Still searching for a date with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Amir Khan has instead another tune up fight lined up.
In what is seen as a lateral move for the former WBA light welterweight champion, Amir Khan ( 29-3 with 19 KOs) is likely to face former light welterweight contender Josesito Lopez ( 32-6 with 19 KOs) in his December fight, according to boxing scribe Steve Kim.
Khan was earlier reported to have been targeting the likes of Devon Alexander and Robert Guerrero to step up his level of opposition in order to return to the discussions of fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. next year. But fighting an unranked opponent like Lopez looks like a lateral move on the part of the Briton.
Khan has been calling out Mayweather for over a year now. In fact, Khan was almost Mayweather’s opponent after the latter used an online fan survey last February to determine his next opponent. Khan beat Marcos Maidana in that survey, owing to his legions of British fans, but Mayweather ultimately decided on fighting Maidana instead last May.
Khan was also in the running as Mayweather’s September opponent, but his religious observance of the Ramadan has forced him to forego fighting until late this year. Mayweather decided to give Maidana a rematch next month, but has hinted that he wants to fight at Britain’s famed Wembley Stadium before he retires.
A Fringe Contender
The 30 year old Lopez announced via twitter that he’d be fighting on September 6. He was previously rumored to be fighting either Adrien Broner or Lucas Matthysse in the Golden Boy Triple Header at Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. But both Broner and Matthysse have been given their respective opponents and Lopez isn’t one of them.
Lopez rose to fame in 2012 when he defeated Victor Ortiz via 10th round technical stoppage. Lopez and Ortiz were in a tight contest when Ortiz retired on his stool after round 9 citing a broken jaw. That win earned Lopez a shot at Canelo Alvarez and the WBC Light Middleweight title.
Lopez had to bulk up to 154 pounds for the fight and looked fat. Alvarez dropped him three times before stopping him in the 5th round. Lopez then fought Marcos Maidana next, but after giving the Argentine a tough first five rounds, Maidana cracked Lopez and stopped him in the 6th round. Lopez got back on the winning track after winning his last two bouts against unheralded foes.
Lopez is a formidable foe at light welterweight where he has speed and some power. But his fights above 140 pounds have been disastrous although these were against Canelo and Maidana. Khan used to fight at 140 but is settled at welterweight, which is where Floyd Mayweather is at. If Lopez is indeed Khan’s next opponent that could be a clear sign that his team is bridging him for a big fight next year with Mayweather or his former Wild Card teammate Manny Pacquiao.