By Keith Idec
A rematch against Danny Garcia obviously is the one Amir Khan wants.
But if Zab Judah upsets Garcia on Feb. 9 at Barclays Center, or Garcia wins and Garcia-Khan II cannot be made for some other unforeseen reason, there’s another rematch Khan’s handlers would consider for him. His first fight against Paulie Malignaggi was one-sided, but Richard Schaefer views a Khan-Malignaggi rematch as a viable option.
“A lot has happened since that first time they fought,” said Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions’ chief executive officer. “What happened with Khan and what happened with Paulie, it’s sort of like they went in opposite directions. And now at 147, it might be a different fight. So it definitely could be a possibility as well.”
The 26-year-old Khan has recorded impressive victories over Marcos Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs) and Judah (42-7, 29 KOs, 2 NC) in going 4-2 since he stopped Malignaggi in the 11th round 2½ years ago in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. He also lost back-to-back fights to Lamont Peterson (30-1-1, 15 KOs), who overcame Khan by split decision a year ago, and Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs), who knocked out Khan in the fourth round five months ago, during that stretch before bouncing back to dominate previously unbeaten Carlos Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Malignaggi, meanwhile, has gone 5-0 since moving up to welterweight following his last junior welterweight bout against Khan in May 2010. That winning streak includes an impressive ninth-round stoppage of Vyacheslav Senchenko (33-1, 22 KOs) to take Senchenko’s WBA welterweight title April 29 in Donetsk, Ukraine, Senchenko’s hometown.
The 32-year-old Malignaggi (32-4, 7 KOs) edged Mexico’s Pablo Cesar Cano (25-2-1, 19 KOs) by split decision in his first title defense, Oct. 20 at Barclays Center in Malignaggi’s native Brooklyn.
Rumors regarding a potential Malignaggi-Shane Mosley matchup at Barclays Center in April have swirled recently. Schaefer also acknowledged Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) and Andre Berto (28-2, 22 KOs) as possible opponents for Malignaggi, but a Khan-Malinaggi rematch remains a consideration.
“It depends if Amir wants to stay at 140 or move up to 147,” Schaefer said. “If he stays at 140, I think he would [fight Garcia] because he wants revenge against Danny Garcia. But if he doesn’t get the Danny Garcia fight, I think he’s going to be seriously looking at moving up to 147 because the fact is the big fights aren’t going to be at 140.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.