Amir Khan is the darling star of the junior welterweight division right now.
Currently rated as the number one fighter in the division right now, Khan is still in the looks for an opponent for what could be his last fight in the division before moving North to the welterweight division.
Khan initially had his plans all laid out from his December bout to a potential 2012 bout with Floyd Mayweather. He was planning on taking on the veteran Erik Morales in November and then taking on Kell Brook in the spring before trying to take on Floyd.
Once Morales heard about Khan's plans though for a potential bout between the two, he quickly made it clear that he had no intention of taking on Khan in December. Morales stated that he just started boxing again after a long layoff and that taking on a fighter of Khan's caliber so soon was a deathtrap.
I don't blame him, if he remembers the Maidana fight he got hurt pretty badly. He was gassed in the later rounds and didn't throw enough punches. I'm not knocking his performance; I think he performed a lot better than expected. The point I'm trying to make is, he's not ready yet for Khan and facing him so soon would be setting him up for failure.
With Morales out of the way, who does that leave?
One possible opponent is Morales's current opponent, Lucas Mattyhsse. The reason for this is Morales and Mattyhsse are fighting for Tim Bradley's recently stripped WBC title. If Mattyhsse is able to beat Morales and become a champion, I don't see why Khan wouldn't want to fight him and unify.
Who should Khan fight next?
Another opponent is Timothy Bradley. Bradley has always been in everybody's mind as the best possible opponent to face in his division. Unfortunately though, Bradley is caught up in legal troubles with his promoter right now. I had heard that this mess was close to being over, but even if his legal troubles were almost over, I think Bradley would need a tune-up fight after being on a layoff for a couple of months.
Former fight of the year partner and WBA "regular" champ Marcos Maidana will most likely be free for December 10 and has been itching for a rematch with Khan since his defeat. I'd like to see them fight again and see if Khan can survive the storm that is Maidana again as he was rocking Khan hard in the later rounds and almost knocked him out.
The next possibility is the winner of an upcoming fight against a recently defeated Khan foe and the only man to have defeated Khan. Prescott will be facing off against McCloskey September 10th for a possibility to face Khan again. Even though Prescott was the man who won that faithful night, he's the man who has been chasing down Khan for a rematch. He has tried using the David Haye method where he continually insulted Khan and his family to anger Khan into making the fight.
McCloskey on the other hand just wants a rematch with Khan because he truly believes he has a chance to defeat Khan despite all three judge's card shutting him out in their fight. I'm not so keen on a rematch between the two because I honestly didn't think he deserved a shot with Khan in the first place. I think it was a gift that he got the opportunity and Khan was being nice.
My final prediction for an opponent for Khan's next fight is Lamont Peterson. Some of you may remember him from his draw with Victor Ortiz (where he was downed twice and lost by MD) or by his only defeat to Tim Bradley. Peterson is a highly underrated boxer that I think deserves another title shot.
Evidently, the IBF and the mandatory challenger to Khan rate Peterson as the number one contender. I had also heard rumors recently that if Morales won't make the fight, then Golden Boy will turn to Peterson.
He's been looking good as of lately with that comeback against Ortiz and a recent 12th round knockout of Victor Cayo. I think he earned the right to challenge Khan and fight for a title.
Whomever Khan picks for his fight later this year, it will most likely be his last one at junior welterweight.