UK Olympian Amir Khan (32-4) will be back in action on September 8, 2018 to face Colombian-Canadian, Samuel Vargas (29-3-2) at the Birmingham Barclaycard Arena, live on Skysports. This is Khan's second ring appearance since taking nearly two years off after his loss to Canelo.
Khan, 31, aims to be active moving forward, working his way back to the elite level of the sport. He revealed to BBC Sport, "I have to win in such style I send a threat to global boxing," Khan added, "There are big names out there for me like Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao. I want to be a champion again and want to fight Pacquiao."
Khan hopes this is an opportunity that will lead him to a clash against Pacquiao, who challenges Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title on July 15th. He has he has been chasing Pacquiao for a long time and he wants to be a champion again. The question is if the WBA will bypass all the other top contenders to allow this matchup. WBA rates Khan #7 and Vargas #10. There are too many top names ahead of them, such as Jessie Vargas, Jose Benavidez and Josesito Lopez. It remains to be seen how the WBA will adjust its ratings after the September bout.
Vargas, 29, has three losses and a similar record to Khan's with a TKO loss to mutual opponent, Danny Garcia. Vargas has another notable loss against Errol Spence Jr via a 4th-round TKO. However, his losses are to top fighters. Khan recognizes that Vargas is a challenge, noting that he's a tough and well-schooled fighter looking to make a name for himself. Khan affirmed, "Eddie said this guy kept pestering him to fight me, so that means he's seen something to beat me."
Eddie also confirmed this at Thursday's press conference, jokingly telling Vargas, "You slid into my DMs on social media and you called for the fight. I watched you, I like you and I spoke to Lee [Baxter] and we got it done."
At the press conference, Vargas acknowledged Hearn's quick efforts to make the fight happen and expressed his appreciation. "Thank you for making the fight happen so quick and so fast, really, it was just a matter of messages and I was on a plane and here I am. Vargas adds, "This is my time...I have the experience now; I have the proper time for a training camp. I feel ready. I'm gonna pull off an upset." Vargas also noted that he will need to be smart when he fights Khan, who is known for his speed in the ring. However, he didn't seem too threatened by Khan's previous performance against Phil Lo Greco. He said, "I'm going to let him I'm the boss and let him know I have the power. I saw his last fight; I don't really call that a fight. Phil Lo Greco is just a 40-second man show."
Khan humbly asserts at the press conference that he is taking this fight very seriously and will not go in thinking it will be easy. "I always train for a 12-round fight. I never go in there thinking I'm going to knock the guy out. Never went in there thinking I'm going to knock Lo Greco out; it just happened to be that I caught him with a good shot. I'll always work hard and train for a full 12-round distance. If it goes the 12 rounds, I'm going to be ready for it. If it doesn't then so be it, but no matter what come September 8...I'm going to be more than ready. I can't afford to make anymore mistakes now."
It will be interesting to see how both fighters' ambition to reach elite level will play out on September 8th. It will be another great match-up for 2018.
Tickets are on sale beginning Friday 29, June 2018 1:00pm at the Arena Birmingham website: http://www.arenabham.co.uk/whats-on/matchroom-boxing
Photo by: RingTV