Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that he plans to secure a “big fight” later in the year for Amir Khan, and has talked up Khan’s chances in a showdown with pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford.
Khan, who returned from a two-year exile in April with a blistering 39-second stoppage win against Canadian Phil Lo Greco in Liverpool, is scheduled to face Samuel Vargas in Birmingham in September – but that has not stopped Hearn planning ahead for the former two-time World champion.
The goal for the Vargas fight, according to Hearn, is to give Khan some badly-needed ring time, following less than a round of boxing under his belt since a crushing sixth round knockout loss to Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in May 2016.
“I’m hoping Vargas can give him some rounds,” said Hearn in an interview with FightHype.
“Test him, hit him on the chin and, you know, if [Khan] comes through he has to dive into those big fights.”
While many in Khan’s native land of the United Kingdom still clamour for a domestic dust-up with former IBF World welterweight champion Kell Brook, Hearn discussed other potential opportunities for the 2004 Olympic silver medallist – including a bout with eight division World champion Manny Pacquiao and WBO kingpin Crawford.
Crawford, who relieved teak-tough Australian Jeff Horn of his title in a one-sided Las Vegas beatdown in June, has long been a mooted opponent for Khan, with his promoter Bob Arum confirming his interest in the potential clash in the immediate aftermath of the Horn victory.
Though many observers would consider Khan a heavy underdog against the Omaha, Nebraska native, Hearn declared that he felt Khan possesses “a good style” to topple the three-weight World champion.
“The Brook fight, the Pacquiao fight. You know, styles make fights, and people may say ‘Eddie, what are you talking about?!’ – Khan’s a tough fight for Crawford.”
“You know there are certain styles where Crawford is unbeatable. But Khan is a good style to try and beat Crawford.” said Hearn.
Despite being one of the more divisive figures in the sport over the years, Khan still remains a considerable draw – having excited crowds on both sides of the pond with his lightning quick hands and well-documented defensive vulnerabilities.
It is these factors that, according to Hearn, could lead to a match-up with Crawford in the not-too-distant future.
“Crawford, by the way, is immense, one of my favourite fighters pound-for-pound. But, you know, all those guys would happily take an Amir Khan fight. And he still has the pull, and the draw, and the excitement, and the speed to be in those big fights.”
With Crawford yet to announce his next opponent, his 86-year old promoter Arum revealed that as well as Amir Khan, a shortlist of Jose Benavidez Jr., Carlos Adames and the winner of this weekend’s WBA Regular World welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse as possible foes for the first defence of his title.