A deal is “done” that will match former IBF/WBA junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan against former two-time lightweight beltholder Julio Diaz, of Coachella, Calif., in 143-pound catchweight clash in Khan’s native England on April 27, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
Schaefer said the matchup between Khan (27-3, 19 knockouts) and Diaz (40-7-1, 29 KOs) will be shown live in the afternoon and again on a delayed basis as part of the live Showtime broadcast of a defense by RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia (25-0, 16 KOs) against former titleholder Zab Judah that will happen the same day at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Set to make their professional debuts on the card in England are 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo, of Great Britain, who signed with Golden Boy in December, and flyweight Haroon Khan, Amir’s younger brother, according to Schaefer.
“Khan-Diaz is done. That’s going to be April 27, and my team in the UK is working on the site and everything, so I really can’t tell you that yet. But it is done,” said Schaefer, who will be in England with Khan, while Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya handles the Garcia-Judah card.
“I’m going to be in the UK and Oscar’s going to be at Barclays Center. Showtime will be televising the Khan fight live, and then we will have a replay of the Khan fight again at night. We are going to have Showtime’s ‘All-Access’ as well. This is going to be a great afternoon and evening for boxing fans.”
All-Access will preview events in the respective camps of the fighters participating on the May 4 Showtime Pay Per view clash between pound-for-pound king and WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather (43-0, 26 knockouts) and WBC interim beltholder Robert Guerrero.
Diaz is 2-0-1 since being stopped in the third round by Kendall Holt in May of 2011, and is coming off a draw with unbeaten welterweight prospect Shawn Porter (20-0, 14 KOs). Diaz has fought his past three bouts as a welterweight.
“Amir Khan is going against a rejuvenated Julio Diaz who had a tremendous performance against Shawn Porter,” said Schaefer. “Julio wants it and he’s going to be ready and hungry. He’s definitely going to test Amir Khan.”
MARCOS MAIDANA-JOSESITO LOPEZ IS CLOSE
A bout that is close to being finalized for April 20 on Showtime could match rugged welterweights Marcos Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs) and Josesito Lopez (30-5, 18 KOs) on the undercard of a main event featuring rising two-divison titlewinner Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KOs) opposite WBC featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-4, 35 KOs).
“We are very close on confirming the Josesito Lopez-Marcos Maidana fight,” said Schaefer. “Josesito has agreed to it already, and we have verbal confirmation from Maidana as well. We’re trying to get everything in writing, now. It looks like, hopefully, by tomorrow, we should have everything signed.”
Maidana’s losses have come against former beltholders Andriy Kotelnik and Khan, as well as current IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander all by decision, the latter, in Maidana’s 147 pound-debut.
Lopez is coming off a fifth-round stoppage loss to WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
GOLDEN BOY EVENTS TO AROUSE INTRIGUE WITHIN THE 140- AND 147-POUND DIVISIONS
Schaefer is considering a junior welterweight match between IBF beltholder Lamont Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KOs), of Washington, D.C., and THE RING’s No. 1-rated 140-pounder Lucas Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs), of Argentina, for May 18 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The match up between Peterson, who is coming off Friday night’s eighth-round knockout of ex-beltholder Holt at The D.C. Armory in Peterson’s home town of Washington, D.C., and Matthysse, a winner of five straight all by knockout, would be paired with a clash featuring Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) against Englishman Kell Brook (29-0, 19 KOs).
Peterson, 29, who signed with Golden Boy last month, ended a 14-month layoff with an eight-round TKO of Holt this past Friday.
Matthysse, 30, is coming off last month’s first-round stoppage of Mike Dallas Jr. Prior to facing Dallas, Matthysse had come up with stoppages in the fifth- and 10th-rounds over former WBC 130-pound and lightweight beltholder Humberto Soto in June and previously unbeaten Nigerian southpaw Olusegun Ajose in September.
Matthysse’s run began after having sandwiched disputed decision losses to left-handers Judah and Alexander in June of 2010 and June of 2011, respectively, around an eighth-round stoppage of southpaw DeMarcus Corley in January of 2011.
“You have the 140s, the 147s and the 154s. I think that between the events that you’re going to see in April — April 20 and April 27 — and then, of course, May 4, and the card that I’m talking about on May 18 with Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse, and Devon Alexander and Kell Brook. You look at all of these fights, and you see obviously, all these possibilities, all of these names, Mayweather, Amir Khan, Canelo, weeks apart,” said Schaefer.
“This is really exciting with Danny Garcia and Zab Judah. It’s the best fighting the best. You can put all of these names in a hat, and you just have a bunch of exciting match ups. That’s what we’re doing here. Lopez against Maidana is a big fight. All of this all allows fight fans and sports fans in general to compare the talents within these weight classes and have some fun with it. Let the fans be the matchmakers once we see who wins these match ups. Who would you like to see fight next?”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Juan Marshall
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org