By Keith Idec
The second fight of Amir Khan’s comeback figures to last longer than the first, but it doesn’t appear all that threatening, either.
Promoter Eddie Hearn announced at a press conference Thursday in Birmingham, England, that Khan will face Samuel Vargas on September 8 at Arena Birmingham. Vargas, 29, is 4-0-1 since Danny Garcia knocked him out in the seventh round of their November 2016 fight in Philadelphia.
“One of my aims this year was to be as active as possible,” Khan said, “so I am very happy to get back in the ring so soon against Samuel Vargas. Vargas is a tough and well-schooled fighter who has shared the ring with some top welterweights, including Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr.”
Spence stopped Vargas (29-3-2, 14 KOs) in the fourth round of their April 2015 bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Vargas, who resides in Toronto, also lost a 10-round unanimous decision to Mexico’s Pablo Munguia (21-12, 12 KOs) in December 2013.
The 31-year-old Khan, of Bolton, England, needed only 39 seconds to knock out Toronto’s Phil Lo Greco on April 21 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. The former 140-pound champion’s easy victory over Lo Greco (28-4, 15 KOs) came in his first fight since Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) knocked Khan unconscious in the sixth round of their WBC middleweight title fight in May 2016 in Las Vegas.
It also marked the start of Khan’s three-fight contract with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports. That agreement could conclude with a long-awaited domestic showdown with Sheffield’s Kell Brook (37-2, 26 KOs) either late this year or early in 2019.
Brook, a former IBF welterweight champ who now competes in the 154-pound division, is scheduled to battle Brandon Cook (20-1, 13 KOs) on July 28 at O2 Arena in London.
“I have to get past Vargas before looking at the biggest challenges going forward,” Khan said. “I’m not going to be taking Vargas lightly because I know he will be coming with everything on September 8. I hope to give the fans in Birmingham the same excitement and fireworks as my last fight. It will be one not to miss.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.