Those plans for Khan could include a December rematch with RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia should Garcia get beyond a targeted September showdown with the winner between IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson and THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse, or Khan could rise into the welterweight division and challenge IBF titleholder Devon Alexander, a matchup that would also take place in December.
Schaefer shared his ideas on Khan with RingTV.com while in the MGM Grand lobby for Tuesday’s “grand arrivals” of pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and welterweight challenger Robert Guerrero in advance of their Showtime Pay Per View main event on Saturday.
Last weekend, Khan (28-3, 19 knockouts) rose from a fourth-round knockdown for a unanimous decision over former two-time lightweight beltholder Julio Diaz that followed up December’s 10th-round stoppage of Carlos Molina. Prior to facing Molina, Khan had lost to Peterson and Garcia by disputed split-decision and fourth-round stoppage in December of 2011 and July of last year, respectively.
“Amir is actually going to be coming here to Las Vegas, and so I did talk to him after the fight and the following morning,” said Schaefer. “And we had breakfast and we talked about what the different scenarios are. And one thing that seems to be clear and that is that we are looking at having Amir fight on Dec. 7 in the U.S. That’s the date we’re holding.”
A May 18 Showtime-televised double-header at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City will feature Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KOs) against Matthysse (33-2, 31 KOs), and Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) taking on Lee Purdy (20-3-1, 13 KOs).
Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) is coming off last weekend’s unanimous decision over former titleholder Zab Judah, who has beaten Matthysse and lost by fifth-round knockout to Khan.
“It’s [Khan’s next fight] going to be either the winner between Danny Garcia and the Lucas Matthysse-Lamont Peterson winner. The winner of that, we’re planning on having those two fight each other on Sept. 7,” said Schaefer.
“So that’s the date we’re holding for that fight. And then, we’re going to go on Dec. 7, and the idea there is either Khan against the winner of those, or to have him move up to welterweight.”
Khan fought Diaz with the knowledge that his next fight, win or lose, might be as a 147-pounder.
“Remember, the last fight [for Khan against Diaz] was at [a catch weight of] 143, and I was in England with Robert Diaz, our matchmaker, and we saw at the weigh-in that Amir looked a little bit peaked. So I think that we have to talk to his team, and [trainer] Virgil [Hunter,] but it might be time for Amir to move up to 147. And the fact is that he has now fought for many years at 140, and maybe it’s time to move up to 147,” said Schaefer.
“And one of the names I could see there would be Devon Alexander. I mentioned that to Amir as well, and he said, ‘Look, I don’t care. Whoever.’ He just wants to make sure. After talking to his team, he’s not going to move up and then move back down again. So, the question is, he doesn’t care, whether it’s fighting Devon Alexander or if it’s the winner of the other fight. He just wants to make sure that it’s the right decision as it relates to his weight.”
Peterson is coming off last month’s eighth-round stoppage of ex-titleholder Kendall Holt at The D.C. Armory in his Washington, D.C. Peterson earned his belt via a disputed split-decision victory which dethroned Khan as IBF and WBA titleholder in December of 2011. Khan was subsequently knocked out by Garcia in the fourth round in July of 2012.
Matthysse has had four straight stoppage wins since sandwiching 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.
SCHAEFER EYES ALABAMA HOMECOMING FIGHT FOR DEONTAY WILDER
Schaefer said he would like to showcase American heavyweight prospect Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (28-0, 28 KOs) in his native Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the popularity of the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist ranks second only to the city’s 2013 NCAA champion University of Albama football team.
“Absolutely. My idea would be to have him somehow tied in with an Alabama football game,” said Schaefer. “So I have some ideas there, and I’m working on something there in that regard.”
Last weekend, as part of the Khan-Diaz undercard at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, the 6-foot-7 Wilder took just 70 seconds to blow out Audley Harrison, a 41-year-old 2000 Olympic gold medalist who was trying to resurrect his fading career.
“That’s what he said at the post-fight press conference, and we mentioned both names to the UK media, and they felt that they don’t think that the respective promoters of those two guys would want to get their fighters anywhere close to Deontay Wilder,” said Schaefer.
“So, we’ll have to see, but we did reach out to Mick Hennessy, who is promoter of Tyson Fury, but his promoter, Hennessy, said that they have many different options, so basically, they don’t sound interested.”
In February, Price suffered his first loss by second-round stoppage against Tony Thompson, a 41-year-old thought to be far past his prime. On April 20, Fury had to rise from a second-round knockdown to prevent an upset and ultimately score a seventh-round stoppage of former IBF cruiserweight titleholder Steve Cunningham, a 36-year-old who was in only his third heavyweight bout.
Photo by Scott Heavy, Getty Images
Photo by Andrew Yates, AFP/Getty
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com