Newly crowned WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia has been ordered to fight mandatory challenger Amir Khan by June or else lose his title.
The American beat his compatriot, Robert Guerrero, by unanimous decision at the Staples Center on Saturday to claim the WBC title—recently vacated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. upon his retirement.
Who wins Garcia-Khan II?
The conditions of the fight always stated that the winner must then take on Khan in a mandatory defence, and WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed as much following Garcia's win, per the organisation's website: "It was a tremendous fight for the WBC Championship. Now we have a champion and it's going to be a great year go come. Amir Khan is the mandatory contender, he is next for Danny Garcia and they must fight by June."
The only scenario in which the pair would not fight before June is if Garcia vacates his belt, or Khan "walks away from his mandatory position," per Miguel Rivera of BoxingScene.com.
The latter seems a highly unlikely option, as the British fighter was hyping a second fight against Garcia as soon as the 27-year-old beat Guerrero:
Who wants to see Khan Garcia 2? Mandatory fight 2016 👊🏽 tag #khanGarcia— Amir Khan (@AmirKingKhan) January 24, 2016
The idea of Garcia vacating the belt he just won also seems like a long shot.
The first clash between the pair came back in 2012 when Garcia knocked out Khan in the fourth round of their light welterwieght title fight—see the highlights below:
The Philadelphia-born fighter has since gone on to maintain his perfect career record, which currently stands at 32-0.
Khan (31-3) has since won five consecutive fights, his last coming in New York in May when he beat Chris Algieri by unanimous decision.
Garcia and his father and trainer, Angel Garcia, said after the Guerrero victory that they did not want another fight against the 29-year-old, per BBC Sport.
Meanwhile, Khan has recently looked like he was on a collision course with compatriot Kell Brook, the IBF welterweight champ, following a social media exchange with the Special One's promoter, Eddie Hearn:
made but enough of the insults. @AmirKingKhan we will make this easy for you 60-40 in your favour (Kell is World Champ) and you have it.— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) January 22, 2016
However, Garcia-Khan II now looks like a real possibility, and Khan will likely be desperate to prove that his defeat in the first fight was a fluke.