WBA and IBF junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan could make the first defense of his IBF belt against mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told RingTV.com.
BoxingScene.com first reported the possibility.
The 24-year-old Khan (26-1, 18 KOs) of England has won eight consecutive fights, four of them by knockout, and is coming off of last month’s fifth-round stoppage that dethroned Zab Judah as IBF titleholder.
The 28-year-old Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) of of Washington, D.C. won an IBF eliminator with a 12th-round stoppage of Victor Cayo (26-2, 18 KOs) in July, earning the organization’s No. 1 contender status.
Khan has also expressed interest in facing the winner of a clash between three-division titleholder Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) and Lucas Matthysse (28-2, 26 KOs), who will meet for the WBC’s vacant junior welterweight belt on Sept. 17.
“We are looking at different options for Amir Khan,” said Schaefer. “But it seems like the one that we seem to be focusing in on is to do his mandatory against Lamont Peterson on Dec. 10.”
In February, Peterson passed up a chance to face Khan when talks broke down between Schaefer and Peterson’s attorney, Jeff Fried, for an April challenge to Khan’s WBA belt over money and a rematch clause.
Peterson, in succession, had been offered $150,000, then, $200,000, and then, $300.000, but the challenger’s camp wanted “north of $350,000” to travel to England to face Khan, according to Schaefer.
When the negotiations fell apart, Khan moved on and defended his crown by technical decision over Paul McCloskey in England.
“Well, that’s [negotiations] going to be the question,” said Schaefer. “If it’s not going to be a reasonable number, then the fight will go to purse bids and so we just have to see if it can be worked out, but we’re going to find that out.”
Fried, who represented Peterson and his manager and trainer, Barry Hunter in the negotiations, had contended that the negotiations failed more over the notion of a rematch in the event that Khan lost than it did the money being offered.
“Definitely. That was our whole thing about taking the long road. We don’t want to go to the United Kingdom because we felt as if the deck would have been stacked against us,” said Hunger, adding that Khan-Peterson would likely happen in Las Vegas.
“Amir Khan is a world class fighter, but so is Lamont. I don’t try to get that which we don’t deserve, but I don’t want to get less than we deserve.”
Peterson and Hunter each agreed that the amount of $350,000 was “in the ballpark” if the deal were to get done, even as he also expressed faith that it would.
“Last time, I think that they were offering $300,000, but that was too light for us. Nothing’s changed. As far as what I’m asking for, so those numbers will still have to be reached,” said Peterson.
“I don’t want the deal to go away. I just want the deal to get done, and I think that it will. I think that everything looks good. I think that it’s going to get done. I don’t want the fight to get away from us this time. I think that we should be able to agree on a number this time and I just want the fight to get done.”
Prior to facing Cayo, Peterson had last been in the ring in December of last year.
That’s when Peterson rose from a pair of second-round knockdowns to salvage a 10-round majority draw against hard-hitting Victor Ortiz (29-2-2, 22 KOs).
Ortiz later rose up to the next-higher weight and dethroned Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) as WBC welterweight titleholder.
Peterson’s initial title shot was in December of 2009, when he lost a clash of unbeaten fighters by unanimous decision to then-WBO beltholder Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs).
“I spoke to Richard Schaefer today, and it looks pretty good so far. Like I said before, it’s always a numbers game when you get this close,” said Hunter.
“But if everybody agrees, then it looks like Dec. 10 will be the date, and I think that it’s going to go down.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com