WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan began training at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles this week ahead of his July 23rd fight, despite currently having no opponent finalized.
Originally the plan for Khan’s July date was a unification fight against WBC/WBO champion Tim Bradley. Bradley however turned down an increased offer of $1.4 million to fight Khan due to the fact that he already has a 1.2 million guarantee for his next fight from HBO.
Bradley is also strongly rumored to be sitting out the remainder of his current promotional contract to Gary Shaw, which expires sometime in the next few weeks, at which point he will become a free agent.
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Reassuringly however, as well as the Wild Card Khan and team also visited the Golden Boy headquarters earlier today to discuss possible opponents, and hope to have someone finalized by the end of the week:
“Amir Khan and Saj just visited Golden Boy offices and opponent to be locked end of the week.”
Possible names currently in the frame for Khan include IBF champion Zab Judah, lightweight interim champion Robert Guerrero, former opponent Marcos Maidana, (who now once again holds the interim version of Khan’s WBA title), and former three weight champion Erik Morales.
Of the four undoubtedly most fans will be hoping for Khan vs. Maidana II. Their first encounter was a Fight of the Year winner, which saw Khan control the early rounds with his speed and movement only for Maidana to rally late and nearly finish the Brit in the tenth, Khan eventually getting the decision.
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Also earlier today Maidana’s team released the following statement to several sites, which if the WBA back them on means that Khan won’t have a choice in who he faces:
“According to WBA rules Khan has to face his mandatory challenger, who happens to be Marcos Maidana, by September 11, 2011 and he cannot fight anyone else 60 days before that date. Team Khan and Golden Boy Promotions have been notified already as we have too,”
Aside from Maidana, Guerrero would seemingly be the easiest fight to put together. Zab Judah reportedly wasn’t happy with being offered less money than Tim Bradley, while Erik Morales might have other plans in the works, and is currently penciled in for July 30th.
For the time being though all Khan can do is to continue to get himself into shape, and despite still being in the very early stages of the camp, isn’t taking things easy:
“Todays session was tough, Freddie killed me on pads, it was my first session on pads. But feel good, only going to get fitter n stronger”
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