Amir Khan's quest to face Floyd Mayweather Jr. has taken another unexpected twist after Virgil Hunter, the Englishman's trainer, confirmed his next opponent will not be Adrien Broner.
Mayweather recently confirmed he would be fighting Marcos Maidana, despite Khan's continued advances for a battle against the undefeated American, per Dan Rafael of ESPN. "Money" goaded Khan by suggesting only a win against Broner on his undercard would see him agree to the bout, a route Hunter has now dismissed, reported by Sky Sports:
I can tell you this it won't be Adrien Broner, I can say that it will not be Adrien Broner. People talk a lot in this business but I can assure you it won't be Adrien Broner.
I'm not at liberty to [say more]. This is a business and out of courtesy to my whole team, I don't think it would be right.
But I think you'll be happy in the next few days when you get clarity on the whole situation. I'm not at liberty to speak about it but I think in the next few days it will become apparent why it is a blessing in disguise.
Hunter also confirmed Khan "will be fighting within a period of 8-10 weeks," suggesting he will appear around the same time as Mayweather's challenge with Maidana. Hunter's quotes hint Khan will stay away from the MGM Grand battle altogether, despite Mayweather's previous attempts to lure him toward an extremely dangerous opponent:
Although plans to fight Mayweather have been put on hold, Hunter believes the clash will happen sometime in the future, per Sky Sports:
"But it's definitely going to happen. I am very confident through the circle of people that I speak to," said Hunter. "The people who are speaking on that matter are very true to their word so yes that fight will happen."
Khan certainly needs to rack up a win if he is to face Mayweather. He may feel he has something to prove after losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, so could try to coax either brawler into a rematch. This would certainly aid his progression and provide one less pitfall for Mayweather to exploit if an encounter ever takes place.
David Anderson of the Mirror outlines Robert Guerrero as the leading candidate to help raise Khan's U.S. profile. Devon Alexander, Luis Collazo and Shawn Porter are also suggested as targets along the Bolton-based boxer's quest to gain further recognition outside the UK.
Kell Brook told Khan he wants the fight on Twitter, but it was met by a dismissive attitude from the former Olympic silver medallist:
The decision to bypass a fight with Broner is sure to be met with mixed reactions. While we are yet to discover if such a clash was ever a possibility, Khan's unwillingness to bow to Mayweather's demands will be seen as an act of defiance by many.
Even so, Mayweather now has the opportunity to tell Khan he missed his chance. The 37-year-old laid down his terms, told Khan how the date could be earned and now doesn't have to honour his word.
Khan's next opponent will be announced "in the next few days" according to Hunter, per Sky Sports, highlighting a storyline that is moving at a lightning pace. While Khan vs. Mayweather still seems a world away, those hoping for the contest shouldn't give up hope just yet.