have obviously asked the the WBA and IBF to give the titles back to where they belong, to Amir Khan. We hope that we will get a decision shortly and sanction the fight for their respective world titles. We have also asked the WBC and informed them as well, that we do anticipate that this will be a world championship unification bout. We certainly hope that this will be sanctioned by the respective bodies," Schaefer said.
"Obviously it is every fighter's dream to fight for a world title. Fighters fight for titles, but in this case, with Amir Khan and Danny Garcia, you have what I think are the two most exciting fighters in this particular weight class, fighting each other, and the network doesn't care about it. Of course we all hope the fight will be for the world titles, for all three titles. But the fight will go on, absolutely."
"Both fighters are very excited. For Danny Garcia, if you are a young fighter and you have the opportunity to fight, back to back, names like Erik Morales and Amir Khan, what young fighter wouldn't want that? That's what we at Golden Boy work on. We like to give young and emerging fighters the opportunity to showcase their talents, to test their skills and we like to give legendary fighters opportunities to continue their career in big fights. We believe in giving athletes opportunities, but what's important is that it's always the best fighting the best. No tuneup fights, but the best fighting the best."