Amir Khan vs Matthew Hatton Could Be Khan's First Welterweight Fight

Amir Khan has to get past Lamont Peterson first, but he's looking forward to his 2012 move to welterweight. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

If and when Amir Khan gets past Lamont Peterson on December 10, the British star is looking to move up to welterweight in 2012, with the end goal being a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr, but the quest could start against Matthew Hatton. From RingTV.com:

"I want to step up to welterweight after I fight Peterson and there's been a lot of talk about who I might fight first. That could be against Ricky Hatton's brother Matthew, " said Khan. "They've approached us and said they would be happy to take that fight if I move up to 147 pounds.

"I want a fight like that at 147 before I have the big fights just so I can get a feel for it, so my body can get a feel for it."

Hatton (42-5-2, 16 KO) recently defeated Andrei Abramenka following his March loss to Canelo Alvarez, and would be a safe name for Khan's climb to welterweight. The 30-year-old brother of Ricky Hatton has never been a true world class operator, but he's a tough fighter who gives a real effort every time out. The fact that he's not much of a puncher also makes him a safe first try for Khan at 147.

This is about the level of fight I expected Khan to take in his move up, and it would also give him a chance to fight again in the United Kingdom. While Khan is looking for major stardom in the States, he's done a good job not forgetting that his roots are in the U.K., and that he has a lot more fans there (and interested detractors) than he has here. Fighting Hatton would be sort of like fighting Paul McCloskey earlier this year -- a way to go back home for a fight that can sell, and keep his name attached to British boxing at the same time. Plus, if he continues to sell fights in the U.K., his chance of maybe convincing Mayweather to fight him there does go up just a bit. It's probably still unlikely, but Floyd has expressed interest in fighting at Wembley Stadium on numerous occasions.

Khan (26-1, 18 KO) has defeated McCloskey and Zab Judah this year without much trouble, but should get a stiffer test from the in-prime, determined Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KO).

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