Khan to face undefeated US light-welterweight on 14 July
'I feel like I have what it takes to beat this guy,' says García
Amir Khan was scheduled to face Lamont Petersonbut the fight was cancelled due to Peterson's raised testosterone levels. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images
Amir Khan's next fight in America has been put back a week to 14 July – and the nominated opponent, the unbeaten Philadelphian Danny García, represents a significant threat.
García felled and comfortably outpointed the once formidable Erik Morales in his last fight on 24 March to win the vacant WBC light-welterweight title and was due to defend against the mandatory challenger, the London-based Nigerian Ajose Olusegun.
Khan's connections, meanwhile, were negotiating a ticking-over fight against a selected opponent while waiting for Lamont Peterson's appeal against his failed drugs test in front of the Nevada State Athletics Commission on 13 June.
But the machinations of boxing politics shredded that scenario on Tuesday when Khan's American partners, Golden Boy Promotions, switched from a 7 July date at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, to 14 July and an unspecified site.
That could be in Los Angeles still or the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, the venue where Khan believes the fight will take place, having said as much in a tweet on Wednesday. He had been due to fight Peterson there last weekend in an effort to reclaim the IBF and WBA belts he lost to the American in their chaotic fight in Washington last December.
Khan will not know until after Peterson's appeal if his fight against García will be as the reinstated holder of those titles, or if the bout will be for the vacated championships. GBP chief executive Richard Schaefer says a unification fight for all three belts would over-ride García's commitment to defend his WBC title against Olusegun.
Once the Khan deal was done, García told ESPN.com, "I feel like this is how it's supposed to be: the best versus the best, both of us in our prime and giving the fans a great fight. I'm just happy … I feel like I have what it takes to beat this guy."
"I've watched Khan a lot. He's a good fighter, but I don't think he's what people say he is, getting all this credit. I feel like he will leave himself open for some big shots and we'll see if he can take them. I can box and I can punch. I'm going to hit him with stuff he won't see. I can't wait."
He claimed negotiations started as soon as the Khan-Peterson fight was scrapped – which will come as no surprise to Olusegun. The 32-year-old British champion, who trains in Kentish Town, will never the less be furious at being sidelined. He said when talk of a Khan-García fight first surfaced: "They're trying as hard as possible to avoid me."
To facilitate Khan's fight with García, GBP suggested Olusegun fight on the same card against another opponent but he told boxingscene.com at the time, "I don't want an interim fight. He's the champion, which I respect. If he wants to be a good champion, like the great ones, he has to fight his No1 challenger, which is me."
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