Lem Satterfield

What’s next for Khan?

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Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer has plans to discuss Amir Khan’s future, most notably, his return to the ring on April 20, with Showtime boss Stephen Espinoza on Monday.

Among the potential opponents being considered for Khan (27-3, 19 knockouts) is ex-WBC junior lightweight and lightweight beltholder Humberto Soto, of Mexico, a winner of two straight bouts since falling by fifth-round stoppage to Lucas Matthysse in June of last year.

“Nothing has been confirmed so far,” said Schaefer regardiing Khan, whose 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Molina (18-1-1, 7 KOs), of Norwalk, Calif., in December represented his first fight under reigning Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter. “I will be discussing with Stephen Espinoza today the next opponent for Amir, date and location of fight.”

Khan signed a three-fight deal with Showtime after vanquishing Molina, and will likely fight in his native England, although America is also an option.

Soto (60-8-2, 34 KOs) weighed 139 pounds for this past Saturday’s unanimous decision victory over countryman Silvio Ortiz, who had won six straight fights, three of them by knockouts.

Soto, 32, weighed 147 pounds for his previous bout, November’s unanimous decision triumph over Jose Lopez that helped him to rebound from the loss to Matthysse.

Soto entered the bout with Matthysse while riding a 15-bout winning streak that included six knockouts.

A 26-year-old Olympic silver medalist from England, Khan made his United States debut with an 11th-round knockout of Paulie Malignaggi at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May of 2010.

Khan made his first appearance in Las Vegas in December of 2010 by dropping Marcos Maidana with a first-round body blow, only to find himself in survival-mode during a treacherous 10th round in the Fight of The Year.

The wins over Malignaggi and Maidana were part of a run of eight straight, four of them by stoppage, under trainer Freddie Roach, with whom Khan began working after his 54-second knockout loss to Breidis Prescott as a lightweight in September of 2008.

Khan’s run included winning the WBA and IBF title belts, as well as a knockout of  Zab Judah and triumphs over Marco Antonio Barrera and Andreas Kotelnik.

Before facing Molina, however, Khan had lost two straight following a controversial split-decision setback against Lamont Peterson in last December of 2011, and last July’s fourth-round knockout loss to Danny Garcia, who picked up Khan’s WBA belt and retained the division’s RING championship and WBC crown.

 

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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